I’ve been asked for a Pork Adobong Tarlac recipe many times. Perhaps it’s because Tarlac City (Philippines) is my hometown. Tarlac province is some 79+ miles north of Manila the country capital. I’ve enjoyed this dish since I was a child. It is a sweet, tangy pork or chicken stew served with pineapple, which we enjoyed at family meals.
Adobo is the unofficial national Philippine dish. The braised meat is cooked in garlic, vinegar, soy sauce, bay leaves and peppercorns. There are many variations to it. Each province has bragging rights to their own luscious version. There are articles, stories, food festivals and cookbooks devoted to the Filipino adobo. It is the simplicity of ingredients and the ease of cooking no matter where Filipinos are in the world, that makes it a favorite.
Last January 20, on the feast of St. Sebastian, the city of Tarlac celebrated its annual town fiesta. Though I now live in America, the calendar date reminded me of my childhood years. The fiesta was as anticipated as the Christmas holidays were. I was delighted when there were no classes on the visperas (the eve) and the day itself. The main street F. Tanedo was closed to vehicular traffic starting from the San Sebastian Cathedral, our school – Holy Spirit Academy then, all the way to the to the población and the market. Street vendors would set up their makeshift stands, selling an assortment of kitchen wares to clothes,toys, household items, food — well, you name it, there was something for everyone.
There was no shortage of invitations from family friends who had their own parties. The abundance of Kapampangan food on the tables made my head spin. A familiar dish was Adobong Tarlac – sweet, savory and hearty chunks of pork and chicken swirled in thick, golden gravy.
Today, in my American kitchen, this easy, homespun dish was my own version of a fiesta on our dinner table.
Pork Adobong Tarlac - Instant Pot + Stove-top
- Instant Pot multicooker: 3, 6 or 8 quarts
- Dutch oven or deep stock pot: 6 to 8 quarts - for stove-top cooking
- 1 pound pork belly or pork shoulder cubed, 2-inch cuts
- 1 cup pineapple juice
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 6 to 8 cloves garlic peeled, minced
- 1 cup broth (chicken or beef) *add 1 more cup if using Instant Pot
- 1/2 cup Heinz cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup toyo (soy sauce) *use Philippine brands
- 2 pieces bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 cup pineapple cubes fresh or canned; If canned, use the juice for the marinade.
- steamed rice
To marinate the pork:
- In a non-reactive bowl or container, marinate the pork with the pineapple juice. Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 6 hours. *Note: Do not marinate longer than 6 hours.
To cook on the stove-top:
- Drain and reserve the liquid marinade from the pork. Set aside the pineapple juice and pork separately.
- In a stock pot or Dutch oven, over medium-high heat, add the vegetable oil. When oil is hot enough, saute the garlic till brown for 1 to 2 minutes.Add the pork cubes. Brown the cubes for 2 to 3 minute, stirring around for a few minutes.Lower heat to a medium. Pour the broth, vinegar, soy sauce and pineapple juice.Add the bay leaves and peppercorns. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes till tender and fully cooked.
- When pork is cooked, add the sugar and pineapple cubes. Stir and continue cooking for 5 minutes more. Serve warm with rice.
To cook in the Instant Pot:
- Click the Saute button on the keypad. Pour the vegetable oil to the inner pot. When oil is hot enough in about 1 to 2 minutes, saute the garlic.Add the pork cubes and brown them for 2 minutes.Click Cancel to turn off the Saute function.
- Pour the 2 cups broth, vinegar, soy sauce and pineapple juice.Add the bay leaves and peppercorns. Season with salt and pepper.Close and lock the lid. Set the valve to Sealing.Click Manual + Meats + cook on High Pressure for 25 minutes.When buzzer sounds to announce cooking is done, do a Quick Release.Unlock the lid and open carefully. Set the lid on a dry, safe place on the counter.Add the sugar and pineapple cubes. Stir the ingredients.Close the lid. Click Keep Warm to cook for 3 minutes more.Open the lid carefully. Click Cancel to turn off the Instant Pot.Serve warm with rice.
Notes on the Instant Pot:
- It take about 17 minutes for the Instant Pot to preheat before the High Pressure cooking time begins. For other multicookers, please consult the product manual.Safety: Use metal or silicone accessories for the Instant Pot. Do NOT use glassware. Read the manual for complete safety information.
- You can combine chicken cutlets with the pork for this adobo dish. Be mindful that the amount of chicken and pork should be the same total weight as indicated in this recipe.
Notes on Nutrition: The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.
Did you like this recipe? I have more Filipino Instant Pot recipes in my newest cookbook Instant Filipino Recipes: My Mother’s Traditional Philippine Cooking in A Multicooker Pot by Elizabeth Ann Besa-Quirino. Buy my cookbooks and books on Amazon.com sold worldwide in paperback and Kindle format.
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Disclosure: Instant Pot is the brand name of a multi-cooker that cooks in high and low pressure. I was not paid by the Instant Pot company to mention the product or brand nor endorse it. This is not an ad. My views and opinions are my own.