The roots of the Philippines’ most well-known dish are not easy to trace, but we do know a few things about the origins of adobo, and how it’s evolved into the dish Filipinos love today. Read on to uncover the many versions of adobo, and why it inspires such devotion in its fans.

Homemade Filipino Adobo Pork photo via DepositPhotos

Few subjects in the Philippines raise as many differing opinions as the right way to make adobo. It’s a topic everyone feels passionately about, whether they cook or not. The reason is that a good adobo is a life-changing dish. Everyone wants everyone else to experience the epiphany, but the devil – as they say – is in the details, and the details can be squabbled about endlessly.

In English, adobo means “vinegar-braised.” Evenly-cut chunks of meat are first seared in hot fat or oil until they brown. Braising liquids, such as…

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