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Dec 12, 2019

Pork Adobo from Carlo's Dad + Cookbook Review

This Filipino pork adobo is tart and rich and extra vinegary. It's a wonderful dish made with pork shoulder, garlic, vinegar, and soy sauce.

Disclosure: I received a copy of the cookbook, A Place at the Table: New American Recipes fro the Nation's Top Foreign-Born Chefs, in exchange for my honest review.

This Filipino pork adobo

This pork adobo recipe is pretty flexible. While I used pork shoulder, you can use spareribs, pork belly, or other cuts of pork to make this dish.

While I've baked Filipino breads such as pan de sal and Filipino Spanish bread, this is my first try at pork adobo, which is pretty much the Filipino national dish, so no pressure, right?

Pork adobo

The reason this recipe is called Pork Adobo from Carlo's dad is because Chef Carlo Lamagna calls it "My Dad's Pork Adobo" in the book, A Place at the Table: New American Recipes from the Nation's Top Foreign-Born Chefs.

The book features 40 top foreign-born chefs, including Marcus Samuelsson (born in Ethiopia), Fabián von Hauske Valtierra (Mexico), and Nite Yun (Thailand). Other chefs in the book include winners of James Beard Awards and Michelin stars. There are chefs from France, Israel, Korea, Sweden, Nigeria, Argentina, and many more countries.

The photography is beautiful and the stories are moving. Plus, the recipes are written so that you can make the chefs' signature dishes at home.

A Place at the Table

The chef whose recipe I chose is Carlo Lamagna, originally from the Philippines and now in Portland, Oregon via Canada and Detroit. His restaurant in Portland is Magna

I was moved by the story that Carlo tells about this pork adobo. In his introduction to this recipe, Carlo explains that he resisted making Filipino food when he first started cooking even though his dad kept encouraging him to. When his dad passed away, he missed his dad's pork adobo, and, long story short, now considers it his role as a chef to introduce people to Filipino food and culture. 

His second recipe in the book is called "Mom's Noodles: Egg Noodles with Dungeness Crab, Crab Ft, and Peppers," which takes advantage of the ingredients of the Pacific Northwest and fuses them into his Filipino cuisine. 

My Dad's Pork Adobo

I've read that there are as many versions of pork adobo as there are islands in the Philippines, but most start with vinegar, garlic, bay leaves, soy sauce, and black peppercorns. 

How to make Carlo's dad's pork adobo:

First, you brown the cubed pork pieces in Dutch oven in batches, transferring the meat to a plate. In the same Dutch oven, you quickly cook the garlic, bay leaves, and peppercorns for just a minute, and then you add the pork back to the pan. 

Next, you add some stock to the pan along with distilled white vinegar. You bring the mixture to a boil, and then simmer the pork for about 1 1/2 hours, reducing the liquid by 3 quarters. 

Finally, you add soy sauce and continue to simmer for another 15 minutes. 

My Dad's Pork Adobo from Carlo Lamagna: 

My Dad's Pork Adobo from Carlo Lamagna

Serve this pork adobo with steamed white rice. This dish is great served the day that it is made, but it is even better the next day. 

My Dad's Pork Adobo Recipe

My Dad
Yield: 12 servings
This Filipino pork adobo is tart and rich and extra vinegary. It's a wonderful dish made with pork shoulder, garlic, vinegar, and soy sauce.


  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cubed
  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 8 cups chicken or pork stock
  • 2 cups distilled white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups reduced sodium soy sauce
  • Steamed white rice for serving


How to cook My Dad's Pork Adobo Recipe

  1. In a large Dutch oven, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. 
  2. Working in batches, brown the pork shoulder pieces in the pan, cooking each batch for about 5 minutes. Reserve the browned pork on a plate while cooking the remaining pork pieces. 
  3. When you have browned the pork, add the garlic, bay leaves, and black peppercorns to the same pot and cook until fragrant, about one minute. 
  4. Add the pork, along with any juices, back to the pan and pour in the stock and vinegar. 
  5. Bring the mixture to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Cook for about 1 1/2 hour, until the liquid has reduced by 3/4. 
  6. Add the soy sauce and cook for 15 minutes more. 
  7. Serve with steamed white rice. 
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pork adobo
Main dish, meat, pork

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Would you like to comment?

  1. This recipe is on my to-try list only because I never got my grandmothers' recipes before they passed away. I am wondering if this is close!!

    1. There are so many versions out there. It's delicious and worth a try!

  2. So many great recipes in this cookbook. You picked a great one Karen.

    1. Thanks! I'm looking forward to seeing yours.


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