If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to eat, Adobada or al Pastor are two of the best options. They both have crusty, spicy layers of flavor and melt-in-your-mouth goodness—but which one is better?
The two dishes are sure to delight any palate with a varied menu offering flavors ranging from spicy to sweet. The subtle differences in flavor of these two dishes make each unique, yet both share that staple barbecue taste lacking in many other cuisines.
This article compares both dishes and helps you choose the best for your waistline.
Adobada vs al Pastor: Overview
All about Adobada
Adobada is a Spanish term for “marinated,” and it’s what you’ll find on the menu of most Mexican restaurants. It’s a pork shoulder that’s been cooked for hours, sometimes days, in an intense bath of salt and other spices like garlic, onion and chipotle chiles. The result is delicious and deeply flavorful — as much about the pork as it is about the spices.
Adobadas is often served with tortillas or cilantro rice on the side. They’re so popular that you can find adobadas in most Mexican markets and even at some supermarkets. The best part about adobada is that it’s so easy to make!
You must season the pork shoulder well with salt and pepper, then place it in a large aluminum foil. After that, you can fry or barbecue the meat until it’s tender and juicy.
All about al Pastor
Al pastor is Mexican grilled meat made with pork and marinated in a spicy, tangy, smoky sauce. It is typically used as a taco filling or served as an entrée. You can make Al, pastor with pork, chicken or even beef. It is simple to make, but it takes time to marinate the meat before grilling.
The traditional al pastor recipe uses two chiles to flavor the meat: poblano and guajillo peppers. The poblano pepper has a mild flavor that pairs well with the other ingredients, while the guajillo chile has a strong flavor that stands out against the other flavors in the dish. You can use either type of chili in your recipe if you prefer its flavor over another type.
Al pastor is traditionally made with shaved pork shoulder cut into thin strips. The meat is then marinated in a spicy, tangy and smoky sauce before being grilled on a vertical spit rotisserie over an open flame on top of a charcoal fire pit or grill until golden brown cooked through.
The best part about this dish is that it only takes 20 minutes to prepare! It’s perfect for your next get-together because it can be served on its own or with rice or beans as part of an appetizer spread.
How Adobada and Al pastor compare
Adobada and al pastor are the two most popular Mexican dishes. Both are made from pork but aren’t identical. The adobo marinade for adobado (Adobada) is made with vinegar, garlic, peppercorns, bay leaves and oregano. It’s cooked with the meat in a closed, dry environment for about 4 hours.
Al pastor is made with pork shoulder meat marinated in a tomato sauce. In true Mexican style, it is grilled over charcoal and served with pineapple slices and onions on top of the meat. Here is how these two dishes compare
The Taste Test
The first thing you’ll notice when comparing these two is their taste. Adobada is slightly sweeter than al pastor and has more of a smoky flavor to it. This is because it’s marinated with different spices like garlic, chilli peppers and lemon juice before being grilled over charcoal or mesquite wood fire.
Al pastor uses pineapple instead of lemon juice with chillies stacked in its marinade. Both are delicious, but it’s hard to say which tastes better than the other since they’re both similar in the flavor profile.
Similarities Between Adobada and Al pastor
Adobada and Al pastor are similar in many ways.
- They are both pork products
Both Adobada and al pastor are made from pork shoulder. So, they share similar nutritional properties.
- They are both grilled meats
Adobada and al pastor are both grilled meats. The adobo marinade for the adobada is made from vinegar and soy sauce, which gives this pork dish its signature tangy flavor. The al pastor marinade uses garlic, oregano and other spices to create a rich, smoky flavor.
- You can serve them with rice and beans, guacamole and salsa, or on a taco
Both adobada and al pastor are popular street foods in Mexico City, where they’re called tacos al pastor (taco with the rotating spit). In fact, many people think of tacos al pastor as “Mexican tacos” rather than just as pork dishes. They’re found at restaurants specializing in either adobada or al pastor (and sometimes both).
These two dishes only differ in their preparation and cooking.
Adobada vs al Pastor; Which is better?
You don’t have to choose between the two—you can enjoy them simultaneously. That’s right, Adobada and al Pastor are perfect together, according to our research.
However, if you like your tacos spicy and tangy, you’ll love adobada because it has more flavor than al pastor. But if you want something with more heat but less flavor then al pastor might be your best bet because it will still provide heat without overwhelming your palate with too much spice.
Both options are delicious, so if you’re ever stuck deciding between them, just choose whichever one sounds better to you at the time!
Here are two different ways to prepare the same pork. Both are very popular at Mexican taquerias and can be made out of pork shoulder, the difference being how they are cooked.
However, the one you prefer will depend on your taste and preference: Adobada is smokier and spicier, while al Pastor has a more floral touch from its marinade. This goes without saying: You should try both types before deciding which one you prefer and label it “best”. They’re both pretty different yet equally delicious!