How many calories are in one serving of pork adobo?

Pork adobo is a popular Filipino dish made with pork, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, and bay leaves. It’s a delicious combination of sweet and salty flavors. But many people wonder just how many calories are in a serving of this tasty dish.

In this article, we’ll break down the calorie content in pork adobo to help you understand how it fits into a balanced diet. We’ll look at the calories in the individual ingredients, typical portion sizes, and how preparation methods can alter the calorie content.

Whether you’re Filipino and grew up with adobo or you’re eager to try this iconic dish, knowing the calorie count can help you practice healthy portion control. So read on for a full nutrition analysis of calories in pork adobo.

Calories in the Main Ingredients of Pork Adobo

The primary ingredients that make up pork adobo include:

– Pork – The type of pork used can range from pork belly, pork shoulder, or pork loin.
– Soy sauce – This provides a salty, umami flavor.
– Vinegar – Usually white or apple cider vinegar. Imparts a sour taste.
– Garlic
– Bay leaves
– Peppercorns
– Cooking oil

Let’s break down the calories found in a typical serving of each ingredient:


The calorie content of pork depends on the cut used:

– Pork tenderloin (3 oz serving) – 122 calories
– Pork chops (3 oz serving) – 153 calories
– Pork belly (3 oz serving) – 179 calories

Pork shoulder and pork belly are fattier cuts that will be higher in calories. Leaner cuts like pork tenderloin will have fewer calories.

Soy Sauce

One tablespoon of soy sauce contains about:

– 8 calories


One tablespoon of vinegar contains minimal calories – generally 1-3 calories depending on the type.


One clove of garlic (3 grams) contains about:

– 5 calories

Bay Leaves

Bay leaves are very low in calories. There are negligible calories in the small amount used as seasoning.


Like bay leaves, peppercorns provide almost no calories.

Cooking Oil

The cooking oil used can significantly affect the calorie content. One tablespoon of different oils contains:

– Olive oil – 119 calories
– Vegetable oil – 124 calories
– Coconut oil – 116 calories
– Canola oil – 124 calories

So ingredients like pork, soy sauce, cooking oil, and garlic make up the majority of calories in pork adobo. The vinegar, bay leaves, and peppercorns add tons of flavor without many calories.

Calories in a Serving of Pork Adobo

Now that we know the calories in the individual components, how many calories are in a typical serving of pork adobo?

This depends on a few factors:

Grams of Pork Per Serving

The more pork included, the higher the calories. A serving could contain anywhere from 2-6 ounces of pork.

A 3 ounce serving of pork tenderloin would contain about 122 calories. Double the pork and you’d double the calories.

Amount of Oil Used

Since oil is high in fat and calories, the amount used to sauté the pork makes a difference.

For example, 1 tablespoon of oil would add about 120 calories.

extras Added

Ingredients like potatoes, carrots, bell peppers, or peas are sometimes added to pork adobo. This increases the calories per serving.

A 1/2 cup serving of each ingredient roughly contains:

– Diced potatoes – 67 calories
– Chopped carrots – 25 calories
– Bell pepper – 20 calories
– Peas – 60 calories

So vegetable additions can increase the total calorie count by 100-200 calories or more.

Serving Size

Finally, the total serving size affects the calorie count.

Here are some estimates for typical serving sizes of pork adobo:

– 1 cup – 300-500 calories
– 2 cups – 600-1000 calories
– 3 cups – 900-1500 calories

As you increase the serving size, you increase the quantity of pork, oil, and other ingredients. So the calories add up.

A small 1 cup serving with lean pork and minimal oil would be around 300 calories. A large 2-3 cup serving could be up to 1000-1500 calories.

Low Calorie Recipe Swaps

If you’re looking to lighten up this Filipino staple, there are a few ingredient swaps you can make to reduce the calories in pork adobo:

– Use a leaner cut of pork like tenderloin instead of belly.
– Reduce the amount of oil – try spraying the pan with olive oil spray before sautéing.
– Skip added starchy veggies like potatoes.
– Use vinegar and bay leaves to add big flavor without calories.
– Choose lower sodium soy sauce.
– Increase veggies like string beans, broccoli, cauliflower or leafy greens.

With these simple tweaks, you can cut over 100 calories per serving.

How to Estimate Calories in Homemade Pork Adobo

It can be tricky to determine the exact calories in homemade pork adobo, since amounts vary based on personal recipes.

Here are some tips:

– Weigh pork raw so you know exact ounces.
– Measure oil, soy sauce, vinegar in tablespoons.
– Track any extra ingredients and servings.
– Enter the amounts of each ingredient into a calorie counting app or online recipe calculator. This will provide a calorie estimate.
– Divide into portions to get calories per serving.

The most important factors are the grams of pork and amount of cooking oil used. Vinegar, soy sauce, and spices have minimal impact.

Even without precise calorie info, you can still make reasonable estimates based on the main ingredients.

Nutrition Benefits of Pork Adobo

Now that we’ve covered the calorie content, let’s discuss some of the key nutrients found in pork adobo:


The pork provides a good source of protein. A 3 ounce serving of pork contains about:

– 25 grams protein

Protein helps maintain and repair muscles while keeping you feeling full.


Pork contains heme iron, which is absorbed well by the body. A serving of pork adobo provides:

– 3 mg iron (15% DV)

Iron carries oxygen, supports energy, and keeps your immune system strong.


Pork is rich in thiamin (vitamin B1). You’ll get around:

– 0.7 mg thiamin (30% DV)

Thiamin is required for energy metabolism and nerve function.


Zinc supports the immune system and growth. Pork adobo provides about:

– 2 mg zinc (15% DV)


The soy sauce in adobo is high in potassium. A serving contains about:

– 300 mg potassium (7% DV)

Potassium helps muscles contract and regulates fluid balance.

So in addition to protein, pork adobo delivers key micronutrients like iron, thiamin, zinc, and potassium when eaten in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

Making Healthy Choices with Pork Adobo

Here are some final tips for enjoying pork adobo as part of a healthy lifestyle:

– Stick with reasonable portion sizes around 1 cup.
– Enjoy adobo as part of an overall balanced diet based on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats.
– Balance higher calorie adobo dishes with lower calorie options at other meals.
– Make it yourself instead of ordering take-out so you can control ingredients.
– Sub in extra veggies instead of starchy sides to increase nutrients and fiber.
– Sauté in cooking spray or small amounts of healthy oils like olive or canola instead of large amounts of coconut or vegetable oils.
– Pair adobo with steamed rice, a rice substitute like cauliflower rice, or a salad.
– Drink water as your beverage instead of sugary drinks like soda or juice.

With smart portions and savvy substitutions, you can feel good about continuing this delicious Filipino food tradition. Pork adobo can be part of healthy, home-cooked meal while controlling your calories.


So how many calories are in pork adobo? There’s no single answer since it depends on portion size, ingredients, and preparation method. But a typical 1 cup serving made with lean pork contains roughly 300-500 calories.

Controlling portions and using leaner meats, extra veggies, and less oil can help lighten up this classic dish. Adobo can provide protein, essential vitamins, and minerals when enjoyed as part of varied diet. Consider your individual calorie needs and get creative with ingredient swaps to make this Filipino favorite fit your healthy lifestyle.

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