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When you hear Adobo what do you think of?

  • c

I make chicken adobo all the time, with vinegar and soy etc....and I have had other dishes that used the term Adobo, all typicaly some kind of sauce. But the other weekend I was at a cookout with some Puerto Rican friends, and the ribs and pork chops were amazing. I asked what they had done, and they said they were rubbed with Adobo. I have since bought Goya's Adobo seasoning and it is great. I just never thought of Adobo as a seasoning or rub. Do any of you have in your mind what you think Adobo is? I am so glad they showed me their version of Adobo!

On a side note, this is one of those questions I wish Sam were still around for. I am sure he would have known all the different versions of "Adobo"

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  1. The Philippine version with chunks of fatty pork, plenty of peppercorns and not too vinegary . Superb!

          1. re: cb1

            No, rather the red clay version.

      1. I think Goya. They have many versions of Adobo though. The one I get is the one with peppers.

        1 Reply
        1. re: coll

          I think of Goya's seasoning salt.

        2. As a Filipino, when I talk about adobo, I usually mean meat cooked in vinegar. But the word adobo means a marinade so it applies equally to a broad variety of seasonings, usually for meat, sometimes for vegetables, usually including garlic, herbs and a souring agent. In Puerto Rican cuisine, this takes the form of the dry seasoning salt you tasted as well as a wet garlic paste with oregano and citrus or vinegar. Mexican adobos use red chiles, garlic, herbs, spices and often vinegars (you may have encountered the flavor using a can of chipotles en adobo). Peruvians may use aji panca, Spaniards may use pimenton. It really depends on the best ingredients available wherever you are.

          1. Little cans of chipotle peppers packed in adobo.

            1 Reply
            1. re: DoobieWah

              Same here. I do wish they would have larger sizes or jars of the stuff. Not that it matters much since I put them in tiny jars anyway.

              I keep some in the cabinet, but rarely use it because it contains salt. I don't use it often, so I don't know how salty it is in a dish and I don't want to over-salt. So, I'm stuck on the familiarity/experience part out of fear. I also don't keep much produce that would complement the spices.

            2. I think of a deep brownish red sauce that contains lots of ground dried chiles and tomatoes, and is slightly tangy from vinegar.

              1. A small bottle of very expensive salt.........

                1. I like Mexican cooking, so I usually think "a sauce made from dried chiles, spices, vinegar, salt, and sugar"

                  1. I always thought of "chipotle peppers pack in --" until I was made the delicious pork-vinegar-soy version about a year ago. Now I don't know what to think.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                      This Wiki article claims that the Filipino version (with vinegar) has different origin than the Spanish (and Latin American) version, and the similarity in name is due to a superficial resemblance. In practice it is probably best specify the country when talking about 'adobo' (Spain, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Philippines), and not worry too much about finding a common thread.

                    2. A chain restaurant.

                      But to broaden the topic a bit and in a general sense, I'm not sure why a sauce cannot be thought of as a seasoning/rub - wouldn't the two be interchangeable in a great many cases, whether it was "adobo" or not? A "sauce" does not necessarily imply a *cooked* liquid to me, it can mean something liquid or semi-liquid in nature used to accompany food or to help in preparing food. It simply depends on what's in it and the consistency, etc. A marinade, for that matter, can be said to be just a watery sauce. Certainly soy sauce (as an example) is used as a seasoning and marinade besides being an accompaniment to cooked food. I might even use the leftover sauce (from the pan, perhaps) from your chicken adobo to season some green beans or some rice, perhaps, before sauteeing/frying them. It's just a matter of semantics and mental blocks, perhaps. :-)

                      1. A building material used in the Southwest.

                        2 Replies
                        1. Turkey.

                          Adobe too, if I'm reading too quickly.

                          1. I can only answer one part of this question, as I've not had the opportunity to try many different peoples' versions....but when I think of adobo, I think of rich, concentrated meatiness. Deep, rich broth; offset by the tang/salt of vinegar. I think of delicious, is what I think. I think of glossy, rich marinade. And I think I'm hungry now. Plus, I think the word "rich" showed up twice too many in this paragraph.

                            1. I think the Filipino dish with pork and chicken now but before I met my wife, who is Filipino ,I lived in Washington Heights in upper Manhattan which had a large Latin population and my first exposure to adobo was the seasoning made with garlic,achote,oregano,peppers and vinegar or sour orange and later the little packets from Goya, which I'm never without.
                              Later still I found the Mexican chipolte in adobo sauce and have a jar in my fridge always to spice up not only Mexican dishes but other dishes like baked beans,arroz de cubano,pepper pot, tomato soup,steamed crabs which by the way taste great with a mix of Goya adobo seasoning and Old Bay.

                              1. I did read the wiki article before I posted. Just wanted to see what others had in their mind what "Adobo" was. Glad I am not the only one who had one notion in mind, only to find out there are a lot of different "Adobo" meanings.

                                1. One that has been hinted at, but not described is Mexican 'carne adobada' (it may be spelled adovada since 'b' and 'v' sound practically the same in (most) Spanish dialects). This is thinly sliced beef or pork (likely butterflied from a thicker cut), that is sold with a chile pepper marinade. Carnicerias (Mexican butchers) often have both in the counter. I quickly cook it on a comal or grill.

                                  I've also bought 'al pastor' from carnicerias, which is smaller pieces of pork in a similar marinade, but with the addition of onion and pineapple. It's not the same as the gyro style 'al pastor' but does make a nice 'stir fry' and taco or torta filling.