Adobo is Spanish for sauce, seasoning, or marinade used in Latin American and Southwest U.S.-style cooking. The noun form describes a marinade or seasoning mix. Recipes vary widely by region: Puerto Rican adobo, a rub used principally on meats, differs greatly from the Mexican variety. Meat marinated or seasoned with an adobo is referred to having been adobada or adobado.
Adobo relates to marinated dishes such as chipotles en adobo or chipotles in adobo sauce is a condiment in which chipotles (smoked ripe jalapeño peppers) are stewed in a sauce with tomatoes, garlic, vinegar, salt, and spices. The spices vary, but generally include several types of peppers (in addition to the chipotle and most likely those on hand), ground cumin and dried oregano. Some recipes include orange juice and lemon or lime juices. They often include a pinch of brown sugar just to offset any bitter taste.
Adobo is prepared in regions of Latin America and Spain. Pork, spices, and especially red pepper are used. Dishes with the borrowed name, but with different cultural roots, are prepared in the Philippines.
Puerto Rican-style adobo
Adobo is a seasoned salt that is generously sprinkled or rubbed on meats and seafood prior to grilling, sauteing, or frying. Supermarkets sell prepared blends like Goya. There are two types of adobo on the island. One is a wet rub called adobo mojado. It consists of crushed garlic, olive oil, salt, black pepper, dry or fresh orégano brujo, citrus juice or vinegar or a mix of 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 consists of garlic powder, onion powder, salt, black pepper, dry orégano brujo, and sometimes dried citrus zest.
In Filipino cuisine, adobo refers to a common cooking process indigenous to the Philippines. When the Spanish invaded the Philippines in the late 16th century through Mexico City, they found an indigenous cooking process that involved stewing with vinegar. They referred to this method as "adobo". Over time, dishes prepared in this manner came to be known by this name as well.