Adobo - what it is and how you can use it

January 2, 2019

Adobo is both a Spanish-styled dry-ingredient seasoning, stemming from the word "adobar", and it also refers to the Filipino-inspired dish and style of cooking using a vinegar and soy-based marinade.


Both wonderful, but both completely different.   As above, the Filipino dish is as much a style as it is a flavor.  And as is with most regionally-inspired blends, it is as varied as the families preparing them.  Slight variations can make a big difference.    In Filipino cooking of adobo - the dish is a base of vinegar and soy-sauce with other strong spices such as peppercorns and herbs to create the marinade.  Meat, chicken, or vegetables are browned in oil, as the marinade is brought to a boil; adding the meat to the marinade and cooking until the meat is tender.   Generally served over rice.


In the Iberian-inspired adobo - the seasonings were designed with preservation in mind.  Much like the vinegar-based marinade to preserve meats in a warmer climate, Paprika has anti-bacterial properties along with a small amount of capsicum which helps fat dissolve.  Along with salts, pepper, and spices, meats and seafoods could be preserved for a longer time.  Cooking generally involved steaming, braising, or stewing, with the resulting sauce having a bright red hue from the paprika.


There are similar uses and variations on adobo throughout the world.   In meso-America, an adobo is a dry mix of flavors rubbed on meats before being cooked.   Typically based in cumin, paprika, onion, garlic, herbs, and chiles.  


Salem Spice provides a dry-ingredient adobo suitable for creating an enchilada sauce or dashing on meats before they see the heat.   It is good mixed with olive oil as a dipping-seasoning, or a tablespoon dashed in a pot of rice as it comes to a boil.  


Salt Free, with cumin, paprika, coriander, fennel, yellow mustard, garlic, onion, ancho powder, pasilla powder and Mexican oregano.




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