Here is a dish that was adapted from the Chinese cuisine but was baptized with a Spanish name. It is also a dish that I have oftentimes seen on every Filipino dining table. If the word “asado” is a Spanish word that generally refers to the cooking method of grilling, the Pinoy version has nothing to do with the Spanish method but rather more of a modification of the popular Chinese char siu. There might be a little similarities to the ingredients but the techniques are tweaked to become more suitable to Filipino taste and preference. Pork Asado is made from slabs of meat marinated in sweet and sour sauce. It is rather braised in its own marinade instead of barbecued. And once cooked, the pork is evenly sliced and arranged on a platter and topped with the rich sauce.
I believe this recipe is just one of the numerous variations of adobo but only altered so as to integrate some of the distinct Chinese flavors. In fact, many other versions that I have read add five spice powder as the main flavoring ingredient and some simply use hoisin sauce. Asado is not only suitable for pork but it also works for chicken and other meat. But then, however or whatever it is made from – bottom line is, we, Filipinos were able to embrace this dish as our own and this has long remained a "mainstay" on our copious dining settings during festivities and many other special Pinoy occasions.
Number of Servings: 5
- 2 lbs. slab of pork loin or shoulder
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 2 tbsps. oyster sauce
- ½ tsp. cinnamon powder
- ½ tsp. powdered cloves
- 1/3 tsp. anise seeds
- 2 pcs. bay leaves
- ½ tsp. crushed peppercorns
- 1 tsp. minced garlic
- 2-3 cups fresh or canned pineapple juice
- ½ cup fresh or canned pineapple tidbits
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 1 tbsp. cornstarch, dissolved in ¼ cup water (optional)
- 2-3 tbsps. cooking oil
- In a large bowl, combine the pineapple juice, soy sauce, oyster sauce, cinnamon, cloves, anise seeds, bay leaves, peppercorns and garlic. Mix well to incorporate the ingredients.
- Marinate the pork slab in the mixture for about 1 hour to overnight.
- Remove the pork from the sauce and let the excess liquid to drip off. Set aside the marinade sauce.
- Heat the oil on a large saucepan and lightly fry the pork, turning on all sides until light brown.
- Gradually pour in the marinade mixture and bring to a full boil.
- Add sugar and set to simmer for 40 to 60 minutes, flipping the pork halfway through to evenly cook and tenderize the meat.
- Take the meat out of the sauce and allow to cool at room temperature.
- Strain the sauce and return to simmer. Add the pineapple tidbits and cook for 2 minutes. To finish, add the dissolved cornstarch and cook until the sauce thickens (optional). Remove from heat.
- Cut the meat into ¼-inch slices and arrange on a platter. Garnish with pineapple tidbits and top with the thick sauce. Serve with hot steamed rice. Enjoy!
TIPS FROM ENZ:
- This recipe also works for chicken and beef. Adjust the cooking time, depending on the type of meat.
- Instead of pineapple juice, you may add 3 tablespoons of rice wine mixed with 2 cups of water.