Kitchen Misadventures: Air Fryer Adobo

Ask almost any Filipino and they will tell you that there is no greater adobo than their mother's. Or grandmother's. I am, of course, no different. My lola used to make chicken adobo with premature chicken eggs (i.e. still inside the chicken and devoid of a shell) which sounds weird but it's actually awesome, and one time she made a batch for me to bring to the dorm and I asked my brother, that rotten little twerp, to hold it for all of ten seconds and he ate half of it!!! I'm pretty sure I would've murdered him if my parents weren't around. Even the memory of it makes me furious.


I have yet to replicate the family recipe. Over the holidays I tried asking my mother about it, but she explained that it is best cooked in a palayok (clay pot) over charcoal, with a particular type of vinegar that is of course not commercially available. So I have no choice but to make do with what is available to me.

We begin with a giant slab of pork belly. This is maybe half a kilo.

I like using a 50-50 mix of balsamic and normal vinegar. The balsamic vinegar renders into a beautiful syrupy sauce, and the normal vinegar adds a bit of a kick.

Marinading is optional, so I only do it when I have time (read: not hungry). Along with the vinegar I throw in a couple of cloves of garlic (some of it grated, if I'm feeling fancy), and lots of pepper. And cayenne.

My mother says adobo should never be stirred until the vinegar has cooked off, so I don't. It takes about an hour to turn the pork belly into tender perfection. It seems like an exceedingly long time but it's so worth the wait.

And then it's time to preheat the air fryer (200C), pick out the pork pieces, coat them with soy sauce, and plop them in.

The wonderful thing about cooking the pork belly in the air fryer is that it acquires a "fried" taste and texture without having to add some more oil; in fact it even gets rid of some of the excess.

After about ten minutes or so I throw the fried pieces back into the sauce, and voila.

Twice-cooked pork adobo. Best enjoyed with a heaping mound of rice. ^^


  1. Awesome post. Most informative. Thx! , Super! Thanks especially for nice food. I love the food at all difficult to handle temptation. These foods are good for health. Thank's for sharing.

  2. This is one of those dish where you don't feel like you're missing out on anything because there are so many fab textures and flavours! :D
    Thanks for sharing this great post.
    Esther Hill