• A simple recipe of “Adobo sa Asin” that is definitely worth a try
  • This is just one of a lot of variations of the famous Filipino dish adobo
  • “Adobo sa asin” is a popular dish in Bicol, best partnered with the region’s native vegetables in coconut milk dishes

Growing up in the Philippines is not complete if you haven’t tried adobo at least once in your life. There are variations of this famous Filipino dish though.

There’s the adobo sa toyo (in soy sauce), adobong puti/sa suka (in vinegar), sweet adobo (with sugar) and that one kind of adobo you may have experienced when you traveled far south of Luzon: adobo sa asin (salt).

Pork adobo in salt or simply “adobo sa asin” is a popular dish in the Bicol Region.

This recipe was passed down to me by my lolo (grandfather), and from generation to generation, it has always tasted the same.

I still recall when I first tried to cook this, with my lolo watching behind me.

I said: “Shall i put laurel leaves? I want to add some paminta (pepper)” and then he got mad; saying “No! You’ll ruin it.”

He said the secret is that “less is more” which means sometimes, the less ingredients, the better, so the simplest and most basic of flavors would stand out.

Here are the Ingredients:

1/2 kilo pork (preferrably with fat layer), cut into serving pieces
2 cups water
1 garlic head, crushed
1 teaspoon salt


  1. Wash the pork in running water
  2. In a pan, place the pork, salt and half of your garlic
  3. Add water until all meat is submerged
  4. Bring to boil until all the liquid has been absorbed or have evaporated, and what’s only remaining is pork that is starting to produce its own oil
  5. Add the other half of your crushed garlic and a bit more salt depending on your taste bud’s preference
  6. Cook until the garlic turns to brown
  7. Remove from heat and serve

Image by Proud to be Albayano

The best part of this is the combination of crushed meat and garlic sticking on the pan. Put rice, stir fry while scouring those sticking parts and you’ve got an instant tasty adobo rice. “Dibs” on that! Best to partner your adobo with “chillicious” Bicolano gulay (veggies in coconut milk) like pinangat, laing, percules or langka.

Pinangat (Image by Proud to be Albayano)

That salty, garlicky, pork flavor, in-tandem with something sweet and spicy. How many servings of rice can you eat? Whose mouth is watering now?

Ginataang Langka/Raw jackfruit in coconut milk (Image by Panlasang Pinoy)

It will never hurt to try to experiment on your own. Being a hard-headed apo (grandson) that I am, there was a time that I added 2-peso worth of pamintang buo and 2 bay leaves and the result was also awesome.

Here’s a photo shared by a netizen on his Instagram post:

Some say that the original Adobo sa Asin dated back not only decades ago, but even centuries. It may even be traced from the time since humans discovered how to cook with salt. No garlic in the ingredients, just meat, water, and salt. What’s good about this dish is it can be stored inside a jar in room temperature and can go for days without getting spoiled. And that is the main purpose of this dish; to keep it fresh longer, as a means of preservation.