Grilled Adobo Pork

Photography: Randy Mayor; Styling: Jan Gautro

The word adobo comes from the Spanish verb adobar, meaning "to season or marinate" usually in a tangy, vinegary sauce. The author fell in love with adobo's pungency and enjoyed tasting different versions across Mexico. Serve this alongside steamed long-grain rice mixed with corn and cilantro.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 pork chop and about 1 1/2 tablespoons sauce)
Recipe from Cooking Light

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Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 224
  • Calories from fat: 32%
  • Fat: 7.9g
  • Saturated fat: 2.6g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 3.1g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 1.1g
  • Protein: 27.9g
  • Carbohydrate: 10.1g
  • Fiber: 3.1g
  • Cholesterol: 69mg
  • Iron: 2.3mg
  • Sodium: 316mg
  • Calcium: 42mg


  • Cooking spray
  • 3 ancho chiles
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/4 small onion, peeled
  • 1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Dash of ground allspice
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 (6-ounce) bone-in center-cut pork chops (about 1/2 inch thick), trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice


  1. Heat a large skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Remove stems and seeds from chiles. Tear chiles into large pieces; place in skillet. Cook 15 seconds or until thoroughly heated, turning pieces occasionally (be careful not to burn chiles); remove from pan. Add garlic and onion to pan; cook 5 minutes or until browned, turning frequently.
  2. Combine chiles, garlic, onion, broth, and next 4 ingredients (broth through allspice) in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in 1 tablespoon vinegar. Bring to a simmer; cook 5 minutes or until chiles are soft. Remove from heat; cool slightly. Place half of chile mixture in a blender; process until smooth. Pour puréed mixture into a small bowl; repeat procedure with remaining chile mixture.
  3. Heat skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add chile mixture; cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in sugar and salt. Cool completely.
  4. Combine 1/2 cup chile mixture and 1 tablespoon vinegar in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add the pork chops to bag; seal bag. Marinate pork in refrigerator 8 hours or overnight, turning bag occasionally. Combine remaining chile mixture with orange juice and lime juice; cover and refrigerate.
  5. Prepare grill.
  6. Place the reserved sauce in a small saucepan; cook over medium heat 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
  7. Remove pork from bag, reserving marinade. Place pork on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 4 minutes on each side or until thermometer registers 160° (slightly pink), basting frequently with reserved marinade. Remove from heat; top with warm sauce.
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