Beef Short Rib Adobo w/Coconut Milk

There are many variations to cooking Filipino Adobo. Visit 100 Filipino houses for dinner and you’ll get 100 slightly different Adobos. It starts off the same: soy sauce or salt, vinegar, garlic, bay leaves, black pepper. But some like it spicy, some like it saltier, some more sour, others a little sweet.

One day, my wife told me about adding coconut milk. It was the first time I ever heard of it. I went through a whole childhood never seeing it on the dinner table.

But I was intrigued. My ears perked up, eyes grew wide, mouth salivated. My mind was blown. That’s actually my same reaction when my wife wears a new dress to a fancy dinners. She’s still the same person but all dolled up in a dress I hadn’t seen before while we switch gears for the evening.

Adobo Sa Gata, or Adobo with Coconut Milk is still Adobo, but the coconut milk brings something different, something enticing to the table.


  • 3 Lbs Beef Short Ribs
  • 1 Cup Vinegar
  • 1/2 Cup Soy Sauce
  • 1 (14 Oz.) Can Coconut Milk
  • 1 Head Garlic (Cloves smashed and peeled)
  • 2-3 Chili Peppers of your choice (Serrano, Jalapeño, or Thai Fingers work fine. Remove and set aside the seeds. Sliced)
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 Teaspoon Black Peppercorns (Freshly Cracked)
  1. Pour oil in the the pot over high heat. Wait for at least minute or two for the pot to come up to temperature. Once sizzling hot (you can drop a couple drops of water to check) sear the meat over high heat until almond colored brown on all sides, about 2-3 minutes per side.
  2. Remove the meat, set aside, and lower stove flames to medium-low heat.
  3. Throw in the bay leaves, pepper, half the chillies, and garlic and sauté until the garlic softens and slightly browns, about 1 minute.
  4. Deglaze the pot by pouring in half of the braising liquid and scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon, being sure to scrape as much of the browned bits at the bottom so that they get incorporated into the liquid as you can.
  5. Pour in the remaining braising liquid and stir.
  6. Return the meat to the pot.
  7. Increase the heat to high to bring the pot to a boil.
  8. Once boiling, braise by reducing the heat to the lowest setting possible to put the pot to a simmer and cover for 1.5 hours
  9. Uncover pot, stir, and continue to braise until meat is tender and can easily be cut with a spoon or butter knife, about 45 minutes.
  10. Uncover, remove the meat and set aside on a clean plate or bowl. Continue to simmer the sauce until it reduces to thicken, about 15 minutes.
  11. Add the remaining chillies, and season to taste by adding any additional soy sauce, vinegar or salt to your liking if needed.
  12. Serve.

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