Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Adobo – The Vegetarian Antidote

As a child I had a funny relationship with food. I went through various aversions/liking to certain food groups. At one stage I would only eat fat. Yes, just fat. Yes, just pork fat! One thing I do not remember though is loving just vegetables.

Hence, it really bothered me when one of my kids started exhibiting troubling signs of vegetarianism. I don’t get it. If there’s one thing a foodie dad dreads it’s a vegetarian for a child. For some time I was totally convinced I spawned one. My eyes were probably closed when it happened…

That fear was not totally unsubstantiated. On burger nights my 3rd child, Yaya, would have what we now call Elishah’s (her real name) burger. It’s basically rabbit food in a bun. She would only eat the outside of spring rolls. She would remove any trace of meat on her spaghetti. She loves Hainanese chicken rice though… without the chicken. It is worrying as she’s barely 7 years old.

Maybe my comments about how I love cats…deep fried…has something to do with it but I’m still unsure about what brought this “not eating meat” habit on. Regardless, I was determined to nip it in the bud.

I’ve tried all sorts of techniques. Initially she would give in but then quickly revert back to her veggie fix. I felt helpless.

And then one day I cooked adobo for the following week’s packed lunches. The savoury aroma wafting throughout the house began to weaken Yaya’s resolve. Her curiosity got the better of her and asked for a taste. From then on she was cured. And we all lived happily ever after…

Adobo, after all, is the great vegetarian antidote. Now I know…

Pork Adobo ala Beancounter

1kg pork belly cut in fairly large chunks

60ml coconut vinegar

60ml Filipino soy sauce

1 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)

Black pepper

1 head of garlic chopped finely

1 large onion chopped

Water (just enough to cover the meat)

1 Bay leaf

A bit of oil for sautéing

1. Combine all the ingredients in a pot but set aside a quarter of the garlic and onion for sautéing later.

2. Bring to a boil and simmer for about an hour or so or until desired tenderness of the meat is achieved.

3. Remove everything from the pot but separate the meat from the sauce.

4. Heat up a bit of oil in the same pot. Sauté the garlic then the onion.

5. Add the meat pieces back in and fry for a couple of minutes. If you prefer a “crispier” adobo fry it a bit longer.

6. Add the sauce back in and simmer for another five minutes.

7. Serve with steaming hot jasmine rice.


Edik said...

i was quite amused that you have Datu Puti down under.

The Beancounter said...

You'll be surprised what other things you can get here...

Btw, I met a newly arrived Kababayan from Naga, Cebu in desperate search for "ginisa mix"... I directed him w/o delay to the nearest Pinoy shop and he was astounded with what's available...marked up 5x.

sans said...

This blog entry is amusing and amazing at the same time! Thanks for sharing!

Pinoy Adobo is LOVE!

I can eat it 3x a day, 7 days a week without ever ever getting sick of it! :)) (well, i guess the same goes for the other Pinoy classics as well such as Tinola, Sinigang, Afritada, Menudo, etc!)


The Beancounter said...

Hello sans! Thank you very much! Glad to know someone understands my humor!

Manang said...

God bless your heart for trying to fix your child's tendency to be a vegan...I do love fat too, always have...and recently, more and more medical and health care practitioners are rediscovering the benefits of fats in the diet, including protection from heart illnesses and diabetes, and promoting gut lining health.

The Beancounter said...

I don't get vegetarianism Manang...i believe in moderation not in elimination of certain food groups...