Filipino national dish gets the Atkins "thumbs up"

Filipino cooking is very east-meets-west: imagine Chinese and Malaysian food mixed with Spanish and Mexican influences (or, if you’re a New Yorker, imagine the food served at the Cuban-Chinese restaurant Sam Chinita’s on 8th Avenue). There is no simpler dish to demonstrate this than Chicken Adobo, considered by many to be the “national dish”. It’s chicken marinated in a tangy soy sauce, vinegar and garlic marinade. Many Filipino dishes are cooked in vinegar not only as a cultural artifiact of Spanish conquest, but also because it’s a good preservative — a must in a tropical country.

It’s just finished its week-long run as the featured recipe on the Atkins site, but you can always find the Chicken Adobo recipe in their recipe archives. It has 6 grams of net carbs per serving.

Some notes for those who want to try the recipe:

  • Don’t skimp on that single bay leaf. It’s part of the flavour. In fact, I usually throw in a couple.
  • Everybody has a different adobo recipe, usually varying the ratio of vinegar to soy sauce. This guy favours using only 2 tablespoons for every cup of soy, the recipe on the Atkins site goes for half as much vinegar as soy and the former governor of Hawaii goes for the tangy gusto and says to use equal parts of soy and vinegar.
  • If you want to be really authentic, add about 1 part pork for every 3 or 4 parts chicken (cut-up pork chops or pork loin will do nicely). It’s the chicken-pork mix that makes adobo the “soul food” of the Philippines, pare*.

* “Pare” (pronounced “PAH-reh”) in Tagalog loosely translates as “homey” or “dogg”. Peace out.

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