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Adobo Sauce

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What is it?

Adobo is a tangy, slightly sweet, Mexican red sauce often comprised of tomatoes, garlic, vinegar, and spices. Chipotle chiles (dried, smoked jalapeños) are often sold canned in adobo sauce. The chipotles have an intense smoky chile heat but the sauce on its own has a slightly less fiery smoky heat.

The Spanish word adobo means “marinade” or “seasoning,” but depending on what part of the world you’re in, the style of seasoning can vary greatly. In Cuba and Puerto Rico, adobo is a seasoned salt or spice mix, whereas in Mexico, it’s more likely to mean a spicy tomato-based sauce. The Filipino style of adobo, which involves stewing meat, usually pork or chicken, in a flavorful mixture of soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, bay leaves, and black peppercorns. When Spanish colonists arrived in the Philippines in the 16th century, they were introduced to this indigenous style of cooking, which they called adobo. The name stuck, and to this day, adobo—with its Filipino/Malayan roots and Spanish name—is considered a national dish of the Philippines.

Cross Reference

chipotles in adobo


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