Tuck into this marvellous Filipino classic recipe with a twist
Whenever I long for a taste of home, my preferred go to dish is Chicken & Pork Belly Adobo. Having lived outside the Philippines for more than 30 years, this dish always brings back nostalgic and happy memories of sitting around my grandparents’ dinner table sharing a meal with my family.
In addition, as adobo is more of a culinary process—the term is derived from the Spanish word adobar, meaning marinade—it is quite versatile and can be used with meat, seafood, or vegetables. Some add coconut milk, tomatoes, turmeric or chillies. At Romulo Café & Restaurant, we add truffles to the sauce. This recipe is the classic adobo with pork belly and chicken which is still my favourite.
• 250g of pork belly
• 200g chicken leg (cut into pieces)
• 3 cups soy sauce
(Datu Puti if available or another Asian brand like Kikkoman)
• 3 cups cane vinegar
(or white wine vinegar)
• 1 cup oyster sauce
• 1 cup dark brown sugar
• 1 garlic bulb peeled and crushed
• Handful of bay leaves
• Handful of whole black peppercorns
• 150g of silver skin onions or
1 large white onion,
Sweet Potato Mash (garnish)
• 2 pieces of peeled and
cubed sweet potatoes
• ½ cup of milk
• 2 tablespoons of butter
• Salt, to taste
Adobo Sauce (Marinade):
Add all ingredients together and marinate overnight. Place in a cast iron casserole or large cooking pot and allow to simmer
Chicken leg Cooking Method:
1. Season the chicken with olive oil, salt and cracked black peppercorns.
2. Sear the chicken by frying in a hot pan until golden on both sides.
3. Once golden, add to the adobo sauce and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, or until tender.
4. Cool down the chicken and deep fry for 2 minutes.
5. Then finish cooking in the oven for 5 minutes at 185 degrees.
Pork Belly Cooking Method:
6. Cook the whole piece of boneless pork belly in the adobo sauce for 2-3 hours until the meat is soft.
7. Cool down in a tray.
8. Cut into portions.
9. Deep-fry for 3 minutes. Then finish cooking in the oven for 5 minutes at 185 degrees.
Sweet Potato Mash:
Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Add the potatoes and cook until tender, for about 20 to 30 minutes. With an electric mixer on low, blend the potatoes, slowly adding the milk. Use more or less to achieve the desired texture. Add butter and salt to taste. Blend until smooth.
Spread the sweet potato mash on the plate. Place the chicken and pork belly on top of the sweet potato mash. Pour some adobo sauce on top. Serve hot.
Romulo Café & Restaurant’s sister restaurant, Kasa and Kin, opened at 52-53 Poland Street, London in October 2021.
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