Adobo is the quintessential Filipino comfort food and is widely regarded as the national dish of the Philippines. When I had just started cooking and flopped around in a kitchen equipped with nothing but a crusty pot and a butter knife from Ikea, the first thing I made was adobo, sans recipe. It didn’t require much in the way of ingredients or equipment. Just throw everything in a pot and simmer. Not to be confused with Mexican adobo (a seasoning paste made of chiles, herbs, and spices), Filipino adobo refers to any seafood, meats, or vegetables braised in vinegar, soy sauce, and garlic. The most common types of adobo in my household were chicken, pork, squid, and water spinach (also known as kangkong).
Browsing through the recipes for this dish in Memories of Philippine Kitchens, the very first thing I noticed was the use of coconut milk to enrich the braising liquid. I don’t ever recall having adobo enriched with coconut milk, but it sounds like a good idea for leaner meats such as chicken breasts. The next thing I noticed was the recipe for beef short ribs adobo. I confess to never having beef adobo and thought it was quite unusual, but the use of short ribs made perfect sense. Braising slowly is arguably the best cooking method for short ribs, with the hot and fast method of grilling Korean kalbi a close runner-up. This is the first recipe I tried from the book, adapted to the way I learned to prepare adobo, of course.
View Beef Short Ribs Adobo recipe »