The powerful garlic aroma flew upwards as the pork pieces simmered next to the apples. It’s autumn and apple season here in America. I couldn’t miss the chance to cook Filipino Pork Adobo with Apples. This is the classic version of a pork adobo dish, with sweet Fuji apples added. The adobo is considered the unofficial national dish of the Philippines. The beauty of the dish lies in its ease of cooking and availability of ingredients anywhere in the world.
When my mother taught me how to cook adobo, she once said “You can cook adobo anywhere you go in the world. Cook it well, you can make friends by sharing it.” That was a good life lesson I learned. Now that I live in America, I cook adobo for friends often.
Adobo is the description of the cooking method. The word adobo comes from ‘adobar’, a Mexican phrase meaning to marinate or pickle.
In the Filipino adobo, the basic ingredients are garlic, vinegar, bay leaves, peppercorns and for some, the addition of soy sauce. Every Philippine province claims bragging rights to the best adobo. Even within our family, there is often a debate about who cooks the best adobo.
I added apples this time. I also cooked this braised stew in the Instant Pot which cut cooking time. When I unlocked and opened the lid, the fragrant garlic steam hit my cheeks. I stirred in the crisp apple slices, and nestled them next to the tender pork chunks. Tempted, I tasted a spoonful of the adobo gravy. As expected, it was tart and tangy, but now sweetened with the apple flavors. It was divine with steamed rice. Finally, I could now claim bragging rights to my own version of adobo with apples.
Filipino Pork Adobo with Apples - Instant Pot + Stove top
- Instant Pot or any brand multicookers: 6 quarts or 8 quarts
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 8 cloves garlic, peeled about 1 head of garlic
- 1 pound pork shoulder or pork belly cut into 2-inch cubes
- 1/4 cup Heinz cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup toyo (soy sauce)
- 2 cups organic chicken broth preferably low sodium
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 2 pieces bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 whole apples Fuji or red delicious; skin-on, sliced, seeded
- steamed rice for serving
To cook in the Instant Pot:
- Click on Saute function on the keypad. Add vegetable oil to the inside pot.When oil is hot enough in 1 to 2 minutes, saute the garlic. Add the pork cubes and braise for 5 minutes till slightly brown.
- Click Cancel to turn off Saute.Pour the vinegar, soy sauce and broth on the pork cubes in the inside pot.Add the bay leaves, and peppercorns. Season with salt and black pepper powder.
- Close and lock the lid. Set the steam release handle to a Sealing position.Click Manual and Meat/Stew, and cook on High Pressure for 35 minutes.
- When buzzer sounds to announce cook time is done, do a quick release.Carefully unlock the lid. Add the sliced apples and stir with the rest of the ingredients.Cover and lock the lid. Press Keep Warm on the keypad to allow the apple slices to set and for flavors to combine. Cook in this slow, warm heat for 5 minutes.Click Cancel to turn off.Serve warm with rice.
Notes on the Instant Pot:
- After initial Saute, it takes about 17 minutes for the Instant Pot to preheat to High Pressure and for cooking time to begin. For other multicooker brands, check the product manual.For safety: Use accessories recommended for the Instant Pot like silicone or metal. Do not use glassware. Read the manual for complete information.
Quick Release for the Instant Pot:
- When you release the pressure instantly. Press Cancel on the keypad and turn the Steam release handle on the lid to a Venting position. Allow steam to release in about 3 minutes.
To cook on the stove-top:
- In a large, heavy stockpot, over medium-high heat, add the oil. When oil is hot, saute the garlic. Braise the pork for 5 minutes till brown. Pour the vinegar, soy sauce and broth. Add the garlic, peppercorns, bay leaves, salt and black pepper powder. Cover and bring to a boil. Then lower heat to medium. Cover and continue cooking for 55 to 60 minutes.When pork is completely cooked, add the apple slices. Stir to combine ingredients. Cover and continue cooking over low heat for 5 minutes more.Serve warm with rice.
- I used Fuji apples for this recipe. Other times, I used red delicious apples. Feel free to use any apple variety preferred or in season.I have used the Filipino vinegar "Sukang Paombong" (white palm vinegar) for this recipe and the results are just as good.
Notes on Nutrition: The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.
Did you like this recipe? I have more classic recipes inspired by my late mother’s cooking in my popular cookbook: My Mother’s Philippine Recipes. If you’re learning how to cook Filipino food or a fan of Philippine cuisine, buy my cookbooks and books on Amazon.com sold worldwide in paperback and Kindle format.
Hello, Friends! Please DO NOT LIFT OR PLAGIARIZE my original recipe, stories, photos or videos. All the images and content on this blog are COPYRIGHT PROTECTED and owned by my media company Besa-Quirino LLC. This means BY LAW you are NOT allowed to copy, scrape, lift, frame, plagiarize or use my photos, essays, stories and recipe content on your websites, books, films, television shows, videos, without my permission. If you wish to republish this recipe or content on media outlets mentioned above, please ASK MY PERMISSION, or re-write it in your own words and link back to my blog AsianInAmericaMag.com to give proper attribution. It is the legal thing to do. Thank you. Email me at [email protected]