Pork Adobo

There are so many recipes from around the world, and I never get bored of looking for new things to try. A few years back I discovered a dish from the Philippines called Adobo. It sounded fairly simple and easy to make.

Adobo is a sauce that is tangy, salty, garlicky and slightly sweet. Normally this dish is made with chicken or pork stewed in vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, bay leaves and peppercorns. It sounded great to me!

I wanted to try it somewhere before I made it. The closest Filipino restaurant to us is 45 minutes away, and we went to try this dish. To my surprise it was really salty and vinegary but to be honest I didn’t care for the restaurant’s version so much.

I decided to try make my own version of Adobo. I got inspiration from a recipe by Marion Grasby that used an interesting ingredient: coconut vinegar. I had never heard of this, but was able to find coconut vinegar in our local Safeway grocery store. It’s sweeter and milder than regular vinegar. I think it really sets this dish off!

I added my own twist to this recipe by adding star anise and fish sauce. This combination of tweaks and adjustments makes for a really interesting Adobo that my family loved. I hope you give my version of this dish a try!



  • 2.3 lbs. pork tenderloin boneless cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/3 cup coconut vinegar
  • 1/3 cup light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 star anise
  • 3 dried bay leaves
  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1/4 tsp chili flakes
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 cup yellow onion julienne
  • 1 13.5 oz. can coconut milk


  • 2 long red chili, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup green onion, thinly sliced


  • Steamed rice
  • Lime wedges


In a large glass bowl, combine pork, garlic, brown sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, fish sauce, star anise, bay leaves, chili flakes, and ground black pepper. Mix ingredients well. Marinade the meat for 30 minutes.

Once you’re ready to cook the pork, first drain it and keep the marinade aside. Then, pat-dry the pork with a paper towel. Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a large heavy-bottom saucepan over high heat. Cook the pork in batches until golden brown. Transfer the pork to a plate or bowl.


In the same pan, heat the other 1 tbsp of oil on medium-high heat. Add in onions. Cook till the onions soften.


Add the pork, reserved marinade, and coconut milk. Cover. Turn down the heat to medium-low. Cook the pork for 45-60 minutes or until the pork is tender, with liquid reduced. Make sure to stir often.

Transfer pork adobo to a serving dish. Sprinkle green onion and sliced chili over the pork. Serve pork with cooked rice and a lime wedge.

You can skip the chili if you don’t prefer extra spice!


Serves 6

Did you make this dish? I’d love to know how it turns out! Feel free to like this post and comment or use the hashtag #globaldinein on Instagram. If you would to be notified of upcoming posts, please consider subscribing to my blog!

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