Yes, adobo is from Spain and it spread to Spanish colonies including Mexico. Every colony that adopted the Spanish adobo developed its own peculiar style over time. But, no, Filipino adobo is not the Spanish adobo that that became integrated in the cuisines of Spanish colonies.

Mexican adobo is a sauce made with chilies, herbs, vinegar, salt and a bit of sugar to balance the acidity. A stew cooked with adobo is adobado or adobada. It is a delicious stew, not the same as Filipino adobo but just as comforting and satisfying.

Mexican adobo is, naturally, made with chilies that grow in the region — jalapeño, in particular or its smoked and dried form, chipotle.

Because I live in the Philippines where jalapeño is not cultivated for commercial purposes, when I made adobo sauce to cook pork adobado, I substituted the locally grown bird’s eye chilies. They aren’t as fleshy but they are hotter. To add even more depth of flavor, I pan-roasted them until charred to add some smoky tones to my sauce. I also used a food processor to make chopping easier although I merely pulsed the ingredients so that visible bits remained. I do prefer chunky sauces over ultra smooth ones. »

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Avocado and pesto rice

Always on the lookout for exciting vegetarian recipes for Sam, I came upon one called green goddess rice by Claire Robinson. Cooked rice is tossed with a paste made with avocado, basil, lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil. That's practically avocado and pesto. I already had pesto in the fridge so I asked Speedy to buy … »

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Wickedly wise wizardry in the kitchen: 3 dishes with a slab of pork belly

There was this slab of pork belly, a little over a kilo in weight, frozen and hard as a rock. I forgot to thaw it in the fridge before I went to bed, then, I woke up late and there was very little time to cook what was going to be an already very late lunch. To make matters even more challenging, there weren't very many … »

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Oven-grilled chicken wings with jam and ketchup sauce

When Alex requested that I cook chicken wings, I debated whether or not to fry them. The thought of standing in front of the stove at noon was certainly not enticing. I was aiming for a crusty texture, yes, but that could be achieved by oven-grilling the chicken too -- on very high heat. And that was what I did -- cooked … »

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Avocado and pineapple salad

Last week, I asked Speedy to buy avocado so I could make guacamole for Sam to satisfy a week-long craving. He came home with half a dozen avocados, very pleased that he got them cheap. They were perfectly ripe, I just knew that the guacamole would turn out beautifully and that should make vegetarian Sam's waiting worth it. … »

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Chicken in cream sauce with rosemary and parsley

Cooking a tasty dish isn't about how many or how expensive the ingredients are. As with most things in life, less can mean more. If you let your imagination run wild, be brave and take risks, you can create a tasty dish with very few basic ingredients.This technique of gathering together whatever I've got I have … »