This pork adobo recipe is a traditional Filipino recipe, made with tender chunks of pork, vinegar, soy sauce, black pepper and garlic to create a sweet, savory and tangy sauce. It’s as easy to make as our popular Instant Pot Chicken Adobo recipe.
Below you’ll find instructions for making Filipino pork adobo on the stovetop and pressure cooker. Take your pick!
Pork Adobo Recipe Ingredients
If you’re looking for easy pork recipes for dinner, this Filipino pork adobo fits the bill. It requires minimal prep time, cook time and ingredients. Serve Filipino pork adobo (adobong baboy) with a side of Instant Pot Sushi Rice for a complete meal.
- Pork – Boneless pork shoulder (or pork butt) works best. Do not use pork chops with this pork adobo recipe. You’ll end up with dry pork.
- Pantry Staples – Oil, white vinegar, soy sauce, sugar
- Spices – garlic, bay leaves and peppercorns
Pork Belly Adobo
You can swap out the pork shoulder (Kasim) and use pork belly (Liempo) or pork hocks (pata) if you prefer when making Filipino pork adobo. No edits are required. Just watch the cook time as, depending on the cut you use, it may take a shorter amount of time to cook.
In addition to pork belly, you can pretty much use any protein. Think seafood, tofu, pork tenderloin, goat, etc.
How To Make Pork Adobo
Filipino adobo pork requires 10 minutes of prep time, and and about 80 minutes of hands off cooking.
- 10 Minutes of Prep Time: sear the pork and add the rest of the ingredients.
- Braise Away: Kick back and let the sauce do the work. The meat will braise for 45 minutes, before removing the lid for 30 minutes to thick the sauce. That’s it! The picture below is taken before simmering. Make sure the water covers most of the meat.
- 10 Minutes of Prep Time: sear the pork and add the rest of the ingredients..
- Braise Away: Kick back and let the pressure cooker do the work. Pressure cook for 15 minutes and let naturally release for 10 minutes. Simmer the sauce until thick.
Traditional pork adobo isn’t spicy, however it’s the perfect vehicle to add some heat. Start with 1/2 tsp of crushed red peppers and work your way up until the heat you desire is reached.
Pork Adobo With Potatoes
Just add diced potatoes during the last 15 minutes of cook time. Check for tenderness and add an extra 2-3 minutes, if needed. If you want firmer potatoes, brown them in a hot skillet before adding them to the adobo.
Adobo With Onions
You’ll find some recipes call for onions or vegetables, to add flavor and texture, but they aren’t considered traditional. They’re still delicious, so add whatever you see fit! Add them in before you brown the pork cubes.
Filipino Pork Adobo vs Mexican Adobo
You’ll find both Filipino Adobo recipes and Mexican adobo recipes on Foodie and Wine. We dug into the history a bit and had a good read on the differences on Wikipedia.
Filipino adobo refers to the entire dish, not just the seasoning. It relates to the cooking process itself. A process involving marinating and braising meat in briny vinegar, soy sauce and garlic.
Mexican adobo, as you can see in our pollo asado recipe, refers to the sauce itself, not the entire dish. Mexican adobo sauce doesn’t rely on vinegar and soy sauce, instead uses a ton of native spices such as chilis, cinnamon, etc. A completely different flavor profile.
- If you have cheesecloth, tie up the peppercorns before adding them to the pork adobo recipe. You won’t have to eat around them later.
- Cut the pork into uniform pieces to ensure even cooking.
- In order to get a good sear of the pork, don’t overcrowd the pan. You’ll need to brown in batches if your pan isn’t wide enough.
- Make sure there is enough water in the dutch oven to cover the majority of the pork pieces. Some pieces will stick out slightly out the top, but the majority of all pieces should be covered. Add extra water, as needed.. It will vary on the pan you’re using how much water is needed. 2-2.5 cups will usually do the trick.
- This Filipino pork adobo recipe can be refrigerated, in an airtight container, for up to 3 days.
Side Dish Ideas
- 2 tbsp Oil (Olive, Avocado or Vegetable)
- 2 lbs Boneless Pork Shoulder, Cut Into Chunks (*Note 1)
- ⅔ cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce (*Note 2)
- ½ cup White Vinegar
- 1 tbsp Minced Garlic
- 2 tsp Whole Black Peppercorns
- 2 tsp Brown Sugar
- 3 Whole Bay Leaf
- 2 cups Water (Stove Top Version Only) (*Note 3)
- Steamed Rice, For Serving
- Pat dry the pork cubes. Pre-heat a large dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the oil and pork in a single layer (do it in batches if you need to - don't crowd the pan). Cook until the pork is browned on all sides.
- Add the soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, peppercorns, brown sugar, bay leaves and water and stir to combine. Add extra water, if need be, to cover the majority of the meat. Bring to a boil, before reducing the heat to medium low. Cover and simmer for 40 minutes. Check the tenderness. If needed, continue to cook for 5-10 minutes, until the pork cubes are tender.
- Remove the cover and simmer for 30 minutes, to concentrate the sauce.
- Serve over rice and enjoy!
- In a small bowl, mix together the soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, peppercorns, brown sugar and bay leaves (DON'T ADD THE WATER). Set aside.
- Press the sauté button on the instant pot (followed by "start" if your model requires it) and let it get warm. Add the oil and pork in a single layer (do it in batches if you need to - don't crowd the pan). Cook until the pork is browned on all sides.
- Place all the pork back in the instant pot and pour the vinegar mixture over everything. Deglaze the bottom of the pan by using a wooden spoon to scrub up the brown bits stuck to the bottom. Make sure all the pork cubes are partially submerged in liquid. Close and seal the lid.
- Set the manual/pressure cook button to high for 15 minutes then let naturally release for 10 minutes before removing the lid.
- Remove the pork and cover to keep warm.
- Click the sauté button and reduce the sauce until it is a little thickened, about 12-15 minutes. (*Note 4)
- Serve over rice and enjoy!