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Catfish Adobo

Catfish Adobo

Lately, we’ve been having weekly dinners that are hosted on a rotating basis by my cousins and SF family. Last week was our turn to host. I had a few limitations: 1) I had to do most of the cooking ahead of time as I would be coming straight from work. Last minute prep could take no longer than 30 minutes. 2) One person is a celiac so gluten-free (GF) option is a must 3) Another cousin prefers not to eat red meat so a seafood or vegetarian option is not required but nice to have.

Based on the above criteria, I settled on chicken adobo. Because I’m a newbie to GF cooking, I thought adobo would be a great option. I could cook it all the night before and better yet, it would taste even better reheated the next day after the flavors had a day to deepen. All I had to do on the day of was set the timer for rice. Genius!

Family dinner shenanigans

WRONG! While the timing worked out perfectly, it turns out that soy sauce has wheat in it. While I would have known this if I read the ingredients, it just didn’t occur to me that soy sauce would include wheat. To make it GF, you can easily swap soy sauce for tamari–I’m told it tastes the same.

I made a big pot of chicken adobo (no pork, 2 cans of quail eggs). For my cousin who doesn’t eat red meat, I thought I’d try adobo catfish. I grew up eating ca kho, Vietnamese braised catfish in a caramel sauce–why couldn’t I just adobo-ize it? While making ca kho isn’t complicated, braised fish sauce and fish does stink up the house. Turns out there is such thing as adobo catfish so I kind of borrowed from both the Vietnamese and Filipino versions. I guess it was popular because there were no leftovers!

Catfish Adobo

This is a rough recipe that you can adjust to your personal tastes or based on what you have on hand.

  • 1 lb catfish (steaks preferred over filets but whatever works)
  • 1 knob of ginger cut into slivers
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, peeled, whole & lightly smashed
  • 1/3 cup coconut vinegar (white or whatever you have also works)
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce (or substitute with tamari for a GF option)
  • water or chicken broth as needed
  • 1/2 boullion cube (optional)
  • black pepper to taste
  1. In a heavy bottomed pot, add all ingredients.
  2. Cover pot and bring to a boil. Simmer on low until fish is cooked through and sauce has thickened a bit.
  3. Add water or chicken broth if the sauce is too thick for you.
  4. Serve with rice.
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Categories: Asian, food, seafood Tags: ,
  1. May 6, 2013 at 11:20 am

    What an interesting recipe! I’ve made adobo for a long time and I’ve never thought to use catfish. Also, the way I make adobo is a bit different than the usual way. I use achiote for the coloring, not soy sauce. It cuts down on the sodium also. For sure, that one doesn’t have gluten.

  1. May 8, 2013 at 12:15 pm

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