Chili pork adobo with coconut cream Chili pork adobo with coconut cream

More than eight years ago, I was told about Adobo Republic’s Adobo Diablo. Knowing how the devil is associated with the heat of hell, I knew it would be spicy hot. I cooked my version without having gone to Adobo Republic nor having tried its Adobo Diablo. I still haven’t but I’ve made another spicy pork adobo. This time, I used two kinds of chilies — dried bird’s eye chili flakes (Speedy chops them, dry roasts them and keeps them in a jar so we never run out of chili flakes) and slices of finger chilies.

Cooks who have worked extensively with chilies know that there is a trick to balance the heat from the chilies. Sweet and hot go together well. To make something hot less painful in the mouth, adding something sweet to the dish is the way to go. And, in many cases, that “something sweet” is coconut milk or coconut cream. If you’ve wondered what makes Thai dishes so wonderfully delicious, the combination of chilies and coconut milk or cream may be an important factor. That is the very principle that I applied in cooking this chili pork adobo with coconut cream. And it is so rich and delicious. Chili pork adobo with coconut cream

Recipe: Chili pork adobo with coconut cream


  • 600 to 700 g. of pork belly or shoulder, skin on
  • 1/2 head of garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp. of peppercorns, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp. of chili flakes (or 1 to 2 bird’s eye chilies, chopped)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 to 1/3 c. of vinegar
  • 1/4 to 1/3 c. of soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. of sugar
  • 1/3 c. of coconut cream
  • 1 finger chili, thinly sliced


  1. Place the pork cubes in a wide shallow pan, add the crushed garlic, chili flakes, sugar, crushed peppercorns and bay leaf. Pour in the vinegar. Set the heat on high and bring to the boil without stirring.
  2. Continue boiling, uncovered, until most of the liquid has evaporated and the pork starts to render fat.
  3. Stir and cook until the edges of the pork start to brown.
  4. With the heat still on high, pour in the soy sauce and about a cup and a half of water.
  5. Bring to the boil. Lower the heat, cover and simmer the adobo for an hour to an hour and a half or until the pork is very tender and the liquid considerably reduced.
  6. Pour in the coconut cream. Allow to simmer (there is no need to stir) for a minute or two.
  7. Transfer the adobo to a serving bowl. Sprinkle the sliced finger chili over the pork. Serve hot.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 1 hour(s)

Number of servings (yield): 3


  1. tristan says

    ms. connie, can we substitute pork with chicken? will the procedure be the same as above? thanks in advance

  2. joie says

    Now that chicken is mentioned, I would use the thighs as chicken breasts tend to dry out easily. Now my question would be:
    If you mixed chicken and pork, do you cook the pork first then add the chicken later? If so, how long do you need to cook the pork before adding the chicken. I know the thighs cook longer than other parts of the chicken but I realize you still have to cook the pork longer than poultry.
    Thanks,Connie, for your advice.

    • says

      We’re not talking fillets here, ok? ‘Cause fillets in a stew is a bad idea to me.

      What I do is cook the pork and chicken in vinegar then brown them together. Then, I take out the chicken and proceed with the recipe as though I were cooking only pork. Half an hour later, I add the chicken back in. Thirty more minutes and pork and chicken are both done.

      • joie says

        Thank you so much ! Yup ! No fillets for me. Just honest to goodness dark chicken meat in their original form. I will do those modifications though the original recipe of just pure pork is just fine with me. I just miss the pork and chicken adobo combo I used to have in the Philippines. Thanks again. :-)