Pamana explores different ways people prepare and experience Filipino dishes, based on recipes handed down to them over generations. For our first Pamana (Filipino, to pass down), we talk about adobo.
Adobo is simple—just aromatics, soy sauce, vinegar, and chicken, meat, or seafood. But no recipe is the same, and there are no adobo dishes that are exactly alike. It also differs each time you make it, based on preference, or just how sour you want it that day. Even more so, adobo differs tremendously depending on where you’re from.
In Batangas, the local version is adobo sa dilaw, a variation of the dish that uses turmeric (or luyang dilaw). That gives it its signature yellow hue and a slightly tangy, peppery flavor. Sheillah Guerra, a Batangueña, taught us how to make her pamana adobo sa dilaw. A self-confessed “lola‘s girl,” Sheillah shared memories of being in the kitchen with her grandmother, who taught her the recipe step-by-step. Nowadays, this pamana is one that’s still enjoyed by her family during gatherings; and she still occasionally makes it for her home.
For Sheillah, what makes adobo sa dilaw unique is its simplicity, which is true with most dishes from Batangas. Methods are easy, and flavors are uncomplicated. Plus, with the regions vast resources, locals are afforded a variety of native ingredients that make their delicacies truly theirs.