Chicken & Pork Adobo
Filipino adobo reminds me of thit kho, a homey peasant dish that my family frequently ate growing up. I imagine this was because a small bit of salted meat could go a long way with a big bowl of white rice when having to feed a large family on a limited budget. While I have never made thit kho (yeah, I know) I have made adobo a million times. The recipe I usually work from came from a newspaper clipping many years ago and is pasted into a notebook at my apartment. However, since I do most of my cooking at Joel’s place, I didn’t have that to refer to. While I know the basic ingredients, I couldn’t remember the proportions so I went with this recipe from Rasa Malaysia.
Of course, I just used this as a general guideline…in the future, I would double the liquids in this recipe because I did not end up with as much sauce as I would have liked. Seriously, the sauce is the best part of the dish. I also threw in some shallots (though my usual recipe calls for half an onion) and a lot of black pepper. Towards the end of cooking, I dumped in a can of drained quail eggs. This was something my mom or grandma used to do as a special treat for us once in a while. Quail eggs were “expensive” so not a regular part of our diets back in the day (except during my uncle’s short stint raising quails in his backyard). Because of that, my cousins and I still “fight” over quail eggs even now, as adults. My cousins own a Vietnamese restaurant in San Francisco and they also put quail eggs in their ca kho (same thing but with fish).
I’m considering resimmering my adobo today with some more soy sauce & vinegar so that I’ll have enough sauce for my rice!! I was also planning on serving the adobo over rice with a side of Vietnamese do chua (yeah, blurring Asian culinary borders. Sometimes I eat adobo with the yellow daikon pickles found at Japanese & Korean markets, too), but couldn’t find any daikon at any of the markets I went to (damn you, Chicago). However, I did pick some up today, so that’s what you’ll be seeing next. We did have some veggies on the side, though…sauteed zuchini (I don’t know how to spell that):
As for rice, I prefer the short-grain variety that Japanese and Koreans usually eat (Kokuho Rose), which my mom hated. I like the stickier texture. I grew up eating California long grain, which I find rather dry, but is traditionally what my family ate. My mom always laughed at my preference and told me a story about how much her family hated short grain rice. During the war, if her family’s rice rations were short grain (she was the 4th of 7), all the kids would go out for pho, leaving my grandparents to deal with eating the hated rice! (I think this is also a testament to how much cheaper it is to eat in Vietnam.)