My rule for any traditional recipe is to keep it simple and stick with the classic!
For this recipe, the components essential for a traditionally classic Filipino adobo dish are…
1-2 lbs pork (cubed, or pork rib-lets,
2T Silver Swan (or similar Filipino brand) special soy sauce,
2T Datu Puti (or similar Filipino brand) white vinegar,
fresh whole black peppers (5-6),
fresh bay leaves (2-3),
fresh cloves of mashed garlic (3-4).
Place the pork pieces into a large pan; Dutch oven or casserole. Sauté the pork until golden brown. Add the garlic, vinegar, soy sauce, black peppercorns, and bay leaves. (Note, to add a touch of color to the adobo, add-in about 1/8 t of Annatto powder).
Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to medium-low, cover and simmer until the pork is thoroughly cooked, about 45 minutes. If you want lesser sauce, continue to cook until the sauce is almost caramelized and toss to coat completely, before moving to a serving platter.
Serve with steamed jasmine rice.
With these basic ingredients you can easily substitute pork with chicken, catfish, or leave out the meat entirely by just adding mushrooms, or kang kong (type of vegetable found in most Asian markets).
You can garnish this recipe with hard boiled eggs, which makes for a very filling dish!