08-23-2005, 03:44 PM
Adobo sa Patis (Adobo in Fish Sauce)
2 lbs chicken, cut up for stewing (or 1 lb each of chicken and 1-inch cubes of skin-on pork shoulder or butt)
6 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 bay leaf, dried
7 tbsp fish sauce
1/3 cup cane vinegar
Wash chicken and pork (if using) and put in a pot. Add next 5 ingredients and water to cover. Put on medium-high heat and bring to a boil uncovered.
Do not stir until you've cooked out the raw vinegar smell. This is the key to a good adobo. For some strange reason, the dish seems too sour if you stir up the vinegar while its boiling. The gauge for me is when the steam rising from the pot no longer stings the eyes and nose. Turn down the heat (give it a quick stir if you must) and let it simmer for an hour, or until all the meats are tender and the fat on the pork is almost transparent.
This will cook largely unattended. Eat with plenty of steamed white rice.
Try to buy the mildest fish sauce you can find; believe it or not, your best choice in the US would be a good Thai or Vietnamese brand. Some Philippine brands use too much salt. If you can't find a Philippine vinegar (in this case, most any brand and type will give you excellent results), use cane vinegar; if that's difficult to find, I think you can also use plain white vinegar. Apple cider vinegar, rice wine vinegar, etc. will probably throw off the taste.