Cooking Pinoy Adobo in Korea
I bought a pack of chicken cuts on Tuesday night before I went home from work. The expiration date was on the 29th. I originally planned to make spicy chicken stew or “dalk doritang” but Friday came and I knew that I won’t have any time to cook it at night. At exactly 1030 on Friday morning, I decided to make chicken adobo while preparing my son for day care.
Every Pinoy I know has his own version of adobo. In my family, I like my father’s version best – it’s so simple with just the basic ingredients and a bit dry. I learned to prepare it when I was nine years old – yikes that’s almost three decades ago!
Anyway, some of my Pinoy friends here complain about soy sauce (kanjang) in Korea. There are different kinds sold in the supermarket and it could be confusing when buying for one. There is a soy sauce for soup (kuk kanjang), stew (jorim kanjang), Chinese style (jin kanjang), traditional Korean (choseon kanjang) and so on. My mother-in-law supplies us with her own homemade soy sauce, but I still sometimes prefer the store bought “jin kanjang” as my all-purpose soy sauce.
As much as I’d like to get Pinoy soy sauce and vinegar when making adobo, they are quite expensive and I don’t often prepare it anyway. Instead, I use jin kanjang and brown rice vinegar.
Here’s how I make my adobo:
- 1.5 kilogram chicken cuts (5,900 won at Homeplus)
- 1/4 cup of brown rice vinegar
- 1/2 cup of jin kanjang
- 5 segments garlic, crushed
- 5-10 peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves
After cleaning the chicken, I put them all in a big non-stick wok. I set the stove fire on high. Add the vinegar, garlic, peppercorn and bay leaves. Let it boil until the vinegar evaporates. Fry the chicken in its own fat. (Drain the excess oil afterwards if you prefer. Add the soy sauce. When it boils, lower the fire and simmer until the chicken is cooked and the adobo is quite dry. You may add water if you prefer a saucy adobo. I usually don’t transfer the adobo to another container. It doesn’t need refrigeration anyway and the leftover is good for “sinangag” or fried rice.
Picture taken after dinner.
Anyway, I cooked this adobo while I prepared for work and my son for his day care. I was done by 1125AM. I just covered the adobo and left. When I came back home, I had it for dinner while my husband prepared his own kimchi fried rice. My son and I had the chicken adobo. He said it was good. Oh he’s Pinoy!