Tofu Adobo

Tofu Adobo

When the Spanish first colonised the Philippines, they discovered an indigenous cooking method which involved stewing with vinegar. This later became known as adobo, meaning marinade.  Traditionally it’s made from chicken and before I was veggie, was one of my favourite Filipino dishes. Like the menudo, I made the simple change of instead of chicken, cooking with tofu instead. As I said before, it’s not really recommended that foreigners eat the tofu bought at the market. Personally though, I’ve never had any problem eating it but just a warning that it’s not really recommended.

Whilst this recipe has all the traditional ingredients in it, they aren’t in the traditional quantities because tofu absorbs much more flavour and needs a lot less marinating time.  In fact, one of my Ate’s doesn’t marinate the tofu at all, simply adds it to the sauce once she’s fried it.


4 pcs firm tofu
1 small Onion
5 cloves of Garlic
¾ cup of soy sauce (low salt or Filipino brand)
Approx. 2 TBSP vinegar
2 bay leafs (aka Laurel leaf)


  1. Lightly fry the pieces of tofu until lightly browned on each side.
  2. When cooked, chop up into smallish cubes and put in a bowl.
  3. Add the soy sauce, vinegar and bay leaves to the tofu and leave covered for about 15 minutes (The marinating isn’t so important as tofu absorbs the flavour of whatever it’s in so fast).
  4. Whilst waiting for the tofu, lightly fry the garlic and onion.
  5. When the tofu is finished, or you got bored of waiting for it, add the tofu and sauce to the onion and garlic.
  6. Add about half a cup of water to the sauce and allow to similar for about 10 mins.
  7. Add pepper to taste.
  8. Then it’s time to eat this delightful tangy and salty dish.

Serving suggestion: Adobo is best served with rice and to make it healthier use brown rice.

Serves approximately: 5  people

Total approx. cost: PHP 40

Total cost per person: PHP8  (PHP13 including rice)

Length of time: Approx. 30mins

Tip #1: The reason for using a Filipino brand of soy sauce like silver swan or a low salt is because otherwise it is too salty.

Tip #2: When you buy tofu, put it in a tub and cover it completely with water, this keeps the tofu fresher for longer.

*pictures to follow soon


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