Let me clarify. This qualifies as a budget meal because you can buy fresh asparagus on sale at 99 cents a bunch and you need only a few ingredients: soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, oil, salt and pepper. Even if asparagus is selling at $3.00 a bunch, you get to spend only $6.00. Make that $10.00 if you have to buy a small bottle of soy sauce, vinegar and some garlic.
I got this recipe from www.kusinanimanang.blogspot.com. It’s owned by a lovely Filipina – Lori – who resides in rural Maine with her hubby and kids. Her blog has grown with an impressive following – mostly overseas Filipinos who yearn for foods back home and who want to learn the more intricate recipes like ensaymada (a sweet brioche) or lumpiang sariwa (fresh egg roll).
I have visited many web sites run by Pinoys (slang for Filipinos) but I think Lori’s is by far the best one. There are hundreds of recipes in there and she writes with such an engaging style that it’s easy to get hooked. She’s a “go-to” resource when I need to learn how to cook something – whether native or international dishes. I’ve learned a lot from her, so when someone asks me to recommend a Filipino recipe web site, hers would be my # 1 recommendation.
Now about adobo: my ignorance soon vanished when I did a bit of research. I thought adobo was strictly a Filipino invention – a vinegar, soy sauce and garlic concoction. It isn’t.
Adobo is the seasoning or marinade used in Spain and other Latin American countries and is closely associated with chipotles and other peppers. Like Pinoys, they use it to marinate chicken, pork and beef – and sometimes vegetables. I’ve seen some Adobo products in the spice racks of Oriental stores so if you don’t have time to do this seasoning from scratch, you can use the powder form.
According to Wikipedia, adobo also has a Puerto Rican version – using the same ingredients (vinegar and garlic) but with the addition of oregano. This is what Wikipedia says: “It is a mix of crushed garlic, olive oil, salt, black pepper, dry oregano, citrus or vinegar or a mix or both citrus with 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 is a mix of garlic powder, onion powder, salt, black pepper, dry oregano and sometimes dried citrus zest.”
If you can take a strong marinade like adobo and the combination of vinegar and soy sauce does not bother you one tiny bit, you’ll enjoy this recipe. It’s so simple and unpretentious and packs a lot of taste, despite the few ingredients. Use fresh asparagus, though. Hop over to Lori’s blog and look at the left hand column – you’ll see “asparagus”. Click on that. After your first visit, I think you’ll get hooked.
I’ve made this dish three times now. There are never any leftovers. The adobo marinade can be used for other vegetables as well – broccoli or Chinese bok choy would be excellent candidates.