adobong chavacano

August 20, 2008

adobong chavacano

adobong chavacano

as far as i know, there are three chavacano enclaves in this country. two in the province of cavite and one in mindanao. these are zamboanga city, cavite city and the town of ternate, also in cavite. two are known port areas and all three are coastal towns. all three speak their own variation of pidgin spanish and all three have a culture all their own and are proud of their own heritage.

this variation of adobo is from cavite city, just a town away from my place. adobong chavacano uses anatto seeds (achuete) as a coloring agent that must have come from spanish friars of a more genteel era.

i once had an adobo in one of the famous carinderias in cavite city and again in one of the more decent eating places in that area and both have, i must say, equally satisfying and sumptuous taste but cooked differently. from those experiences, i’ve tried replicating the dish on my own, cooking it two ways and arriving at the same taste experiences i had from those two restaurants.


600 grams pork liempo (or kasim)
8 pieces chicken liver
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
5 tablespoons anatto oil*
4 tablespoons vinegar
3 tablespoons minced garlic
1 big bayleaf
2 teaspoons patis
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns

the process:

1 season meat with salt and pepper and leave be for 30 minutes or longer.

2 in a high saucepan, cover the 8 pieces of chicken liver with 3 cups of water and let it boil in high heat. add 1 chicken broth cube. lower heat to its lowest setting and let it simmer for 30 minutes or until chicken liver is tender enough to be made into a paste. ground 3 to 4 pieces of liver into a paste using a cleaver and set aside the remaining pieces of chicken liver to be added later into the adobo.

3 heat wok, pour in 5 cups of anatto (achuete) oil in high heat and add in the pork.

4 set heat on low and brown meat on all sides for 40 minutes.

5 halfway through, add the 2 tablespoons of garlic and stirring once in a while.

6 after 40 minutes, pour in the 2 cups of water and turn heat to high and let boil.

7 once boiling, add 3 tablespoons of vinegar and 2 teaspoons of patis, a bayleaf, another tablespoon of garlic and half a teaspoon of whole black peppercorns.

8 set heat to medium and let the whole thing simmer until water is fully reduced and the only thing left is the oil.

9 fry the meat in remaining oil this time for 3 minutes, still in medium heat and stirring constantly.

10 then add 2 1/2 cups of chicken stock (the stock that was used to tenderize the liver) together with the liver paste and the remaining pieces of chicken liver and another tablespoon of vinegar.

11 let it simmer until meat is tender or consistency is just right.

12 skim oil off the adobo for later use for your fried rice.

cooking time: 1 hour 30 minutes to 1 hour 45 minutes

another way of cooking this dish is:

by soaking the achuete seeds in a cup of water. set aside. in a wok, cover the meat with water and let it boil. add the right amount of the now achuete-soaked water minus the seeds. add the same amounts of vinegar, the patis, the bayleaf, the garlic and the black peppercorns. let it simmer until water is fully reduced then add the chicken stock, the liver paste, the chicken liver and vinegar until meat is tender and/or desired consistency is achieved.

served best with adobong sitaw or chopsuey or pinangat na sapsap with tomatoes plus radish and tomato combo.

* anatto oil or achuete oil is made by heating an equal amount of oil and achuete in a wok until oil turns into desired color. using a steel strainer, empty oil of seeds in a glass container or vessel. this is the same oil that is used in basting grilled chicken in those inasal places and for frying their fried rice.



5 Responses to “adobong chavacano”

  1. Taga_Basilan said

    There are several other places in Mindanao where Chavacano is spoken and understood, namely:

    Isabela City, Basilan (100% speak Chavacano)
    Lamitan City, Basilan (90% speak Chavacano)
    the rest of Basilan (80% speak Chavacano)
    Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay (50% speak Chavacano)

    A number of other towns and cities in Mindanao have significant populations (3%-30%) who speak Chavacano…

    Jolo, Sulu
    Bongao, Tawi-Tawi
    Cotabato City
    Davao City
    Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur
    Dipolog City, Zamboanga del Norte

  2. tanyaregala said

    Hi Budge!

    This looks really yummy!

    I’m compiling a list of all the different ways to cook adobo in a quest to find what a true filipino adobo is today, and I’m happy to include your adobo recipe in my article at I hope you don’t mind the link from my site to yours =)

    Keep in touch!

  3. […] Budge’s Adobong Chavacano […]

  4. Oooh, interesting! Which famous carinderia in Cavite City are you talking about? Would love to pay a visit! 🙂

  5. budge said

    Hi Ms Regala! No, i don’t mind. Go ahead. Thanks!

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