What to cook now: Chicken and pork belly adobo by Tradisyon NYC’s Anton Dayrit
Rice is the ultimate Filipino staple and we can’t just live without it—so much so that even adobo, our unofficial national dish, feels bland without it.
When you take that first bite of adobo, it’s a nostalgia trip, a warm embrace, and a celebration of culture. But in case you didn’t know yet, adobo’s heritage is built into our country’s rich regional tapestry—from Pampanga’s adobong puti to Batangas adobo and even a Bicol express adobo.
But if you’re craving that zesty, tangy, and garlicky adobo flavor right out of a pot, Filipino chef Anton Dayrit of Tradisyon NYC—whose family is actually from Pampanga—just shared his chicken and pork belly adobo on Epicurious.
“When you’re eating adobo, it reminds me of grandmother’s cooking. It brings comfort and soul to the table,” he says.
Dayrit’s version is as traditional as it gets as he even uses a palayok (clay terracotta pot) and mixes chicken and pork belly like some households do. “When you add fat from the pork, it just comes out much more flavorful.”
If you’ve never made adobo in your life, Dayrit has a few useful tips for you.
1. You can use any protein (or even vegetables) but whole chicken legs won’t dry out on you.
2. If you’re using drumsticks and thighs, chop them down to cook them faster and more evenly.
3. You can follow his vinegar ratio of one part soy sauce, two parts vinegar, and a dash of sugar for a balanced taste.
4. Opt for ground peppercorn instead of the whole variant for better flavor integration.
5. Timing is key to achieving that tender pork and fall-off-the-bone chicken. Simmer it long enough before setting it aside.
6. Enhancing your Filipino adobo won’t make you any less Filipino—try using some seasonings for additional umami.
7. If you prefer a thicker sauce, use a water and cornstarch mixture.
8. Toppings like fried crispy garlic, scallions, and maybe even Thai chili could take your adobo and rice dish to a different level.
9. This unofficial national dish of the Philippines gets better over time, so if you’re patient, tomorrow’s adobo might bring even more delight.
Watch the full video here: