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Adobong Baka: Filipino-Style Beef Adobo

As a child, Edwin's mom told him, "If you want to eat, you should cook it yourself." And that's exactly what he's been doing ever since.

Beef adobo

Beef adobo

What Is Adobo?

Adobo is a very typical Filipino dish. Interestingly, the dish actually originated in Spain, but it has since spread to the Philippines as well as Latin America. Specifically, adobo refers to the marinade of spices and vinegar that is used to help preserve meat. In the Philippines, we created our own version of that marinade by adding soy sauce.

Traditionally, this dish is made with chicken, but there are many variations. You can include pork, potatoes, and other ingredients, as well. This particular recipe uses beef. So try out this recipe and see which variations you prefer.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

15 min

40 min

55 min

4 to 6 servings


  • 1 pound stewing beef, cut-up pieces available at grocery stores
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup Datu Puti soy sauce, available at Asian stores
  • 1/2 cup Datu Puti cane vinegar, available at Asian stores
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorn


  1. Place the meat in a stockpot with soy sauce, vinegar, peppercorns, bay leaves, and crushed garlic.
  2. Cover the pot and bring it to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until the meat is tender. Make sure to turn the pieces of meat halfway through the cooking time.
  4. Simmer uncovered for an additional 10 minutes until the sauce is thickened.
  5. Remove the bay leaf before serving.

Filipino Vinegar and Soy Sauce

Suggestions and Variations

  • Marinate: For the best flavor, marinate the meat overnight in the sauce before cooking.
  • Brown the meat: For a deeper flavor, brown the meat before simmering.
  • Chicken variation: Instead of beef, you can use chicken thighs. (Do not use chicken breasts because they will become tough.)
  • Pork variation: Use pork tenderloin instead of beef.
  • Vinegar substitution: Substitute lemon juice for the vinegar.
  • Potato addition: Add cubed potatoes to the pot halfway through the cooking time. It takes approximately 15 minutes to cook the cubed potatoes.