Roughly cut the pork into 3 cm cubes, cut the onion into 2 cm wedges, and lightly crush the garlic. Add the ☆ marinade ingredients, and marinate for 2 hours at room temperature.
Add the water and a pinch of salt, and turn on the heat. When it comes to a boil, turn down the heat to low, and simmer for about 1 1/2 hours until the meat becomes tender, skimming off the scum from time to time.
Add the coconut milk to Step 2, turn up the heat a little, and simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
When the cooking sauce has reduced, and it turns shiny, it's done!
Serve on a plate, and garnish with the bay leaves. To make this dish even tastier, roughly chop or crush black peppercorns (not listed), and sprinkle them on top.
Adobo made with wine: Marinate the meat with the following ingredients. Soy sauce, mirin, rice vinegar: 1 tablespoon each, wine: 2 tablespoons, 1 bay leaf, and black peppercorns.
The steps are the same except for Step 3, since it is made without coconut milk. (This one is delicious if you add boiled eggs and carrots).
Story Behind this Recipe
I often make adobo when we have guests. It's been 25 years since I started making it! I normally use chicken drumettes and pork shoulders, and season it with red wine, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and mirin. But, I made this one with the ingredients you use to make Pina Colada (a name of a cocktail, which also means pineapple juice).
You can make this more authentic if you use pork, chicken thigh and drumettes. "Adobo" means "marinate" in Spanish. If you marinate the meat in the fridge, marinate it for a few hours, then take it out of the fridge 30 minutes before simmering. In Step 2, if there is not enough liquid in the pot before the meat becomes tender, add some water.