Houston celebrates adobo season with local festival cook-off

SUGARLAND, TX —  Mixing vinegar, soy sauce and spices with a variety of meats, adobo recipes have yielded hundreds of varieties of the famous Filipino dish.

And the popularity of the dish is spreading throughout southeast Texas, with foodies looking forward to adobo festivals becoming regular events in Houston.

“I think the palate of Houston and the greater Houston area is growing and is ready for the Filipino culture to make its presence known. So, it is wonderful we get the opportunity to celebrate this, hopefully each year going forward,” says Rev. Eurel Manzano, Pastor of St. Theresa’s Catholic Church.

Aspiring adobo masters converged in Sugarland, to kick off the spring season by competing in the local adobo cookoff.

“We put some sardines into the marinade. Everything else stayed traditional, and we also added a flour-based sauce on top. Flour with butter on top,” said David Cheong.

“Onions. You have to put onions. With the garlic and soy sauce. You have to put onions. And cook it all together,” said Lina Sarmiento.


Attendees not only enjoyed the delicious food. The Filipino Young Professionals of Houston cultural performers entertained the crowd with traditional Filipino dance and Pinoy games.

Organizers of the event say that Filipino cooking is more than just an ethnic cuisine style. And that adobo reflects our history as well.

“There’s so many different things about the Filipino culture. Faith, food, family, that we want to share so we thought, hey, why not give people an opportunity all of that as well,” said Manzano.


For the estimated 300 in attendance who had not tried adobo, the spicy flavors and the irresistible aromas was a tastebud treat.

The church has big plans next year to create an annual citywide culinary event, hoping to further spread the gospel of adobo.


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