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March 04, 2007


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[My parents are from the Ilocos region, where surliness and ill-humor are the ingredients of choice (actually, those are preferred ingredients of only my father, I shouldn't make blanket statements like that, my bad).]

You are bad! Very bad! Hahaha! My goodness, what an entertaining blog. I can't wait to read more from you (and am awaiting a detailed 'About' page :)).

Coconut milk is indicative not only of the Bicol region's cuisine but also of the Tagalog's, especially the south. Some Visayan recipes would call for it too.

From Pampanga going up, coconut milk in savoury dishes is not used, with an exception or two.

Thanks Karen. I'm glad you enjoy what I have so far. I've been a lurker, and a fan, of your blog for quite some time.

I am thoroughly enjoying your blog. You are a fab. food writer and I cannot wait to get to NY and try this dish in the restaurant you mentioned.

My dear brother...As I was driving home from work tonight, my stomach had pangs of hunger for some good 'ol home cooking from our native land. Knowing that I can't cook worth a lick of Filipino food, I decided to call our beloved grandmother to see what she was having for dinner. I thought at least maybe I could have some Filipino food in-vivo through the phone. In any case, the dinner she had prepared reminded me of this post of yours. I can't pronounce or spell what she had made, but from what I gathered, the ingredients included dried taro leaves, ginger, coconut milk, and pork. Grandmother said this was a recipe from the "Bicol region." Maybe you should hit her up and investigate this recipe to add to your repertoire of good eats.

I'm a Filipino through and through and I even live in the Philippines, but I don't know how to cook adobo. There are as many versions of it as there are Pinoys, which is about 85 million. Of course the adobo we make will never be as good as the one we grew up with. Nostalgia is the best cook, after all. But keep on trying until you find a version you can cook that you're happy with.


coconut milk in adobo sacriligous imo

it should only have water or chicken stockvinegar, soysauce, garlic, onions, salt and pepper

thats it...

anything else is crap...

Thanks for your comment joe. While I thought the use of coconut milk was strange, I don't think it was crap. The Philippines is a big place, and there is more than one way to cook adobo.

dunno i liek my adobo old skool..

i dont even liek it when they mix chicken and pork adobo.. either chicken or pork i prefer to use pork butt... my fam likes chicken... but im the one cooking so pork it is..

Claudell... that dish your grandma was making is laing. With respect to coconut milk in adobo, yes that is sometimes done in the Bicol region. The thing though with using gata (ie. coconut milk) is that it is best to use some freshly extracted from real buko. The taste is way different and more refined if it is fresh. My dad is from Bicol, and oftentimes he complains that the gata that are sold in cans just isn't good enough.

I got the book as well and tried the chicken adobo recipe. I was so disappointed because it was soooo vinegary. With adobo's I've made before I used half vinegar and half soy sauce. I was very suprised about the ratio in the book but thought that the coconut milk might cut the acidity. Anyway, the book is great at presenting the regions and its food but I'm not sure if I wanna try another recipe.

I love you blog! :)

I just wrote about the Cendrillon recipe on my blog, and I like the way it turned out. I was worried about the coconut milk overpowering the dish, but it was a nice background flavor. Broiling the skin was a nice touch and I think I'll end up doing that no matter what kind of adobo I make. I also cooked down the sauce so it was like gravy and I loved how it clinged to the broiled skin.

Anyway, I've just started exploring your blog and there's a lot of great stuff here. Can't wait to read more.

Just for everyone's info, there is a collection of adobo recipes in a book called "The Adobo Cookbook" that I picked up last time I was in Manila. To my surprise, there are regional adobo varieties like "Adobong Puti" (no soy sauce, but using salt instead), "Adobong Pula" (with paprika or pimenton), and "Adobong Dilaw" (with fresh turmeric, called luyang dilaw in Tagalog). Some adobos call for boiling down the gravy so only the fat remains (my great aunt cooked it this way). Some cooks marinate the meat overnight, and some fry the meat after it's simmered in the vinegar mixture. Adobo with coconut milk is popular in southern Tagalog and Bicol areas. Some Bicolanos add a whole chili pepper (not sliced) for a subtle spicy kick. So really, the adobo you ate at home is not the only way adobo is, or should be, cooked. Keep an open mind, don't be so critical, and enjoy other versions while appreciating the Filipinos' culinary creativity.

Hello Voltaire, thanks for stopping by my blog. I am very well aware that there are many ways to cook adobo, I was merely stating that this particular version was not something I was used to. I don't think I was being critical at all, and based on the other posts within this blog, I would like to think that I have a very open mind. In fact, I strive to promote Filipino culinary creativity. Thanks.

Sorry...my post wasn't directed at you in particular. I was reacting to the other comments that were made. Just wanted to caution people in general not to be so narrow-minded when it comes to Filipino food. Manila chefs are now serving imaginative dishes using Filipino ingredients, much like what you're doing. So our cuisine is constantly evolving, and while we'll always savor the traditional dishes, we should also welcome the innovations (panna cotta made w/ carabao's milk, deep-fried kesong puti with guava sauce, sinigang made with corned beef brisket, just to name a few I sampled in Manila). So many possibilities!

I think you're very open-minded and I thoroughly enjoy your adventurous forays, especially the ube gnocchi. I've made ube vichysoisse and ube panna cotta, but will have to try the gnocchi! Thanks.

I have to search your blog for your favourite adobo recipe.

My boyfriend made your adobo and lumpia last night for my birthday party - he marinated the (organic) chicken adobo 24 hours, then braised it. It was fabulous, but the real delight was the leftovers for breakfast this morning and the discovery that the action of marinating with vinegar and braising pulled the gelatin out of the chicken bones making the sauce super nourishing - giving it the "Weston A. Price" stamp of approval!

Love this blog. Love chicken adobo. Love Weston A. Price!!!

he Chicken Adobo recipe in "Memories of Philippine Kitchens" is pretty much the same as the recipe posted here. There's even a link on that page to watch the video of Dorotan on Martha Stewart.

I'm enjoying your blog. You are a fabulous. the best food writer and I can not wait to visit New York and try this dish at the restaurant that you mentioned.

Yep! not my mother's chicken adobo either.I agree on what you wrote that when it comes to homecooking,nothing is as good as the ones you grew up with. I tried cooking chicken adobo and added some coconut milk as well but didn't like how the taste turned out. I like your blog! It's one of the best food blog I've come across!

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