The Philippines is a nation made up of more than 7,000 islands with a population of 100 million people, making it the seventh-most populated country in Asia and the 12th most populated country in the world!
The Philippines became part of the Spanish Empire in the late 16th century for more than 300 years before the islands were ceded by Spain to the United States as a result of America’s victory in the Spanish–American War. It became independent from the U.S. after World War II in 1946 after being occupied by the Japanese.
As a result of these many influences, Filipino cuisine incorporates many ingredients and culinary techniques from all of these countries as well as its own indigenous food.
Perhaps the most famous Filipino national dish is “Adobo”, a stewed meat dish that uses huge amounts of garlic as well as vinegar for both flavoring and as a spoilage preventative due to the high heat experienced in the islands.
My favorite version of Adobo uses pork, and my version combines pork belly for its meltingly tender meat and fat as well as pork shoulder for a more robust “chew”.
I also use an atypical ingredient in my recipe – balsamic vinegar. I find the combination of palm vinegar and balsamic gives both an amazing flavor and color to the stewed final dish. Feel free to use all palm (or cider) vinegar for full authenticity.
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