Adobo Dry Rub Recipe - Traditional Filipino Flavor

Adobo Dry Rub

Adobo Dry Rub Recipe - Traditional Filipino Flavor
Region / culture: Philippines | Preparation time: 5 minutes | Servings: 30


Adobo Dry Rub
Adobo Dry Rub

The Adobo Dry Rub is a versatile and flavorful seasoning blend that brings a rich, savory depth to a wide variety of dishes. This recipe combines the earthiness of garlic and onion with the warmth of black pepper and turmeric, rounded off with the aromatic touch of oregano. Perfect for meats, vegetables, and even tofu, this rub promises to elevate your cooking with its robust flavor profile.


Adobo seasoning has its roots in Spanish cuisine, but it has been adopted and adapted by many cultures around the world, particularly in Latin America and the Philippines. Each region has added its own twist to the recipe, incorporating local ingredients and adjusting the proportions to suit their palate. This version of the Adobo Dry Rub is a fusion that highlights the best of these global influences, offering a universal seasoning that complements a wide array of dishes.


How to prepare

  1. Combine the ingredients thoroughly and transfer the mixture into an airtight container. Store for a maximum of 6 months.


  • Feel free to adjust the spice levels to suit your taste. Add more black pepper or a pinch of cayenne for heat, increase the garlic for a more robust flavor, or incorporate smoked paprika for a smoky twist. The recipe is highly customizable.
  • For a spicier version, add 1 tablespoon of cayenne pepper or chili powder. For a sweeter rub, incorporate 2 tablespoons of brown sugar or coconut sugar. These variations can help tailor the rub to specific dishes or personal taste preferences.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

For the best flavor, it's recommended to apply the rub to your protein or vegetables at least an hour before cooking, allowing the seasonings to penetrate and infuse the food. For an even more intense flavor, consider leaving it on overnight in the refrigerator. When applying the rub, ensure that it's evenly distributed over the surface for a consistent flavor in every bite.

Serving Suggestions

The Adobo Dry Rub is incredibly versatile. It can be used to season chicken, beef, pork, fish, and even vegetables before grilling, roasting, or sautéing. It also works well as a seasoning for marinades and salad dressings for an extra flavor kick.

Cooking Techniques

This rub can be applied directly to the surface of foods or mixed with a little olive oil to create a paste for a more even application. For best results, rub the seasoning in with your hands, ensuring all surfaces are well-coated.

Ingredient Substitutions

If garlic or onion powder is not available, you can substitute them with finely minced fresh garlic or onion, though the shelf life of the rub will be significantly reduced. Paprika can be used in place of turmeric for a different flavor profile.

Make Ahead Tips

The Adobo Dry Rub can be made in large batches and stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 6 months. Making it ahead of time ensures you always have a flavorful seasoning on hand for quick and easy meal preparation.

Presentation Ideas

For an attractive presentation, sprinkle a small amount of the rub around the edge of the plate or atop the cooked food as a garnish. This not only adds a pop of color but also introduces a hint of the flavor to come.

Pairing Recommendations

This rub pairs well with a wide range of side dishes, from simple grilled vegetables to complex carbohydrate-rich foods like rice or quinoa salads. Its versatile flavor profile complements both light and hearty dishes.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store the Adobo Dry Rub in an airtight container in a cool, dry place to maintain its potency. There is no need for refrigeration. When seasoning cooked food that will be stored and reheated, ensure the food is reheated to the appropriate temperature to maintain food safety.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

The entire batch of Adobo Dry Rub contains approximately 120 calories. Given that this mixture is used sparingly to season food, the calorie addition to individual servings is minimal, making it a calorie-friendly option for flavoring dishes.


This Adobo Dry Rub is low in carbohydrates, with the primary sources being garlic and onion powders. In total, the entire mixture contains approximately 24 grams of carbohydrates, making it an excellent choice for those following a low-carb or ketogenic diet.


The Adobo Dry Rub is virtually fat-free, making it an excellent choice for adding flavor without adding fat. This characteristic makes it suitable for a variety of dietary preferences, including low-fat diets.


This seasoning mix is protein-free. However, it is designed to enhance the flavor of protein-rich foods, making it a valuable addition to any meal where protein is a key component.

Vitamins and minerals

The spices in this rub, particularly turmeric and garlic, are known for their health benefits. Turmeric is rich in curcumin, a powerful antioxidant, while garlic provides selenium, vitamin C, and manganese. Oregano is also a good source of vitamin K.


This Adobo Dry Rub is free from common allergens such as nuts, dairy, soy, and gluten. However, those with specific spice allergies or sensitivities should review the ingredients list carefully.


Overall, the Adobo Dry Rub is a health-conscious choice for adding flavor to dishes. It is low in calories, carbohydrates, and fats, and contains no protein. It also offers nutritional benefits from the vitamins and minerals present in the spices used.


The Adobo Dry Rub is a flavorful, versatile, and easy-to-make seasoning that can enhance a wide variety of dishes. With its rich history and health-conscious profile, it's a great addition to any kitchen. Whether you're looking to spice up your weeknight dinners or impress guests at your next barbecue, this rub is sure to become a staple in your culinary repertoire.

How did I get this recipe?

I distinctly remember the moment I stumbled upon this recipe for Adobo Dry Rub. It was a hot summer day, and I was rummaging through an old recipe book that my mother had passed down to me. As I flipped through the pages, a faded piece of paper fell out and landed on the kitchen counter. Curious, I picked it up and read the handwritten words on it: "Adobo Dry Rub."

I had never heard of Adobo Dry Rub before, but the ingredients listed seemed familiar to me – garlic, onion, cumin, oregano, paprika, salt, and pepper. It sounded like a delicious blend of spices that would surely enhance any dish it was used on. I decided to give it a try.

As I began to mix the spices together, the aroma that wafted up from the bowl was intoxicating. The combination of garlic and cumin filled the air, making my mouth water in anticipation. I knew that this Adobo Dry Rub was going to be something special.

I recalled a memory from my childhood, of my grandmother cooking in the kitchen. She always had a way of making the simplest dishes taste extraordinary with her secret blends of spices and seasonings. I had learned so much from her over the years, and I knew that she would be proud of me for experimenting with this new recipe.

I coated a few chicken thighs with the Adobo Dry Rub and let them marinate for a few hours before grilling them on the barbecue. The smell of the spices sizzling on the hot grill was heavenly, and I couldn't wait to taste the finished dish.

When the chicken was finally done cooking, I plated it up and took a bite. The flavors exploded in my mouth – the garlic and cumin were bold and flavorful, while the oregano added a subtle earthiness. The paprika gave the dish a beautiful color, and the salt and pepper brought everything together perfectly.

I knew that I had stumbled upon something truly special with this Adobo Dry Rub recipe. It was a new favorite in my household, and I made sure to share it with all of my friends and family. They all raved about the delicious flavors and begged me for the recipe.

Over the years, I have continued to perfect the Adobo Dry Rub recipe, tweaking the proportions of spices and experimenting with different variations. I have added a touch of smoked paprika for a deeper flavor, and a pinch of cayenne pepper for a little heat. Each time I make it, I think of my grandmother and the love and passion she put into every dish she created.

I am grateful for the memories and lessons she passed down to me, and I am proud to carry on her legacy through my cooking. The Adobo Dry Rub recipe will always hold a special place in my heart, as a reminder of the joy and connection that food can bring to our lives. And I have no doubt that my grandmother is looking down on me with a smile, knowing that her love for cooking has been passed down through the generations.


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