In one of the most hilarious Asian skits I’ve ever seen, the creators poke fun at all the crazy ethnic food one might have eaten growing up in an Asian household. I’ll admit: as a kid I ate things that would make me cry now. I try not to think too hard about the dried fish, squid, and who-knows-what-else I might have eaten in the years under my mother’s care. It was tasty, but probably not something I would knowingly swallow now. Still, not all the food my mother prepared was based on an Asian dare. As a treat for you, I’ll share with you a couple of my favorite–and safe!!– recipes that my family enjoys every few weeks.
As a cook, I can make anything with the right equipment and recipe. My mother, on the other hand, is an amazing cook who does not require a recipe card. I don’t think she even has a cookbook in her house. I hate it when she tries to cook a traditional American meal (steak cooked in a plug-in skillet, anyone??), but when she decides to cook a Filipino dish? Oh, my…I know I’m in for a treat and that I’m going to gain five pounds in one sitting gorging on whatever she made.
A few years ago, my mother was visiting me. If you’ve read my previous blogs, you know that my mother was not often in my life. So, I wanted to take advantage of her visit and load myself up with some traditional Filipino recipes. I remembered a particular dish, “Adobo”, that was a favorite. What she made was NOT at all what I remembered adobo to be…traditional adobo requires vinegar. Instead, my mother opened cupboards and said, “What do you have? Oyster sauce? Sesame oil?”. Huh ? Where’s the vinegar? Never mind…the “adobo” she created was delicious and has become a favorite staple in my house.
First, I’ll share the traditional Filipino recipe for adobo. Like many great foods, there is more than one variation, but I’ll post the ones that I consider classic. First, I consider this to be the most traditional, though I prefer these days to eat chicken and not pork. Another way to make adobo in the customary fashion–and man, is my mouth watering!– is found on this website, called, “Manilla Spoon“.
As for the totally NOT adobo, but adobo-according-to-my-mother recipe, here you go–enjoy!
Marie’s Un-Adobo Adobo (yields about 4-6 servings)
2.5 lb chicken, cut into cubes (l like buying boneless, skinless thighs)
3 cloves garlic, mashed
1 small onion
3 bay leaves
3T Oyster Sauce
1T Sesame Oil
dash pepper (I only use white pepper now)
2t sugar (I tend to omit this, but I’m including it in case you like sugar)
–Saute garlic and onion. Add meat and brown.
–Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, then simmer 30 minutes.
–Serve with rice, and that’s it 🙂 Enjoy!
CJ Heath will eat a lot of weird things but will run away from most of the food found in the Asian market aisles these days. Still, she likes to throw down on some traditional Filipino recipes and she hopes you enjoy her family favorite– “Marie’s Un-Adobo Adobo”.