Stewing about dinner in a hurry? Try an accelerated adobo
Filistix chef offers an Instant Pot trick to a flavourful Filipino favourite
CBC wanted to know what Edmonton's best chefs whip up when they're short on time or just don't have the energy to create their usual fare. In Fast Food, we'll be highlighting local chefs from their own kitchens, sharing their go-to recipes.
Building strong customer loyalty is a dream for any chef/restaurateur, and Filistix chef and co-owner Ariel Del Rosario doesn't make light of the intense loyalty that his customers have shown him.
He knows that loyalty has been built over time through his delicious, quintessential Filipino comfort foods.
Memories of his grandmother fuel his passion for the food of his Filipino roots and inspired him to start Filistix with his cousin, Roel Canafranca.
"She would take turns staying at Roel's or my house and pots would already be simmering on the stove when we woke up," Del Rosario recalls.
"We really didn't appreciate how good our grandmother's cooking was as little kids, but what I would do for her Pork Binagoongan right now," he adds, referring to a dish of stewed pork cooked in shrimp paste.
A Filistix mainstay is its Chicken Adobo rice bowl, and despite the fact that Del Rosario can eat it anytime at work, a variation — Chicken and Pork Adobo — regularly makes its way onto the family table.
"Our kids dictate what's on the dinner menu," says Del Rosario. "All kids love adobo."
Adobo originated in the Philippines and the term is used interchangeably, referring to a sauce or a cooking method. Its hallmark is a vinegar and soy sauce marinade.
Del Rosario says this dish is normally cooked in a Dutch oven, which can take about 90 minutes. When it comes to home cooking for the kids, it has to be simple and quick to prepare.
Using a pressure cooker or Instant Pot, you can get it on the table with just a few minutes of prep and about 15 minutes of cooking time, using mostly staples from the pantry.
These are common ingredients for people, regardless of ethnic background, but combined in proportions that make the result distinctly Filipino.
Of course, the ultimate fast food is leftovers, and according to chef Del Rosario, chicken and pork adobo actually tastes better the longer you let it sit. "In fact, adobo is best enjoyed the day after."
Chicken and Pork Adobo
Serves 4-6 people
- 2 chicken thighs, bone in, skin on
- 2 chicken drumsticks, bone in, skin on
- 1 pound pork belly, cut into 1-inch cubes
- ½ cup white vinegar (substitute white sugar cane vinegar, if available)
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 1 cup water
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
- 1 - 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- 1 Thai chili (optional)
In a medium-size mixing bowl, add vinegar, soy sauce, water, garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns, salt, sugar, oil and chili, if using. Mix well to dissolve the salt and sugar, and meld all the flavours together.
Add chicken and pork to the bowl and mix well, ensuring each piece is coated.
Place the chicken and pork in the pressure cooker and spread evenly, then pour in the remaining sauce. Stir around to ensure an even layer of meat and even distribution of sauce.
Choose the "pressure cook" option and set to high. Set the timer to 15 minutes and turn it on.
Once the 15 minutes have elapsed, make sure to release the pressure fully before opening the lid.
At this point, the adobo is ready to serve. However, you can reduce the sauce to your preferred consistency by switching the setting to saute for up to 10 minutes.
Ladle the pork and chicken into a medium-size serving bowl and pour the remaining sauce on top. Serve with plenty of steamed rice. Enjoy!
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