Adobo seasoning is a savory, all-purpose seasoning, often used as a condiment or marinade on pork, chicken, or fish. It is widely used in many countries such as Spain, Portugal, the Philippines, and many other countries in South America. Interested to learn more about adobo seasoning? Keep reading and learn how to whip up some good homemade adobo seasoning.
Adobo Seasoning: Everything You Need To Know
In this article:
- Origin and Variants
- Ingredients Used for Adobo
- What is Adobo Seasoning Used for?
- Easy Adobo Seasoning Recipe To Try
- Why Make Your Own Homemade Adobo Seasoning?
Origin and Variants
Adobo or adobar, which in Spanish means marinade, was initially just a method used for preserving food. The idea is to submerge meat in vinegar along with other herbs and spices. Over time, adobo became a way of seasoning and cooking and its use stretches back centuries. In fact, one of the earliest references to Adobo dates way back to 1850.
Commonly practiced in Spain and Portugal, many other countries such as Puerto Rico, Peru, Mexico, and Uruguay have adopted adobo as a cooking style. Different regions of these countries have developed the adobo recipe, making it distinctive.
It is possible that techniques similar to adobo were already practiced in these countries before colonization. Filipinos, for example, have been stewing meat in vinegar. When the Spaniards came, they called this way of cooking adobo, too. Hispanic influences allowed native Filipinos to refine both the recipe and method of cooking of adobo.
Ingredients Used for Adobo
The ingredients integral to adobo flavoring are vinegar, paprika, garlic, peppers, and salt. Other ingredients may include olive oil, oregano, tomatoes, citrus juice, and cumin. Cultural and regional preferences simply affect how adobo seasoning is made. For example, Puerto Rican adobo adds a hint of citrus juice or vinegar to the mix. Filipinos put soy sauce in adobo while Peruvians use chicha de jora.
One reason adobo seasoning is popular is that it does not overpower the meat itself. Instead, it just adds depth to its flavor which is why there are so many uses for it.
What is Adobo Seasoning Used for?
Adobo seasoning is a versatile blend you can put in almost any dish. It’s great to add to pork, chicken, fish, and even roasted veggies. But if you want to be more creative, you can also add adobo seasoning to soups, omelets, guacamole, fried rice, and homemade mayonnaise.
Easy Adobo Seasoning Recipe To Try
Here’s one version of a homemade adobo seasoning recipe:
- 1/3 cup of garlic powder
- 1/4 cup dried oregano
- 1/4 cup turmeric
- onion powder
- 3 tablespoons ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- sea salt (optional)
- Grind all the ingredients together. If you bought the spices in bulk, you can use a mortar and pestle to pulverize them.
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix them well.
- Pour the spice blend into a glass jar and ensure you seal it well for proper storage.
Why Make Your Own Homemade Adobo Seasoning?
While you can actually buy adobo seasoning in stores, its quality pales in comparison to homemade adobo seasoning. When cooking at home, you don’t have to scrimp on the spices that add depth to the flavoring. Additionally, you can add or remove ingredients as preferred. Salt, for example, is optional when it comes to whipping up this seasoning.
Likewise, when you prepare adobo at home, you have the option to make either a wet rub or a dry mix. If you prefer the former, you have to prepare a mortar and pestle or garlic press to grind the ingredients. If you prefer the latter, you can sprinkle the spice blend onto the pork, chicken, or fish itself.
AlaskaGranny shares her take on how to make an adobo seasoning using ingredients you might already have in your pantry:
Whether it’s a simple dinner with family and friends or an elaborate holiday feast, adding adobo seasoning to your meals will instantly make any gathering more special. If you want to experiment with adobo seasoning, remember that you can customize and look to Puerto Rican, Filipino, Peruvian, Uruguayan and any other version for inspiration.
Have you tried any of the adobo variants mentioned in the article? Let us know in the comments section below.
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Editor’s Note – This post was originally published on November 16, 2017 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.