Uncle Roger Defends Adobo as a Chef Attempts to Westernize the Dish

IMAGE ALBIN OLSSON (CC BY-SA 4.0); ROMEL LAPAY, SHUTTERSTOCK

YouTube sensation and food critic Nigel Ng, more popularly known by his stage name “Uncle Roger,” has lashed out at American chef, restaurateur, and television personality Geoffrey Zakarian, who attempted to remake the Filipino adobo.

“Parlsey in Filipino Adobo?!” quipped Uncle Roger. “This dish has many variations. Everybody makes it in different ways, so it’s hard to fuck up. But this nephew Geoffrey, wearing a suit to make Asian food, haiiiya.. Uncle Roger don’t have good feelings about this.”

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But it wasn’t only parsley that irked the notorious Uncle Roger. Zakarian also put a hefty amount of onions—not unheard of but unconventional—in his version of adobo. 

Zakarian first introduced the ingredients for chicken adobo: Soy sauce, vinegar, and crushed peppercorn. But everything went downhill after Zakarian added habanero, a popular chili in Mexico. Traditional Filipino adobo does not use chili

“Habanero don’t even grow in the Philippines!” exclaimed Uncle Roger. 

“Usually, Filipino food is not even spicy, why put chili in there? But if you want to put chili, use Filipino chili!” he adds. 

Too Little Garlic, Too Much Onions

Garlic is one of the key ingredients that’s highlighted in the taste profile of Filipino adobo. In Zakarian’s westernized version of the dish, garlic was reduced to what seemed like a single clove sliced into tiny slivers. But he was very generous with the white onion, covering the entire dish with heaps of caramelized onion rings. 

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The disproportionate amount of ingredients finally broke Uncle Roger. “Use the right amount, not the White amount!”

We hear you, Uncle. And thanks for defending the Filipino adobo. 

Watch Uncle Roger’s  full reaction video on Filipino adobo below. 



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