Adobong Bisaya (Visayan Crispy Fried Pork Adobo)

To make adobong Bisaya, pork is braised until tender then fried until crispy. The braising liquid is reduced to make a saucy adobo sawsawan.
3–4 servings
Prep Time
10 Mins
Active Time
40 Mins

What is adobong Bisaya? In Ryle’s household, it’s nagmamantikang adobo: adobo reduced until the sauce has completely evaporated and a film of rendered fat emerges. That fat essentially becomes the sauce of the dish.

What is Adobo?
Adobo refers to the Filipino dish and cooking technique where ingredients are braised in vinegar with salt (usually soy sauce), garlic, peppercorns, and bay leaves. Almost anything can be adobo: meat, fish, seafood, vegetables. You’ll find endless variations on adobo across the Philippines, each with their own unique flavors, ingredients, spices, and textures.

Other recipes characterize adobong Bisaya by the frying that comes after braising. Once the meat has softened and absorbed the flavorful braising liquid, it’s shallow-fried until crusty all over, forming a crispy bite. Some cooks claim this step locks in the juices, but this isn't true—frying can actually dry out your meat more. So fry quickly in hot, hot oil!

The leftover adobo braising liquid is reduced into a thick sauce, then served as a sawsawan for the fried meat.

Pork belly has enough fat to withstand braising and frying, all while keeping moisture and that garlicky-acidic adobo flavor in. We start it off with an adobong puti-style braise of just vinegar and salt. The soy sauce comes in later in the adobo sauce, imparting a rich umami to balance out the tangy fried pork.


  • 2 tbsp neutral oil, more for frying
  • 8–12 garlic cloves, peeled and lightly smashed
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 700g pork liempo (pork belly), cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup white or coconut vinegar
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 2–3 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar (optional)

Cook pork: Heat oil in a large pan or pot over medium-high heat. Add garlic and black peppercorns. Cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add pork liempo, water, vinegar, salt, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium or medium-low to maintain a simmer. Cover pan and cook pork until tender, about 20–30 minutes.


Make adobo sauce: Uncover pan and remove pork from the braising liquid; set aside. Add soy sauce and brown sugar (if using) to the pan. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring frequently, until sugar is dissolved and liquid has reduced by half and has the consistency of thin gravy. Remove from heat and set sauce aside.


Fry pork: Add neutral oil to a small frying pan until about ½-inch deep. Heat the oil over medium-high, then fry the pork at 350°F or higher until golden brown on all sides. The pork is already cooked at this point, so the point of frying is to get it crispy. Make sure your oil is hot so you can fry quickly—not-hot oil will cause your pork to cook longer and soak in the oil.

Transfer fried pork to a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess oil.


Serve: Serve fried pork with steamed rice and adobo sauce on the side. Use the adobo sauce as a dip, or pour it all over your pork as you eat.


Grace Tanfelix (@gracetanfelix) on TikTok

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