What Is Adobo Sa Asin + Two Delicious Recipes To Try

This adobo version has one ingredient that you didn't think you can leave out.

IMAGE Bianca Laxamana

You already know that the adobo recipe is one that is revered among Filipinos. You might remember how vehemently the general populace got when a government agency sought to standardize how the adobo was cooked. While the move had good intentions, especially for the unknowing international populace, the locals rose up against such a move. 

That's why there can be dozens of variations of the adobo recipe in the Philippines, officially or unofficially. 

The most basic recipe of adobo might have one too many ingredients.
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So among all of the most popular kinds of adobo, there is one that you might not have heard of before: adobo sa asin

What is adobo sa asin

You might be wondering what kind of adobo is made with asin or salt. If you guessed that the phrase can be interpreted as an adobo dish seasoned with salt, you are right. If you look over the ingredients of a typical adobo recipe, you might be able to guess what you can substitute for the salt: soy sauce. 

Since adobo is not adobo without vinegar and there are basically just five ingredients in a basic adobo recipe, an adobo can be made without soy sauce as the main seasoning. "Adobo" means "to cook or marinate in vinegar" so it's perfectly acceptable for the soy sauce to be omitted from the recipe and still be considered an adobo recipe. 

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So, if an adobo is made without soy sauce, salt is the natural savory ingredient you'll need to counteract the sharp sourness of vinegar, hence adobo sa asin or "a dish marinated or cooked in vinegar with salt". 

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Adobo sa Asin Recipes

The vinegar and salt combined with the other adobo ingredients, namely lots of garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns, and of course, the pork, the flavor combination is familiar and delicious. Want to try this kind of recipe? Here are two recipes to try that use no soy sauce but have different ingredients to make each more appetizing and delicious: 

1 Basic Adobong Puti Recipe 

Photo by Bianca Laxamana
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Instead of relying on soy sauce to deliver the contrasting savory flavor to the dish, salt balances the sourness of the vinegar without coloring the sauce. While the soy sauce is what gives adobo its signature brown sauce, it can also be achieved through other means. 

This adobong baboy recipe too has a sauce but it's a blonde sauce that you get from browning the meat. This makes this adobo recipe extra meaty and flavorful without adding more ingredients than is necessary. 

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Adobo sa Puti Recipe 

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If you love a saucy adobo that has a balance of sour, savory, and even a little sweetness from sugar, this adobo sa puti or asin recipe version is one to try. 

Instead of relying solely on the cooking of the vinegar to offset the sharpness of the ingredient, a little sugar is added to help the sharp tart flavor mellow out and marry with the other ingredients as the meat cooks and tenderizes. It's the same principle behind adding a little sugar to dishes made with tomato sauce. 

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Want to learn more about adobo and the different kinds of adobo? Read on! 

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