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Share your nilaga and adobo recipe pls.

I'm trying to learn how to cook. I thought I should start with nilaga and adobo... easy enough I surmised. Boy, was I wrong! I'v tried cooking these dishes a couple of times but they always end up tasting not right. Pls help.



    This is a rather greasy, but good and foolproof version of nilaga...

    Put 1 kilo of cubed beef shortribs in a pot (or a leaner cut if you prefer), with a l cubed large onion and 1 tablespoon of whole peppercorns. For bulalo, just put a marrow bone. I also like using beef knees. Masarap. Cover with COLD water (maybe 2-3 liters), and put over low heat. Do not allow to boil rapidly! Boiling causes the grease to emulsify with Scum/bubbles may rise to the surface during the early stages. Skim the scum off and discard.

    Simmer till tender. About 2 to 3 hours. Simmer means the water is just barely bubbling. Again, do not boil. The meat may become tasteless and stringy, and the broth will be cloudy and greasy. And boiling does not make the meat tenderize faster.

    When the beef is tender, add 2 large carrots, cubed, 4 medium potatoes, quartered. You can add a knob of ginger if you want. Other things you can add are whole saba bananas and corn. Cook till veggies are almost cooked, but not soft.

    Add a bunch of pechay tagalog or cabbage or bok choy or whatever. Simmer just until the greens are wilted. (I like mushy cabbage, but very few other people do.)

    Season with salt or patis to taste shortly before serving. (Usually a tablespoon of rock salt or 2-3 of patis) For some reason, seasoning too early discolors the broth and vegetables.

    Top with chopped green onions before serving if you like.


    There are a billion versions of this. Here's a nice and easy one.

    Put a kilo of pork and/or chicken in a pot. Add a teaspoon of cracked pepper, 1/4 to 1/2 cup white vinegar (to taste), and 1/4 cup soy sauce (NOT kikkoman for traditional adobo) or patis (trust me, kakaiba, pero masarap ang chicken adobo with patis).

    Here's the twist. Marinade overnight or up to two days in the ref.

    When ready to cook, chop/macerate 1/4 cup garlic. Add to pot along with 2 cups water. Set over medium heat. Cook uncovered. Make sure the sauce doesn't dry out while cooking. If making chicken+pork adobo, remove chicken pieces after 30 minutes, as the pork takes longer to tenderize, and you don't want super mushy chicken.

    This is best reheated.
  • NILAGA: try adding saging na saba. masarap sya :)
  • Thank you for the recipes, especially the tips. Those are the things I don't get to read from recipe books and even from people who I've asked for directions.
    You should do a cookbook with all this detailed instructions. :) Someone should.
  • Just remember for any soup or stock: long, low and slow. Tapos sa nilaga, maganda rin yung buto na may konting litid. Nakow! Tsalap! If u want a twist on bulalo by adding a sort of "roasted" taste, separate half of the bones u'r gonna use. Put them in a shallow pan, rub with a little oil and roast at 400 F for about 15 - 20 minutes. When the bones are well roasted, add together with the unroasted bones to the water and simmer and cook the same way.
  • The roasted bones idea is good. It's actually a technique used for stock. It makes the broth brown. But when I did it, sumobra sa toasted flavor. Just roasting 1/2 is the fix I need.

    Another alternative to roasting is to brown the meat in a little oil before boiling.
  • kung gusto nyo ng medyo manamis-namis ang sabaw..make kamote as an alternative for saging na saba...:)
  • sarap namang nilaga yan!!!

    how about yung masarap na resipe naman ng bulalo? o kaya adobong pata? at saka ng crispy pata?
  • OOT na ito, pero sige.

    Bulalo--I just do it like nilaga. Pero may buto ng bulalo. Usually, ang gulay lang ng bulalo, petchay Tagalog, and maybe kamote to sweeten the broth. Tapos kailangan talaga, served with chopped green scallions.

    ADOBONG PATA (Chinese style, almost like paksiw). Just like the adobo recipe, but you may want to add a bay leaf or two or three) and a piece of whole star anise while boiling (remove spices before serving), and prepare the following caramel sauce.

    Take 1/4 cup sugar and put in a dry heavy skillet. Cook over low-medium heat, stirring occasionally. The sugar will melt then turn golden brown. When it is golden brown, but not yet burnt, pour in 1/2 cup hot water. It will bubble and steam like hell. Take care. Stir until the caramel melts. Add the caramel to the adobo when it's almost done.

    The sugar and spices cut the greasiness of the pata. Although normal pata adobo is also good. Nakakaumay lang talaga.

    CRISPY PATA. This is my own recipe. Medyo weird, medyo mahirap but guaranteed good.

    Get 1 whole pata. I prefer the large hind legs, kasi mas malaman. Cut into 2-3 smaller pieces if the pata can't fit in your frying pan. I prefer it whole.

    Put in a pot with 2 Tbsp of salt, 1 Tbsp cracked pepper, 2 bay leaves, maybe some dried oregano, 1 large quartered onion, and 8 cloves of garlic, smashed. Add cold water just to cover the pata. Just a little water.

    Simmer the stuff until the pata is tender, but not falling apart. Dapat kapag kinurot ang balat, napupunit, but not so tender that the pata is falling apart. Drain.

    Rub the pata well with the following spice mix: 2 Tbsp. Curry Powder (trust me), 1/2 Tbsp Ground Black Pepper, 1 Tbsp powdered Turmeric (optional), 2 Tbsp Kasubha (Native Saffron, optional), and salt to taste (1 tsp. lang siguro...)

    Air dry the pata over a rack for at least 4 hours. Or put in the ref, uncovered, at least overnight. The drier the pata, the more crisp and chicharon-like the skin. I think it may be good to sun dry it, but I haven't tried that. Parang bagnet.

    Now, when the pata is ready, put at least 2 inches of oil in a heavy frying pan. Put over high heat. Heat till smoking hot. Super hot dapat. Now, CAREFULLY lower the pata into the oil. The skin should almost immediately puff up. Fry until crisp, turning occasionally. Careful, careful. This is the most dangerous cooking process of all. But if the pata skin is really dry, no problem.

    You'll be surprised how quickly the pata crisps. As soon as it's crisp and golden, remove from oil and drain in a rack or over paper towels. No long frying is necessary, kasi pinakuluan na natin.

    Chop into small pieces. Serve with a vinegar-soy sauce-red onion-chili-garlic dipping sauce. Or do as I do. Serve with a Thai sweet chili sauce. Masarap yung Jufran. Masarap din ito with a balsamic vinegar-cilantro-honey-sesame oil dip. Para sosyal.
  • Ali - What brand of soysauce and white vinegar do you use cooking adobo?

    Bakafool - sayang, I don't have an oven
  • I actually use whatever soy sauce and vinegar my mom bought.

    I prefer Datu Puti vinegar and Silver Swan/Coconut Brand soysauce are the usual. At sold ako kay Ate Shawie (Cuneta). I'll try Datu Puti soy sauce, kasi 7 out of 10 housewives prefer it. :)

    In the past, I NEVER used kikkoman for adobo, kasi iba ang fermented japanese soy. But I tried it out of curiosity recently with Del Monte vinegar. The adobo came out very different (not Tagalog tasting), but still good. I've also tried balsamic vinegar and Knorr seasoning with lamb adobo (buy one take one lamb cubes sa Rustan's). Grabe! Sarap.
  • Ali, what will happen if I use del monte red cane vinegar in the adobo recipe? Will it taste completely different or subtle lang?
  • salamat sa mga resipe! masubukan nga...... :D
  • Originally posted by mspiggy
    Ali, what will happen if I use del monte red cane vinegar in the adobo recipe? Will it taste completely different or subtle lang?

    I used it with Kikkoman and the adobo tasted completely different. But my mom, who's the real expert, said it was more of the toyo.

    Ang problem daw with the cane vinegar is the taste is fruitier and more sour, so mas delikado na lasang hilaw ang suka. So use less. It's different, but ok naman, sabi ng nanay.

    And by the way, I forgot a VITAL part of cooking adobo. COOK UNCOVERED. DO NOT STIR AT ALL UNTIL IT'S BEEN BOILING FOR SEVERAL MINUTES. Otherwise, the vinegar tastes 'raw'. The acid remains acrid rather than acquiring the subtle and malinamnam flavor of real adobo.
  • Thanks once again. :)

    Galing talaga ng tips. Kasing informative ni Alton Brown. *okay*
  • Ang galing nga ni Alton Brown!

    Another adobo tip. Cook some chicken liver with the mixture. Mash about a cup of the liver and add to the sauce, para super rich...
  • Ok lang ba kung liver spread na lang? I find chix liver too icky.
  • Ok lang siguro ang liver spread. But that's for caldereta. It's heavily seasoned, eh.

    My mom sometimes adds cubed gabi (gabing sungsong--the small ones) to adobo. Personally, ok lang, pero a lot of people really love it.
  • masarap ba talaga o mas masarap halimbawa ang adobong manok kapag hinaluan ng karne ng baboy na may konting mga taba? anong kaibhan nito sa sarap o richness sa purong adobong manok (walang halong baboy?). kasi karamihan sa mga restaurant o turo-turo, may halong baboy yung adobong manok nila. hindi ko magustuhan kasi minsan sobrang taba o mamantika.
  • Pork makes the adobo taste much more meaty and rich. And it's the fat that does that. If you're concerned about the oil, use a leaner cut of pork and you can also refrigerate the adobo and skim off the solidified oil.

    But pure chicken adobo is still very good.

    Additional adobo suggestions.

    FRIED ADOBO. Cook adobo with less liquid, then cook till sauce is almost dry. Now, either fry the meat in the rendered fat, or fry it in some other oil in a new pan.

    CRISPY ADOBO FLAKES. Cook adobo till very tender. Debone and shred the meat finely. Now fry in a non-stick pan over low-medium heat until crisp and dry. Drain very well. Super sarap ito.
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