Adobo is great, full stop. It’s one of the classic cornerstones of Filipino cuisine and hardly needs any validation from foreign chefs or content creators. But when a non-Filipino chef really does it justice, it’s hard not to appreciate it.
So after roasting Food Network celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian last week for his bland adobo recipe (which involved parsley, onions, way too much water and too little garlic), Malaysian comedian Nigel Ng, in his Uncle Roger persona, was all too happy to give his seal of approval to Australian chef and popular TikTok creator Andy Hearnden’s authentic take on the dish.
Hearnden, who has 50 million followers on TikTok alone, is well known for his short cooking videos in which he puts his professional culinary skills on display based on his wife’s cravings.
In this particular video, Andy starts off with his usual question, “Hey, babe, what do you want for dinner?” to which his wife answers, “Pork adobo, please.”
First, a little adobo 101: the ubiquitous Filipino dish typically uses chicken or pork (or both), and is braised in soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, bay leaf, and peppercorns.
Hearnden begins his version by deftly slicing off the pork skin (a minor oversight according to viewers, as skin can add more flavor). He then cuts the pork into smaller chunks and marinates it in some brown sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, pepper, and bay leaf, before grabbing several cloves of garlic and mincing them all at once.
“For Asians, garlic is like children — they’re never enough,” Uncle Roger quips midway.
Andy then begins to sear the pork in a dutch oven, later adding more soy sauce, vinegar, and a bit of water before letting that braise. Afterwards, he scoops freshly cooked white rice into a bowl, tops it off with the adobo, and chops some Thai chilies and coriander for garnish.
“I think this is my new favorite dish,” his wife remarks (the two could be Filipino-baiting for clicks, but we’d say it’s a worthy dish regardless).
While the coriander garnish is unnecessary, it’s still very much preferred to the chopped parsley Zakarian tried to pull off in his own version. As Uncle Roger says, “You’re not making pasta!”
“I have seen so many non-Filipino chefs cooking this. Finally! This is by far the closest to the adobo I know,” one commenter wrote.
“Filipino-approved,” said another.
There was plenty of more praise in the comments, but some came with caveats. As one wrote, “Thanks for giving justice to the adobo. But next time don’t remove the outer skin.”