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The Best Pork Adobo Recipe: Classic and Creative Variations

classic pork adobo and  creative variations

Adobo, derived from the Spanish word “adobar” meaning “to marinate,” is a traditional Filipino dish that involves marinating meat in vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, bay leaves, and black peppercorns. Pork adobo, in particular, stands out due to its rich, hearty flavors and tender texture.

Pork Adobo is a simple yet delicious recipe that has become a favorite in households worldwide. Let’s dive into the classic Pork Adobo recipe and explore creative variations for different tastes. Whether new to Filipino cuisine or a seasoned cook, you’ll find something to love.

Classic Pork Adobo Recipe


  • 2 lbs pork belly or shoulder, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup vinegar (preferably cane vinegar)
  • 1 head garlic, crushed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp sugar (optional)
  • 6 hard-boiled eggs (optional)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


1. Marinate the Pork: In a large bowl, combine the pork chunks, soy sauce, and crushed garlic. Let it marinate for at least 30 minutes to an hour or overnight for best results.

2. Brown the Pork: Heat the cooking oil over medium heat. Remove the pork from the marinade (save the marinade for later) and brown the pork on all sides.

3. Add Ingredients: Pour in the marinade, vinegar, bay leaves, peppercorns, and water. Bring to a boil.

4. Simmer: Reduce the heat to low, cover, and let it simmer for 1 to 1.5 hours, or until the pork is tender and the sauce has thickened. Add sugar if you prefer a slightly sweet flavor.

5. Season: Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper

6. Serve: Serve hot with steamed rice and sliced boiled eggs on top.

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Creative Variations of Pork Adobo

The classic Pork Adobo recipe is a timeless favorite with delicious variations you can try. Here are a few:

Adobo sa Gata (Pork Adobo with Coconut Milk)


  • Same as a classic recipe
  • 1 cup coconut milk


  • Follow the classic recipe up to the simmering step.
  • During the last 10 minutes of simmering, add the coconut milk.
  • Continue to simmer until the sauce thickens.

Adobong Puti (White Pork Adobo)


  • Same as a classic recipe, but replace soy sauce with salt.


  • Follow the classic recipe, but omit the soy sauce.
  • Season with salt to taste, resulting in a lighter, tangier adobo.

Spicy Pork Adobo


  • Same as a classic recipe
  • 2-3 Thai chilies or 1 tsp red pepper flakes


  • Follow the classic recipe and add the chilies or red pepper flakes for a spicy kick.

Adobong Baboy sa Pineapple (Pork Adobo with Pineapple)


  • Same as a classic recipe
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks (fresh or canned)


  • Follow the classic recipe and add the pineapple chunks during the last 20 minutes of simmering for a sweet and tangy twist.

Tips for Making the Best Pork Adobo

Choose the Right Cut: Pork belly is the most popular choice for its rich flavor and tender texture. You can also use pork shoulder or ribs.

Marinate Well: Marinating the pork for a longer time enhances the flavor.

Balance the Flavors: Adjust the amount of soy sauce to vinegar to suit your taste. Some prefer a more vinegary adobo, while others like it saltier.

Cook Slowly: Simmering the pork on low heat allows the flavors to meld and the meat to become tender.

Let it Rest: Adobo often tastes better the next day as the flavors develop.

Pork Adobo is a versatile dish tailored to your taste preferences. Whether you stick to the classic recipe or experiment with creative variations, you will surely enjoy the rich flavors of this Filipino favorite. Try these recipes and bring a taste of the Philippines to your kitchen!

Ana Liza Puno

The author is a freelance content writer and a blogger who enjoys writing about self-improvement, finance, shopping, and travel. When she's not working, she unwinds by watching K-dramas. She enjoys coffee and capturing life's moments through the lens of her camera.

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