Lomo en adobo — pork tenderloin marinated in adobo.
Chipotles en adobo — smoked, ripe jalepeño peppers in adobo.
Peruvian adobo chicken made from dried aji panca (yellow lantern chili, Capsicum chinense)

Adobo (Spanish: marinade, sauce, or seasoning) is the immersion of raw food into a preparation, in the form of a stock (or sauce), of different components, including paprika (from red peppers), oregano, salt, garlic, and vinegar — mixed according to the place of origin and the food with which it is intended to be used—primarily to preserve and enhance the flavor of food. The cooking technique is native to Spanish cuisine,[1] and, once becoming widely used in Latin America, was subsequently adopted in other countries, such as the United States.[2]

Alternatively, in Venezuela, adobo refers to a mixture of salt with various spices, technically known as sal condimentada (seasoned salt).[3]

Adobo is also the name given by Spanish colonists to an unrelated, but superficially similar, Philippine cooking process, which primarily uses vinegar.[4][5][6]



In antiquity, meat and fish were difficult to conserve. Cold facilitated the conservation of food, but the weather often did not provide low temperatures ideal for preservation, so it was necessary to apply other techniques, such as adobo. Animals were usually slaughtered in the coldest months of winter, but surplus meat had to be preserved in the warmer months. This was facilitated through the use of adobos (marinades) along with paprika (a substance with antibacterial properties). Paprika gives a reddish color to adobos, but at the same time the capsaicins in paprika permit fats to dissolve to the point of allowing tissue penetration, going deeper than the surface.[7]


Adobo was employed inititally as a method of food preservation, but in time—with the advent of refrigeration methods—it came to be used primarily as a method of flavoring foods before cooking. Traditional preparations were created with the intent of flavoring, such as cazón en adobo (dogfish in adobo, made from school shark and originates from Cadiz, a city in the Cádiz province of Spain); berenjenas de Almagro (Almagro eggplant, a pickled eggplant characteristic of "Manchega" cuisine from the Castile-La Mancha region of Spain, specifically from Almagro, a city in the Ciudad Real province of Spain); and lomo en adobo (tenderloin of beef or pork in adobo).


The noun form of adobo describes a marinade or seasoning mix. Recipes vary widely by region: Puerto Rican adobo, a rub used principally on meats, differs greatly from the Mexican variety. Meat marinated or seasoned with an adobo is referred to having been adobada or adobado.

Adobo relates to marinated dishes such as chipotles en adobo in which chipotles (smoked ripe jalapeño peppers) are stewed in a sauce with tomatoes, garlic, vinegar, salt, and spices. The spices vary, but generally include several types of peppers (in addition to the chipotle and most likely those on hand), ground cumin and dried oregano. Some recipes include orange juice and lemon or lime juices. They often include a pinch of brown sugar just to offset any bitter taste.

Puerto Rican

Puerto Rican-style adobo is a seasoned salt that is generously sprinkled or rubbed on meats and seafood prior to grilling, sauteing, or frying. Supermarkets sell prepared blends, such as that produced by Goya Foods. There are two types of adobo on the island. The wet rub, adobo mojado, consists of crushed garlic, olive oil, salt, black pepper, dry or fresh orégano brujo, citrus juice or vinegar or a mix of both citrus and vinegar. More widely used on the island is a dry mix, adobo seco. It is easier to prepare and has a long shelf life. Adobo seco consists of garlic powder, onion powder, salt, black pepper, dry orégano brujo, and sometimes dried citrus zest.

Filipino adobo

Chicken adobo in Philippine cuisine

In Filipino cuisine, adobo refers to a common cooking process indigenous to the Philippines.[8] It should not be confused with the Spanish and Latin American adobo, as they have different origins and refer to different dishes despite sharing the same name.[5] When the Spanish invaded the Philippines in the late 16th century, they encountered a cooking process that involved stewing with vinegar. The Spanish referred to this method as adobo due to its superficial similarity to the Spanish adobo. Nevertheless, the Filipino adobo is an entirely separate method of preparing food and is distinct from the Spanish marinade.[6][8] There are many variations of adobo in the Philippines in which soy sauce is used like Adobong Baboy in which pork is used, Adobong Manok in which chicken is used, etc. There is also the Adobong Pusit, a squid based dish which uses the squids ink as the broth together with vinegar.

See also

  • Marinade


  1. ^ Manuel Martinez Llopis, (1989), Historia de la gastronomía española, Alianza editorial, ISBN 84-206-0378-3 (Spanish)
  2. ^ Susana Aleson, Montse Clavé, (1998), Cocina filipina, ICARIA (Spanish)
  3. ^ Olympia: Adobo Completo (Spanish)
  4. ^ Sam Sifton (January 5, 2011). The Cheat: The Adobo Experiment. The New York Times. 
  5. ^ a b Paul A. Rodell (2002). Culture and customs of the Philippines. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 102. ISBN 9780313304156. 
  6. ^ a b Alan Davidson & Tom Jaine (2006). The Oxford companion to food. Oxford University Press. p. 600. ISBN 9780192806819. 
  7. ^ Unai Ugalde, Dani Lasa, Andoni Luis Aduriz, Harold McGee (prólogo), (2009), Las primeras palabras de la cocina, Mugaritz, pp:114-118 (Spanish)
  8. ^ a b Ocampo, Ambeth (February 24, 2009), "Looking Back: "Adobo" in many forms"", Philippine Daily Inquirer, 

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • adobo — sustantivo masculino 1. (no contable) Caldo o salsa, generalmente de aceite, vinagre, sal y especias, que sirve para sazonar o macerar alimentos, especialmente carnes y pescados: carne en adobo, pescado en adobo …   Diccionario Salamanca de la Lengua Española

  • adobo — n. 1. a Philippine dish of marinated vegetables and meat or fish; served with rice. [WordNet 1.5] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adobo — [ə dō′bō] n. 〚Sp, sauce for marinating or preserving meat〛 a Philippine dish consisting of pork or chicken marinated in vinegar, garlic, soy sauce, etc., simmered, and then fried * * * a·do·bo (ä dōʹbō) n. pl. a·do·bos A Philippine dish of… …   Universalium

  • adobo — |ô| s. m. O mesmo que adobe. • Plural: adobos |ô| …   Dicionário da Língua Portuguesa

  • adobo — 1. m. Acción y efecto de adobar. 2. Caldo o salsa con que se sazona un manjar. 3. Caldo, y especialmente el compuesto de vinagre, sal, orégano, ajos y pimentón, que sirve para sazonar y conservar las carnes y otras cosas. 4. Mezcla de varios… …   Diccionario de la lengua española

  • adobo — [ə dō′bō] n. [Sp, sauce for marinating or preserving meat] a Philippine dish consisting of pork or chicken marinated in vinegar, garlic, soy sauce, etc., simmered, and then fried …   English World dictionary

  • Adobo — Chipotles en adobo Adobo ist ein spanischer Begriff, der allgemein für Würze oder Marinade steht und eine Marinaden oder Würzmischung beschreibt. Ein mit Adobo mariniertes oder gewürztes Fleisch bezeichnet man als Adobada. Adobo steht zum… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Adobo — Lomo en adobo con sus típicos toques colorados …   Wikipedia Español

  • adobo — ► sustantivo masculino 1 Acción y efecto de adobar. 2 COCINA Salsa o caldo usado para conservar o sazonar los alimentos: ■ estropearse el adobo de las olivas. 3 TEXTIL Mezcla de varios ingredientes usada para curtir las pieles o dar brillo a las… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • adobo — {{#}}{{LM A00805}}{{〓}} {{SynA00820}} {{[}}adobo{{]}} ‹a·do·bo› {{《}}▍ s.m.{{》}} Salsa hecha con aceite, vinagre, especias y otros ingredientes, usada para conservar los alimentos: • He comprado carne en adobo para la cena.{{○}} {{#}}{{LM… …   Diccionario de uso del español actual con sinónimos y antónimos

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