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Filipino Lamb Adobo with Sri Lankan Pol Sambol

This is a lamb version of Filipino Adobo that I accompanied with a Sri Lankan Pol Sambol to cut some of the acidity and add a little heat. Each of the elements on their own are too strong of a flavor, but they combine into the perfect dish. The original inspiration for this dish came from a recipe from Margarita Fores, but the preparation was my adaptation.

Veggie Pickle: 15 Servings

7 oz-wt Radishes (sliced thin)

1 Onion (thin sliced half moons)

2 cups Cabbage (sliced)

11/2 oz-wt Ginger (julienned)

1 Carrot (julienned)

1 Red Pepper (julienned)

4 Garlic Cloves (sliced thin)

1 Bay leaf

3/4 cup Rice Vinegar

1/4 cup Coconut Vinegar

3/4 cup Sugar

2 tbsp Course Kosher Salt

1 tbsp Peppercorn

The pickle needs to be made in advance and left in the fridge overnight. Cut all of the vegetables and add them to a large jar. Add in the rest of the ingredients and mix thoroughly. Leave overnight. Feel free to modify this if there is something else you want to add. For a flair of color you could mix in red cabbage right before serving or add some julienned chilies to add a bit of heat.

Lamb Adobo: 6 Servings

5 lb Lamb shoulder (2-inch cubes)

2 tbsp Oil for frying

5 cloves Garlic

1 cup Coconut Vinegar

1/2 cup Balsamic Vinegar

3/4 cup Tamari or Soy Sauce

1 Tbsp Honey

1/2 oz-wt Peppercorn

5 Bay Leaves

2 sprigs Lemon thyme

garnish Micro greens or scallions

For the lamb start by setting a clay pot or dutch oven on the stove with the oil in it (if you have neither, then any large pot will do). Add the garlic cloves and lamb. Saute until the lamb starts to brown. Add the vinegar, tamari, peppercorn, lemon thyme and bay leaf. Cover and cook for 1.5 hours or until the lamb is soft.

Pol Sambol:

2 cups Shredded Coconut (raw and unsweetened)

1 Lime

1 tbsp Chili Powder (Adjust the amount of chili powder according to your heat preferences and use plain chili powder not the blended Mexican chili powder)

1/4 tsp Salt

If you have a mortar and pestle that is the best thing to make this in. If you don't just put it in a bowl and mix by hand. Add all of the ingredients and using the pestle grind them together until the coconut is a more consistent size and everything is well incorporated. Taste and adjust the lime and salt accordingly. The exact proportions depend on the coconut you use so it will vary slightly every time.


2 cups Red Rice

4 cups Water

pinch salt and pepper

Rice cookers are a blessing. If you have one add the ingredients and turn it on you have perfect rice every time. If you don't have a rice cooker (buy one they are cheap) then just use a sauce pan with a lid. Bring the rice to a boil then turn to a low simmer with the lid slightly ajar.

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