This week you’ll be trying your hand at braising with vinegar making the meat juicier and more tender. The use of vinegar and salt to prevent food from spoiling, can be traced back to the Malay voyagers who originally settled in the Philippines and features in dishes across the islands which share a hot tropical climate - something you had to be more wary of in the times before refrigeration. This famous Filipino dish has many regional versions taking on the local landscape and traditions for example, balancing the saltiness of the pork and sour, savoury sauce with pineapple or coconut milk but the most basic components are a protein braised in vinegar with garlic and black peppercorns added as aromatics. Mark’s version is a popular one which has the addition of soy sauce, a Chinese influence adding savouriness and replacing some of the salt in dish.
πŸ“Ί Watch and Learn - Rassa Stories
Explore the context behind two big farming staples of the Philippines - coconut and rice! Rice has strong links with the indigenous farming communities as well as the family bond (the stickier the rice the stronger the relationship). See one of the techniques behind wrapping suman which you can learn to do yourself at home or you can have a go at developing your own wrapping style. Chef Gene will also take you around a coconut farm in Quezon showing you the harvesting and how the whole coconut is used sustainably.
Life on the Coconut Farm
Learn about the coconut harvesting process and discover the different coconut variations at various stages of maturity.
Suman Wrapping
Suman is wrapped in banana leaves for both flavour and preservation. Watch the ancient wrapping techniques which are a part of the vibrant food culture of the Philippines.
πŸ“— Lessons For The Week
Recipe Development - Pork Adobo
Mark shows you how he put together his pork adobo dish and encourages you to have a think of how you could experiment with flavours. You can play around with different meats which are hearty enough for a long braise, try different vinegars from around the world or try out different spices and herbs.
Ingredients Introduction - Pork Adobo
Explore the key ingredients behind the classic Pork Adobo including soy sauce and vinegar which are used to braise the meat. You’ll find regional variations of this dish across the Philippines using aromatics and ingredients from the local surroundings.
Time To Get Cooking!Β - Pork Adobo
Let’s move over to the stove to get cooking slow and low. This unofficial national dish of the Philippines is a must for mastering braising - Filipino style! It's the perfect dish for putting in the middle of the kitchen table for the whole family to enjoy.
Share with the community
If you’re looking for some inspiration on how you can get creative with your adobo, ask your chefs and your peers. You can also share photos of your finished dish and recipe development ideas to get feedback. Click the button below to see what others are up to in the community.
πŸ’­ Creative Inspiration
Sawsawan with Gene Gonzalez
Learn more about sawsawan, the condiments and dipping sauces which accompany Filipino dishes on the table. Filipino food culture is all about getting involved and finishing your plate to your personal taste - don't worry you won't offend the cook if you do so! Gene gives you a few ideas for creating your own but it's up to you if you want a tangier vinegar-based sauce, a sweeter fruitier condiment or one that packs some serious umami flavour.
πŸ“– Further Reading
Learn more about the famous adobo and how despite people fighting over the perfect combination of ingredients throughout history there is a move towards standardising the base recipe.
Why adobo is the most-talked about Filipino dish right now
Learn more about the famous Filipino classic - the Adobo. You'll see many variations across the 7,000 islands that make up the Philippines and even across the Filipino diaspora.