Pork Rib Adobo

Pork Rib Adobo
This image courtesy of Monic Lo

The food of the Philippines is a hybrid born of cross-pollination between foreign Spanish influence and the islands’ endemic cuisine. One of its culinary marvels is adobo, a dish whose outward simplicity belies a complex balance of sour, salty, savory, and sweet. This version, which is a distillation of different regional styles, comes from my friend Anthony, sous vide enthusiast and Filipino cook extraordinaire. The best part of this recipe is that while the pork cooks, the juice it releases combines with the marinade to form a marvelously flavorful sauce, no additional steps required. It’s almost mandatory to serve this dish with rice; the sauce is crazy good, and you’ll want something to soak it up.

Serves4 as a main course



Total TimeOne Day or More

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Recipe CourseMain Course



  • ½ cup coconut, cane, or cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup fish sauce
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 red Thai or other fresh red chile (such as Fresno or finger), thinly sliced
  • 3 pounds St. Louis–style pork ribs or other meaty rib cut, cut into 3-rib portions if desired


  1. Preheat your sous vide water bath to 70°C (158°F).

  2. To make the marinade, in a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, combine all of the ingredients and mix well.

  3. Place the pork ribs in a single layer in a gallon-size freezer-safe ziplock bag, pour in the marinade, and seal using the displacement method (see page 12).

  4. When the water reaches the target temperature, lower the bagged ribs into the water bath (making sure the bag is fully submerged) and cook for 12 hours. I recommend checking the water bath every few hours to see that the bag is still fully submerged. I also suggest covering the bath with plastic wrap or aluminum foil to minimize evaporation (see page 8 for explanation).

  5. Remove the bag from the bath and transfer the pork, along with its precious liquid, to a serving platter. Serve with rice on the side and encourage your guests to spoon the glorious adobo sauce on top of their portion.

Do-Ahead Strategy

Adobo originated as a form of meat preservation, so it can easily be stored for a later date. The cooked pork ribs can be chilled in the bag in an ice water bath (see page 14) for 20 minutes and then refrigerated for up to 1 week. Reheat in a 60°C (140°F) water bath for 30 minutes.


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