Adobo is one of those classic dishes that we Filipinos just cannot get enough of. It’s almost always on the Pinoy household menu, always a favorite by adults and kids alike, always present in ginormus trays in potlucks and parties.
Why is this stew a staple in most Pinoy households? For one, it is very easy to cook–one simply has to put all the ingredients (vinegar, soy sauce, black peppercorns, bay leaf) in a pot, and leave it there to simmer, and voila–a dish so simple and scrumptious, it’s genius.
It also has a long shelf life (you don’t even have to refrigerate!), and many agree that it gets more and more flavorful and delicious with every reheating.
You cannot go wrong with reheated pork/chicken adobo with rice, but this could get boring sometimes. If you’re looking for something a little bit different, you can try and experiment–because adobo deserves to be reinvented, too. Here are 8 suggestions to get you started.
This one’s a classic. Simply fry the pulled leftover pork adobo in oil (you can also use the pork fat, but make sure you remove it before serving) until crispy, and serve with garlic rice and egg/s. You can use pan de sal as sub, too!
Mix the leftover adobo with leftover rice/kanin lamig and fry with some garlic and eggs.
Chinese pork buns are getting all the rave these days. Make a Pinoy version by pulling your leftover adobo and stuffing them in plain steamed buns or mantou (you can get these in most supermarkets). Add more crunch by toasting!
Use either chopped or shredded adobo meat, wrap it in a flour or corn tortilla with garlic or plain rice, and add salsa, lettuce, cilantro, and cheese. Use a simple garlic aioli as sauce (just add lots of garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper to mayonnaise).
Add coconut milk to your pork/chicken adobo leftover and make it richer and creamier. This is similar to the Caviteños’ adobo sa gata.
Turn the good ol’ ulam into a quick Mexican-inspired snack. Chop the adobo meat and put it on flour or corn tortilla, make some salsa (chop tomatoes, onions and garlic then add lime juice and season with salt and pepper), add some onions and cilantro, and dump some cheese. Put some Tabasco or Sriracha if you like it spicy.
Go healthy! Combine leftover adobo with lettuce with veggies like carrots, cucumbers, tofu–whatever’s available in the fridge. Top with some nuts. Dip in hoisin sauce or an asian sesame dressing or better yet, combine the two.
Dice up the adobo meat, add some onions, and mix them on a sizzling platter. Top it with calamansi, chili, chicharon, and egg!

Joachim Tan-Torres

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