Braising Is Different From Stewing. Here's What You Need To Know
You can cook two different kinds of adobo using these two methods!
Do you know that there's a difference between braising and stewing?
Simply put, braising is cooking food in a small amount of fat and liquid in a closed container. All this really means is that when you braise, the food is usually sautéed first in hot oil to gently brown it before a little bit of water is added (One to two cups is usually plenty). This liquid is then brought to a boil then left to gently simmer in a covered pot until the meat and/or vegetables are tender. It's usually what you do for menudo, adobo, and kaldereta recipes.
It should be noted that the pot needs the lid on since you don't want the small amount of liquid to evaporate too quickly as it cooks. Leave the lid off, and you will have to hover over the braising dish replenishing it with a cup of water every 20 minutes.
This simmering in a small amount of liquid is how braising is different from stewing.
Stewing meanwhile is different since this cooking method usually means the food is submerged in a liquid before being left to simmer until the food is cooked and tender. This can be done with or without the lid on the pot since there is more than enough water. It is usually done with food that needs more time to cook and tenderize and the lid is on to prevent the over evaporation of the water.
In other words, this is the more common form of simmering which you are probably more familiar with doing. Think sinigang and nilagang baka recipes and how you would tenderize the meats for these dishes.
While these two cooking methods end up with similar results, the differences mean your end dish will be different. The easiest way to see how these two different cooking methods can change a recipe is in the adobo, specifically the dry adobo versus the wet adobo.
How To Cook Dry Adobo vs. Wet Adobo
The difference in cooking these two types of adobo may seem slight but the end result is drastic. One is swimming in a flavorful sauce while the other barely has any sauce left to coat each piece. Not only that, the cooking method differs as well.
A wet pork adobo recipe is stewed or left to simmer with enough water that, despite being left to evaporate, will still have enough leftover liquid to create an almost soupy dish. This water is in addition to the soy sauce and vinegar you've already added in.
Meanwhile, a dry pork adobo recipe needs only enough water to tenderize the pork. This amount can be as little as a quarter cup of water for a chicken adobo versus one to two cups for pork adobo since it needs more time to tenderize. Once it's tender, you may remove the meat and sauté and brown it in a frying pan and simmer any remaining liquid until it is reduced to a thickened, luscious sauce you can toss the browned meat in for more flavor.
This is how a dry adobo is different from a wet adodo.
Now that you know the difference between the two cooking methods and how you can cook a wet and a dry adobo using those two methods, why not try it to make any of these delicious recipes: