When it comes to Filipino comfort food, adobo is the country’s unofficial dish.

Adobo – a sauce and meat dish – is unofficially dubbed the national dish of the Philippines. Because a variety of ingredients can be used to make the sauce and it can be marinated with different meats, nearly every Filipino family has its own recipe. Adobo is one of the first dishes host Mark’s mother taught him in the kitchen and here he’s sharing his recipe with us.

Pork Adobo
Host Mark‘s Pork Belly Adobo

Adobo is one of my go-to comfort foods. It’s super-easy to make. It was the first dish my mum taught me and although I’ve tweaked the recipe over the years, I think in it’s essence and flavor, it’s still the same adobe she used to make.

Host Mark


  • 2 pounds Pork belly
  • 1 head Garlic
  • 2 leaves of Bay leaf
  • 400 ml. Datu Puti Filipino soy sauce (or light soy sauce)
  • 600 ml. Datu Puti Filipino cane vinegar (or cider vinegar, or any other vinegar if you want to try something different)
  • 1 tsp. Black pepper


  1. Mince the garlic, then fry the garlic and bay leaves with a bit of oil in a large pot until the garlic starts to turn golden. Take off the heat.
  2. Portion your pork belly as you wish. I like to do mine in slices about an inch thick.
  3. Add your pork and black pepper to the pot, then add the soy sauce and vinegar until it just covers all of the pork. Add more or less as you please, but a good ratio is 3:2 vinegar-soy sauce.

    NOTE: As you become more accustomed to making adobo, you can switch in different kinds of vinegar for different flavor profiles.
  4. Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for at least 1.5 hours
  5. At this stage, the pork belly will be nice and tender. You can serve it as is (go to step 10); however, you can do the additional steps below for something a little more special.
  6. Take the pork belly out of the pot. Sieve the mixture to collect all of the garlic and other bits.
  7. Crispy fry the garlic bits, and save some for garnishing the later.
  8. Reduce the sauce and add 1 tbsp of cornstarch or 1/8 tsp of xanthan gum to thicken.
  9. Pat down the pork belly, and carefully fry in a pan skin-down.
  10. Serve your adobo! Plate the pork belly with generous amounts of sauce, and serve with steamed jasmine rice and any vegetables you may want (I recommend stir-fried green vegetables like bokchoy, tender stem broccoli, green beans, etc.)

Learn more about host Mark and his experiences in London here.