Easy Filipino Beef Adobo

By Jeri Mobley-Arias
October 19, 2022 | Updated on September 24, 2023

This easy Filipino beef adobo is one of my favorite dishes to make when the cooler weather sets in. Made with beef short ribs, aromatics, spices, bay leaves, soy sauce, and vinegar. Swoon your taste buds with this comforting dish made with classic Filipino adobo flavor.

If you are in the mood for more recipes with short ribs, then check out my Short Rib Ragu and Red Wine Short Ribs recipes, next! For more beef recipes, check out my Steak Salad with Thai Dressing, next!

easy-filipino-beef-adobo

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I love adobo of all sorts, but this Filipino beef adobo is one of my favorites when the cooler months hit. It’s one of those feel-good foods and a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Simple to make. This recipe is straightforward. Most of the time is spent cooking in the oven.
  • Comforting. Nothing like a soul-warming dish to keep you satiated through your next meal.
  • Classic Filipino taste. If you are a fan of adobo, then this version cannot be passed up.
braised-beef-adobo

What is Beef Adobo?

Beef adobo is a Filipino dish that calls for braising beef in a savory sauce. If you have not had adobo before, it’s salty, tangy, and oh-so-delicious.

Those who are familiar with adobo assume that it’s only made with chicken, however the style of making adobo can be made with just about any protein.

The trick to making perfect adobo is to be patient with the cooking time. This beef short rib recipe calls for braising for 2-2½ hours to ensure fork-tender meat and an intensely rich sauce.

seared-browned-short-ribs

Ingredients You Will Need

What’s great about this recipe is that the ingredients list is short and sweet.

  • Beef short ribs – You will need 3 pounds of bone-in short ribs for this recipe.
  • Soy sauce – Don’t be alarmed by the amount, as it mellows with the ingredients as it cooks.
  • Vinegar – Same as with soy sauce the amount this recipe calls for balances the saltiness.
  • Yellow onion – Halved and cut into ⅛-inch thick slices.
  • Garlic – ¼ cup minced is needed. It may seem like a lot, but trust me, it’s just the perfect amount.
  • Bay leaves – 3 large bay leaves for this recipe.
  • Sugar – Brown sugar is used to balance out the salty and tangy flavors.
  • Black Peppercorns – Added to the sauce then discarded just before eating.
aromatics-sauteing-with-adobo-sauce

How to Make Beef Adobo

  1. Season short ribs: Remove short ribs from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking. Pat dry ribs with a paper towel to remove excess moisture. Season all sides with kosher salt and black pepper.
  2. Sear and brown: Add oil to a 3.5 quart braiser or heavy bottom pot over medium-high heat. Add short ribs and brown on all sides, 10-15 minutes. Remove short ribs and place them on a plate. Discard all but 2½ tablespoons of oil from the braiser.
  3. Sauté aromatics: Add garlic and onion and sauté until fragrant and soft over medium heat, about 4 minutes.
  4. Add remaining ingredients: Add soy sauce, peppercorns, brown sugar, and bay leaves and stir until well-mixed.
  5. Add vinegar (DO NOT MIX) and cover the skillet with a lid. Wait until contents reach a boil before stirring.
  6. Simmer: Once the liquid reaches a boil, return short ribs back to the braiser and add water. Bring to a boil, turn off heat, then cover with the lid and transfer to the oven. Cook for 2-2½ hours, or until tender, flipping short ribs once at the halfway mark.
  7. Skim unwanted oil from the top just before serving and discard any loose bones. Serve hot with Jasmine rice.
  8. Enjoy!
beef-adobo-before-and-after

Best Soy Sauce and Vinegar for Adobo

Whenever I make Filipino-style adobo I always use Lauriat soy sauce and Datu Puti vinegar (cane vinegar). The use of these ingredients yields adobo its signature taste.

Your best bet to finding these specific condiments is by visiting your local Asian market.

What to Serve With It

Traditionally, adobo is served with Jasmine rice. Creamy polenta is another great option, too.

Tips Tricks & Customizations

  • Wait to stir vinegar. After the addition of vinegar, It’s important to bring the mixture to a boil before stirring so as to cook down the acidity of the vinegar, undisturbed. This is an old adage and something my mom taught me.
  • Vinegar substitution – If you can’t find Datu Puti vinegar, apple cider vinegar makes for a suitable substitute.
  • Don’t rush the cooking time – For best results and tender meat, cook for 2-2½ hours.
  • Choose short ribs similar in size – This will ensure even cooking.
beef-adobo-recipe

Frequently Asked Questions

How to store leftovers?

Once completely cooled, store leftovers in an air-tight container.

How long is it good for?

Enjoy leftovers for up to 8 days.

Can you freeze adobo?

Yes! Place a freezer-safe resealable bag for up to 3 months.

Looking for More Adobo Recipes?

Loving this Braised Beef Adobo?

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easy-filipino-beef-adobo

Filipino Beef Adobo

5 from 5 votes
This easy Filipino beef adobo is one of my favorite dishes to make when the cooler weather sets in. Made with beef short ribs, aromatics, spices, bay leaves soy sauce, and vinegar. Swoon your taste buds with this comforting dish made with classic Filipino adobo flavor.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 25 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 3 people
Author Jeri Mobley-Arias
Course Dinner
Cuisine Filipino

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds short ribs, bone-in
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, halved and sliced into ⅛ thick slices
  • ¼ cup garlic, minced
  • cup soy sauce, Lauriat brand
  • teaspoons brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ teaspoon black peppercorn
  • 3 large bay leaves
  • ½ cup vinegar, Datu Puti brand
  • 1 cup water

Instructions

  • Season short ribs: Remove short ribs from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking. Pat dry ribs with a paper towel to remove excess moisture. Season all sides with kosher salt and black pepper.
  • Preheat oven to 300°F.
  • Sear and brown: Add oil to a 3.5 quart braiser or heavy bottom pot over medium-high heat. Add short ribs and brown on all sides, 10-15 minutes. Remove short ribs and place them on a plate. Discard all but 2½ tablespoons of oil from the braiser.
  • Sauté aromatics: Add garlic and onion and sauté until fragrant and soft over medium heat, about 4 minutes.
  • Add remaining ingredients: Add soy sauce, peppercorns, brown sugar, and bay leaves and stir until well-mixed.
  • Add vinegar (DO NOT MIX) and cover the skillet with a lid. Wait until contents reach a boil before stirring.
  • Simmer: Once the liquid reaches a boil, return short ribs back to the braiser and add water. Bring to a boil, turn off heat, then cover with the lid and transfer to the oven. Cook for 2-2½ hours, or until tender, flipping short ribs once at the halfway mark.
  • Skim unwanted oil from the top just before serving and discard any loose bones. Serve hot with Jasmine rice.
  • Enjoy!
Keywords beef adobo, beef in adobo sauce, beef ribs adobo, briased beef adobo, filipino adobo, filipino adobo beef, filipino adobo ingredients, filipino adobo recipe, filipino-style adobo
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easy-filipino-beef-adobo

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9 Comments

  1. Jonathan says...

    5 stars
    Outstanding! Always looking for flavorful dishes on my nights and this was loved by the entire family. Adding to my rotation of dad dinners.

  2. Jamie St. Cyr says...

    5 stars
    So delicious! I made this with boneless chicken thighs and it was so delicious! Even my kids were coming into the kitchen asking what that smell was. I look forward to making again (so easy) and trying other meats.

  3. Morgan says...

    5 stars
    Just wow. Saw your video on Buzzfeed Tasty and had to try it. My husband and I loved it! Ours took 2 hours and 15 minutes to cook and the meat just falls a part. Keeper of a recipe.

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jeri-mobley

Hey, I'm Jeri!

At Whisper of Yum, we explore ALL cuisines - comfort foods, classics, elevated originals. If you love food like me, I invite you to settle in to this place, where swoon-worthy food is attainable + inspo for your next meal awaits.

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