When I was in college and living in the dorm, my parents sent me Pork Adobo often. It was one of Mom’s best dishes. There was nothing more soothing than to open that big brown box of homemade goodies and a large jar of adobo. It was filled with the fragrant morsels of chicken and pork in a stewed sauce of soy, vinegar, peppercorns, bay leaves and lots of garlic. There was so much garlic that the scent of it rolled all around the dorm dining hall, and made heads turn.
Many years after, here and now in my American kitchen, I have tried to recreate the adobo Mom used to cook. I remember she tried to use leaner pork cuts because my Dad, a health fanatic, preferred it that way. Even my own sons grew up showing a preference for pork with less fat. So when I found pork tenderloin in the markets, I seized the opportunity to make adobo. Even better, I added fresh apples to the pork stew. The sweet apple slices provided an interesting contrast to the savory, tangy pork adobo slices.
This is why the adobo is the Philippines’ national dish. The simplicity of its preparation, the ease of gathering the ingredients and the no-fail way to cook it makes it a Filipino favorite. Wherever in the world you find a Filipino, you will find adobo simmering in their kitchens. I myself cook a big pot every week, and just for good measure have a large pyrex-full of adobo in my refrigerator all the time.
When my friends at KapaMEALya, a group of avid Filipino foodies who organize food events around the USA called out for entries to Project Adobo, I went through my archives to submit this recipe. My friend and organizer of the event, Joanne Boston KwanHull has put together a collection of Filipino Adobo recipes because she wanted to inspire fellow Filipinos to share their adobo memories. As Joanne said “ I like to think adobo is the ‘gateway’ to Filipino food.
For the complete recipe of my Adobo Pork Tenderloin Adobo with Apples head on over to the KapaMEALya.com blogpost. While there, be inspired to cook adobo because you’ll find a buffet of different adobo recipes. There’s an adobo dish for everyone. Mabuhay!
Or find my Pork Tenderloin Adobo with Apples Recipe below.
Pork Tenderloin Adobo with Apples
- 2 pounds whole pork tenderloin boneless
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup Heinz cider vinegar
- 2 cups organic chicken or beef broth
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 pieces bay leaves
- 1 Tablespoon whole black pepper corns
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 whole large apple, (Fuji or Delicious variety) peeled, cored, seeded, sliced in 1/8-inch wedges
- for serving: steamed rice
- 1. Marinate the whole piece of pork tenderloin overnight with the following: vinegar, soy sauce, peppercorns, garlic, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Keep refrigerated till ready to use.
- 2. The next day, over medium high heat in a large stockpot, add vegetable oil and pan-sear the pork tenderloin till all sides are brown. This should only take about 5 minutes.
- 3. Then add the broth, marinades and the rest of the ingredients, except the rice. Let the liquid boil, then lower the heat to a slow simmer. Continue simmering pork adobo for one hour over a low fire or till fork tender and cooked thoroughly.
- 4. At the last 15 minutes of cooking, while the pork tenderloin is simmering, add the apple slices. Cook the apple slices together with the adobo. The pork tenderloin adobo should be soft and tender when pierced.
- 6. Serve with steamed jasmine rice.
- COOK’S COMMENTS: Filipino adobo is cooked in different ways. You can also use different types of meats. I chose to use a whole pork tenderloin because it is leaner than other pork cuts.
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