A huge part of my eating life in Dubai is about discovery, especially cuisines that I have never in my wildest dreams imagined eating: Iranian, Indian – North, South, and West (not sure if I’ve even had Eastern Indian food), Jordanian, Egyptian, Pakistani, Emirati, Iraqi, Irish, English, Yemeni, and Lebanese. But in the past weeks, my food adventuring around the world through the multi-cultural Dubai population has slowed down to an almost stand still. It’s only lately that I’ve been really, really craving for the tastes of the familiar, the tastes of home.
One particular dish that I’ve been dreaming about the past weeks is the pork adobo. It’s been quite some time since I’ve last cooked and savored this Paterno family favorite.
Today, I indulged myself by cooking pork adobo with a few interesting twists…as I’ve cooked it in the oven versus on the stove Am I loving my oven too much?
- 3-heads of garlic (You can even add one more if you are a big garlic fun)
- A splash of olive oil
- 1-kilo pork belly slab/s with skin on (Of course!)
- 120ml soy sauce
- 250ml white vinegar
- 3-tablespoons sugar
- 1-teaspoon whole peppercorns
- 4-dried bay leaves
- Chop garlic heads in half with skin on.
- Sprinkle with salt and a splash of olive oil. Make sure that all garlic halves are well coated with salt and olive oil.
- Roast in pre-heated oven (200 degrees in mine) for 30-minutes until melty and golden brown. Do not remove from the oven just yet…
- Mix soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, peppercorns and bay leaves in a separate container.
- Score pork belly skin and dunk the pork belly slabs into the soy, vinegar, sugar and herb mixture.
- Pull out the roasting pan with roasted garlic, transfer the pork belly with adobo sauce onto the pan and return to the hot oven.
- Roast for 1-hour and a half, basting the pork belly slabs with the adobo sauce every 15-minutes.
- Once the pork belly skin is slightly crispy and adobo sauce reduced by 50%, remove the pan from the oven and slice the pork belly into cubes.
- Return the sliced pork belly into the roasting pan and make sure that the fatty cubes are coated with adobo sauce.
- Return to the oven and cook for another 15-minutes.
Best served hot over white jasmine rice OR even bester to wait for two days until all the flavors mature. This is one of those dishes that taste better over time, rather than fresh from the stove.
How different is this with the one pot wonder chicken pork adobo recipe I made earlier this year?
The roasted garlic adds more depth with a pungent creaminess, a stark contrast to the salty acidic adodo reduction AND the pork belly is melty soft. Plus, using the electric oven is a gas saving technique that seals in all the flavors.
So why not try cooking your pork adobo in the oven too?