Pork Belly in Turmeric and Cane Vinegar

Pork belly stewed in turmeric and vinegar. Adobong dilaw (yellow adobo)as popularly known with Filipinos. I don’t cook our cuisine too often (I really should), so it feels like a personal achievement each time I make any of our dishes. Originally from the province of Batangas (about an hour south of Metro Manila), this recipe is supposedly the contribution of Maria, the second wife of our country’s first President, Emilio Aguinaldo, to their household menu and is quite popular amongst Filipinos. I’m not sure if this is the proper way to make it, but here’s my version (may be used with chicken as well).

Yield: 4-6 servings or 2 hungry Miguels plus Mom (see About).


  • 1 kilo (2 pounds) pork belly, cut into strips
  • 1 medium yellow onion, sliced thinly
  • 5 medium whole cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 3-4 yellow ginger (turmeric) thumbs, sliced thinly
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup cane vinegar
  • 3-4 Tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. whole black pepper
  • 2-3 bay leaves


Sauté yellow onions, garlic, and turmeric. Add in pork belly slices to brown and seal in its juices. Pour in water and cane vinegar. Add some fish sauce, whole black pepper, and bay leaves. Cover and leave for about an hour for the meat to tenderize. Once fork tender, remove pork belly and leave to drain on a sieve for a few minutes. Fry till browned. Return pork in pot and leave to simmer with the sauce for a few minutes. I chose to top this with fried sweet basil as influenced by my love for Thai food and it really worked well together! Serve with hot steamed rice.

***Please remember to wear gloves when you chop the ginger. My fingers turned yellow!