Filipino Pork Adobo is a very well known dish in the Philippines. Somewhat of an effortless recipe where pork shoulder is slow simmered in a combination of pineapple, vinegar, soy and oyster sauce. The end result is tender bites of pork with a stunning sweet yet savory flavor. Let’s take a look.
This recipe landed on our dinner table after I discovered it in Bon Appetit Magazine. The ingredients listed to flavor the pork roast seemed far too tempting for me to let this one pass me by.
What’s the difference between Mexican and Filipino Adobo? Filipino adobo uses an Asian marinade consisting of soy sauce and vinegar as a base. Whereas Mexican Adobo makes use of chile peppers, Mexican oregano, garlic and cinnamon.
Due to its popularity there some say Adobo is the national dish of the Philippines. And with that popularity comes the many variations. Chicken Adobo, Pork Adobo with Tofu, Pork Belly Adobo. After trying this recipe, I’m determined to try them all.
It’s simply crazy with flavor. Slightly sweet, slightly tangy and so savory with tender chunks of pork roast.
Before I made this recipe, I studied many versions of Filipino pork adobo. What I liked about this one is that it’s a pork adobo recipe that doesn’t require marinating the pork. A quicker fix without compromising flavor.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Pork: A pork shoulder roast, or pork butt, is always a smart choice for slow simmered pork dishes. It’s a fatty cut of pork that won’t dry out and will soak up any flavors you throw its way. You’re going to chop it up before cooking, so purchase a bone-in or boneless roast.
- Pineapple: It’s the key to bringing the famous sweet component to Filipino Pork Adobo, so please purchase a whole fresh ripe pineapple for this recipe.
- Onion: Sweet or yellow onion.
- Oyster Sauce: When it comes to building flavor quickly, Oyster sauce is a dream ingredient. Made from oyster juices that are long simmered and caramelized, you end up with a thick syrupy sauce that reminds one of a combination of soy sauce and bbq sauce. Don’t skip this ingredient.
- Soy Sauce
- Vinegar: Again a key ingredient in making pork adobo. Seasoned or unseasoned Rice Wine Vinegar is the preferred choice.
- Peppercorns: Using whole peppercorns in this recipe brings little pops of heat to the experience.
- Dried Bay Leaves
Ingredients Swaps and Substitutions
- Pork: A top loin pork roast or pork tenderloin is a good substitution for pork shoulder. However, these cuts are leaner, so may be dryer after the cooking time.
- Pineapple: Only if you must, substitute canned chunk pineapple for the fresh pineapple. Drain the pineapple before using in this recipe.
- Soy Sauce: Substitute Tamari sauce for the Soy sauce to make this a gluten free Pork Adobo.
- Vinegar: If you don’t have rice vinegar, you can substitute apple cider or red wine vinegar.
How to make Filipino Pork Adobo with Pineapple
A simple recipe with simple ingredients, this recipe does take some time to make, so let’s get started.
Step 1: We’ll start with chopping the pineapple. Half of the pineapple will be fine chopped and half will be in chunks. The smaller pieces will be cooked in a sauce pan until soft and broken down. Then blended to become part of the sauce. The larger chunks will be part of the final dish.
Step 2: Place the diced pineapple in a saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until very soft and broken down and nearly all juice is evaporated, 15–18 minutes.
Step 3: Transfer the pineapple to a blender or food processor and add ¼ cup water; purée until smooth.
Step 4: Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium-high. Lightly season pork with salt and pepper. Working in 2 batches, cook pork until well browned on all sides, 5–8 minutes per batch. Transfer pork to a plate.
Step 5: Reduce heat to medium-low and add onion to same pot. Cook, stirring often, until fragrant and softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
Step 6: Return pork to pot and stir in pineapple purée. Add vinegar, soy sauce, oyster sauce, peppercorns, bay leaves, and ¾ cup water and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and cover pot. Reduce heat so adobo is at a very gentle simmer and cook until pork is tender, 45–50 minutes.
Step 7: Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 tsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Cook reserved bite-size pineapple pieces, tossing occasionally, until golden brown all over, 5–8 minutes. Gently stir the caramelized pineapple into the pork adobo. Serve the dish over rice.
FAQ’s and Tips
The reason that a pork roast is the choice for slow braised recipes like this one, is that it’s a fatty piece of meat. Which accounts for its flavor and tender texture. When cutting the pork roast into chunks, remove as much fat as you can. But don’t cut it all off. A little fat will add flavor to this recipe.
The only spice you’ll encounter in this recipe is when you bite into one of those earthy spicy black peppercorns.
Before you serve this Filipino Pork Adobo over the rice, place a couple of large ladles of the pork adobo mixture on a sheet pan and pop it under the broiler for a couple of minutes. That extra heat will crisp and caramelize the pork for that char flavor that we all love. Then serve over rice and top with the caramelized pineapples.
Pork Adobo With Potatoes is a popular version of Filipino Pork Adobo. Add cubed russet potatoes to the pork the last 20 minutes of cooking. Since we’ve added a starch, you may omit serving the pork adobo over rice.
Given the burst of tart, sweet and salty, balance is what you’re looking for. Try a versatile light-bodied Chenin Blanc.
Recipe for Filipino Pork Adobo
I hope you give this Pork Adobo with Pineapple a try, and if you do, please come back and give the recipe a star rating. And leave a message about your experience with the recipe.
And if you have a favorite adobo recipe, let me know, I’m always up for a culinary adventure.
More Braised Pork Shoulder Recipes
- Cochinita Pibil, Yucatan Style Pulled Pork Enchiladas
- Carne Adovada, Pork with Red Chile
- Achiote Shredded Pork Tacos
- Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork Sliders
And if you’re looking for more Pork Recipes, don’t miss my pork category. You’ll find lots of recipe ideas, including the most popular on my site for Hatch Green Chile With Pork.
Filipino Pork Adobo with Pineapple
- 1 medium pineapple ripe
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil Plus 2 teaspoons
- 2 pounds boneless pork shoulder cut into 1½” cubes
- Kosher salt to taste and fresh ground pepper
- 1/2 sweet onion thinly sliced
- 6 cloves garlic thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup Seasoned rice vinegar
- 1/3 cup Soy sauce
- 2 Tablespoons oyster sauce
- 1 Tablespoon black peppercorns
- 5 dried bay leaves
- Steamed white rice and thinly sliced scallions for serving
- Peel and core pineapple. Cut half of pineapple into bite-size pieces (about 1″); set aside. Chop remaining pineapple into small pieces and transfer to a small saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until very soft and broken down and nearly all juice is evaporated, 15–18 minutes. Transfer to a blender and add ¼ cup water; purée until smooth.
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium-high. Lightly season pork with salt and pepper. Working in 2 batches, cook pork until well browned on all sides, 5–8 minutes per batch. Transfer to a plate.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and add onion. Cook, stirring often, until fragrant and softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
- Return pork to pot and stir in pineapple purée. Add vinegar, soy sauce, oyster sauce, peppercorns, bay leaves, and ¾ cup water and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and cover pot. Reduce heat so adobo is at a very gentle simmer and cook until pork is tender, 45–50 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Cook reserved bite-size pineapple pieces, tossing occasionally, until golden brown all over, 5–8 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
- Uncover pot and skim off any fat from surface. Increase heat to medium and cook, uncovered, until sauce is thick and shiny, about 15 minutes. Gently stir in caramelized pineapple. Remove and discard bay leaves.
- Serve pork adobo over rice, topped with scallions.
Filipino Pork Adobo with Pineapple …. It’s Whats for Dinner