Are you looking for a delicious and easy-to-make chicken dish? Look no further than the Filipino Adobo Recipe recipe! This classic dish from the Philippines is sure to impress your taste buds with its unique blend of salty and tangy flavors. In this article, we’ll show you how to make this delicious dish step-by-step, and answer some commonly asked questions about Filipino Chicken Adobo.

Filipino Chicken Adobo Recipe
Filipino Chicken Adobo Recipe

Filipino cuisine is known for its bold flavors, and Chicken Adobo is no exception. This dish is a staple in Filipino households, and for good reason. The combination of soy sauce, vinegar, and garlic creates a savory and tangy sauce that perfectly complements the tender chicken.

Whether you’re new to Filipino cuisine or a seasoned pro, our step-by-step recipe will guide you through making this delicious dish in no time. So grab your apron and let’s get cooking!

What is adobo chicken?

A dish and cooking process native to the Philippines, adobo refers to a method of marinating meat, seafood, or vegetables (pretty much anything!) in a combination of soy sauce and vinegar. This marinade also includes other herbs and flavorings such as garlic, bay leaves, and whole black peppercorns.

 Filipino Adobo
 Filipino Adobo

Cooking food in vinegar is not a foreign concept to us Filipinos. In pre-colonial times, our ancestors used to cook seafood in vinegar to preserve its freshness. Many consider adobo to be a spin on kinilaw, another traditional method of cooking it. Kinilaw primarily refers to raw seafood cooked in vinegar and spices. Another similar process is paxiv, which uses meat broth in vinegar and spices.

What really sets adobo apart is the presence of soy sauce in its marinade. While vinegar has a pungent aroma and a very distinct sour taste, soy sauce is both sweet and salty. A staple in any Asian household, soy sauce (or toyo) certainly helps bring out the savory flavor of chicken adobo.

Filipino Adobo Recipe

(Here’s a fun fact: Did you know that there are different types of soy sauce? In Japan specifically, there are five different types of soy sauce, each with its own unique flavor and use. The most common are What you’ll find in markets is the dark soy sauce, or koikuchi. With a darker color than most other types, dark soy sauce is packed with flavor—perfect for your chicken adobo!)

filipino adobo chicken
filipino adobo chicken

The recipe for adobo also includes dried bay leaves. Although you can’t eat them whole, bay leaves give this umami dish its subtle, deep flavor. It may not be the star of the show, but your chicken adobo wouldn’t be complete without it. However, you may choose to substitute this herb with basil if you cannot find it in stores.

Chicken Adobo Original

The famous chicken adobo originated in the Philippines. The dish is prepared using the Inadobo style of cooking. This means cooking meat or seafood with vinegar and mostly soy sauce. This is a popular method during the olden days when refrigerators and freezers were not yet available as vinegar helps in increasing the shelf life of the food. Another popular variation is pork adobo, using pork belly.

Adobo Recipe

Filipino Chicken Adobo Recipe

 Filipino Adobo Recipe

Looking for a delicious and easy-to-make chicken dish? Check out our Filipino Chicken Adobo recipe for a unique blend of salty and tangy flavors. Impress your taste buds with this classic dish from the Philippines!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 44 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Filipino
Servings 4
Calories 607 kcal


  • 2 lbs chicken thighs (bone-in, skin-on)
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 head cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ tbs whole black peppercorns
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tbs cooking oil
  • ¼ tbs salt



  • Chicken: Cut chicken into serving pieces before cooking. The cuts are usually small. For example, a regular piece of chicken breast can be divided into 2 to 3 pieces, depending on your preference.
  • Bay Leaves: This is an essential ingredient for Filipino adobo as far as I'm concerned. Dried bay leaves (locally called "dahon ng laurel") are commonly used as they are available throughout the year. It can also be stored for longer periods at room temperature. however, fresh leaves can also be used for this recipe.
  • Soy Sauce: I personally prefer Filipino brand soy sauce in making adobo. I have nothing against Kikkoman and other Asian brands, but the taste of the dish will be more authentic if local soy sauce is used.
  • Vinegar: White vinegar is the most common type used for adobo. Sometimes I also use cane or rice vinegar.
  • Garlic: Adobo should be garlic. Garlic can be roasted and boiled as in this recipe, or it can be toasted. I fried crushed garlic in oil and toasted it before adding the chicken. Sometimes I make extra roasted garlic so I have more for garnish later.
  • Sugar : This is an optional ingredient. Sugar is added to balance the saltiness of the dish. You can add more if you want your chicken adobo to be sweeter.
  • Salt: This is optional as the soy sauce is already salty. I add salt only when needed, which is not normal.
    Black pepper: It doesn't matter whether it is whole, ground, or crushed. Whole black pepper is still trad
  • nutrition information

Calories: 607 kcal (30%) Carbohydrate: 4 g (1%) Protein: 44 g (88%) Fat: 44 g (68%) Saturated fat: 10 g (50%) Cholesterol: 170 mg (57%) Sodium: 1317 mg (55%) Potassium: 496 mg (14%) Sugar: 1 g (1%) Vitamin A: 365 IU (7%) Vitamin C: 5.1 mg (6%) Calcium: 50 mg (5%) Iron: 3 mg (17%)

    Keyword Filipino Adobo Recipe

    How to Cook Chicken Adobo

    Cooking Chicken Adobo is quick and simple. This recipe suggests marinating the chicken to make it more flavourful. If you want to experience authentic Filipino Chicken Adobo then this is the best way to go. If you are in a hurry, feel free to skip this step, but make sure to boil the chicken for no more than 30 minutes to extract the best flavor from it.

    Start by marinating the chicken in soy sauce and garlic. Garlic needs to be crushed for best results. This process takes 1 hour to 12 hours depending on how flavourful you want the dish to be. Sometimes marinating for an hour is not enough. I think 3 hours is optimal. The chicken absorbs most of the flavors from the soy sauce and garlic during this step. This is noticeable when you taste the dish after cooking. Note that vinegar can also be added at this step.

    filipino adobo chicken
    filipino adobo chicken

    The next step is to separate the chicken from the marinade. Make sure to keep the marinade aside as it will be used later. Pan fry the chicken pieces for 1 to 1 ½ minutes per side. This will partially cook the outer part. This makes the skin tough enough to stew later. This means it will remain intact, which is good for presentation.

    Pour the marinade into the pot and add water. Let it boil. Bay leaves and whole black peppercorns can now be added. The process takes 20 to 25 minutes, depending on the quality of the chicken. However, feel free to cook longer over low heat for super tender chicken adobo.

    Add vinegar. It can also be added as part of a marinade. Let it cook for 10 minutes and then add sugar and salt. I add salt only when needed. It is important to taste your dish before adding seasonings.

    Filipino Chicken Adobo can be served with or without sauce. If you like it very savory then continue cooking in an open cooking pot till the liquid evaporates completely.

    Cooking Tips and Optional Ingredients

    Chicken Adobo is one of the easiest recipes you can make! This is a very simple recipe, and even novice cooks can follow it easily. It is also an adaptable one; If you’re one of those who like onions, potatoes, pineapple, or eggs in their adobo, feel free to have it! With so many variations, there really is something for everyone in Chicken Adobo.

    filipino adobo chicken
    filipino adobo chicken

    The most important part of cooking chicken adobo is the marinade. The longer you let your chicken marinate in the rich combination of adobo flavors, the tastier it will be! I make several batches of chicken adobo, so I can cook adobo whenever I feel like it. The longer it stays in the freezer, the more your chicken is able to absorb the wonderful flavor of the adobo.

    How do you view the situation?

    Marinating on a dry basis can be a time consuming process. Since I cook this often for my family, I usually prepare the chicken ahead of time. I marinate 3 batches of chicken pieces the night before cooking the first batch. Store the remaining marinated chicken in the freezer for later use.

    Tips & Tricks

    Use any part of the chicken when cooking Filipino Chicken Adobo. Common parts I use are thighs, drumsticks, and breasts.

    Dark soy sauce is common for adobo. However, you can use any type of soy sauce you like. It’s not a bad idea to use a light soy sauce. Coconut aminos would also work.

    White vinegar is commonly used. Sugarcane vinegar and apple cider vinegar also work.

    Garlic helps flavor the adobo. Use as many garlic cloves as you want.

    Onions can also be used for chicken adobo. If so, then after frying the chicken it will have to be fried.

    If you want your chicken to be extra tender before the actual cooking process, another option you have is to marinate your chicken in the slow cooker or crockpot the night before. By leaving it to soak overnight, you are further enhancing its flavor. Marinating the meat in the slow cooker makes your chicken adobo more succulent; It will practically melt in your mouth!

    Filipino Chicken Adobo Recipe
    Filipino Chicken Adobo Recipe

    You may also be wondering what to serve with Chicken Adobo. As is the case with many Filipino dishes, you can never go wrong pairing your ulam with a bowl of filling or a plate of white or brown rice! Simply pouring adobo sauce over rice is a satisfying and delicious treat in itself. Another carb I recommend with chicken adobo is mashed potatoes, or even quinoa if you want something healthier! A fresh fruit salad can also work to tone down that rich, juicy, umami flavor.

    Other types of adobo

    Many people prefer chicken adobo because of its accessibility. The ingredients for this dish are easy to find in the aisles of your local supermarket, and they’re also on the more cost-efficient side—perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

    But while chicken adobo is one of the most popular renditions of this classic dish, there are many other variations that have made adobo as popular as it is today.

    Adobong manok sa gata (chicken adobo in coconut milk)

    Think of this variation as your regular chicken adobo with a spin! Adding coconut milk (or gata) to your traditional adobo results in a rich and creamy dish. Fans of the tropical flavor of coconut milk will definitely enjoy this adobo with hot white rice. Chicken Adobo Sa Gata is great for those who want to try something new with a classic family favorite.

    Killer Chicken Adobo

    You might be surprised to learn that this version of adobo actually contains lemon lime soda! sounds weird? Don’t worry; I too felt the same way at first. But lemon lime not only serves as a great source of sugar; It also makes your chicken very juicy! This version of adobo is a little on the drier side, but you still retain chicken that’s deliciously moist.

    Coke Pork Adobo

    Besides chicken, another popular protein found in adobo is pork! Lean and succulent, pork belly is a juicy and viable option if you want to make your adobo a little more sinful. What makes this type of pork adobo special is the presence of coke in the cooking process. The use of coke in Coke Pork Adobo adds extra sweetness to this umami dish. Cooking your pork in this soft drink (really any soft drink!) is also a great way to make your dish a little more tender.

    Spicy Squid (Squid Adobo)

    One of the perks of living on an archipelago is that fresh seafood is always in abundance! Fish, squid, and other shellfish readily line the fresh and frozen sections of our supermarkets. And one of the best ways to enjoy this bounty of seafood is, of course, by turning it into adobo! Adobong Pusit is one of the quickest and easiest ways to enjoy adobo. While the task of cleaning and deveining shrimp may seem daunting at first, it’s actually quite simple! And from then on, the rest of the recipe becomes easy. So when you see squid in the supermarket, don’t hesitate to try it for this delicious recipe!

    spicy kangkong

    Humble yet nutritious, kangkong is a vegetable rich in many vitamins and nutrients. Also called water spinach, kangkong is green, leafy, and mild in flavor–and the flavor of the adobo sauce brings a vibrancy to kangkong that wasn’t there before! This adobong kangkong is great for those who want to reduce the amount of meat in their diet. If you’re still craving those delicious adobo flavors but don’t want the heaviness of pork or chicken adobo, I recommend it! Not only is it super healthy, but you can’t go wrong with that classic adobo flavor.

    You can also try this variation with sitawa (string beans), and a hearty, crunchy topping of chicharon!

    Which variation of adobo is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below. But if you want classic chicken adobe


    This dish is best served with hot white rice. That doesn’t mean you can’t mix it with other dishes. Here Are Some Different Side Dish Recipes I Recommend

    Garlicky, salty, and oh so scrumptious, Adobo Fried Rice is the best thing to wake you up in the morning!

    With how delicious chicken adobo is, it’s no wonder why many regard it as the national dish of the Philippines. Rivaling only sour sinigung broth, adobo’s unique flavor is what makes it so beloved.

    This recipe for Chicken Adobo is perfect and the cooking time is about 30 minutes. The best way to eat chicken adobo is with hot white rice. The combo is simply known as Chicken Adobo and Rice. It is a good idea to pour some adobo sauce over the rice before eating it as it makes it more flavourful.

    Try this Filipino Chicken Adobo Recipe and let me know what you think.

    Chicken Adobo

    Chicken pieces cooked in soy sauce and vinegar with garlic. This is a delicious Filipino chicken dish that you can have for lunch with hot white rice.

    1. What is Chicken Adobo?

    Filipino Chicken Adobo Recipe

    Chicken Adobo is a popular dish from the Philippines that is made with chicken marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, and other spices, then simmered in the marinade until tender and flavorful.

    2. What does “Adobo” mean?

    The term “Adobo” comes from the Spanish word for “marinade” or “sauce.” In Filipino cuisine, Adobo refers to a cooking method that involves marinating meat in a mixture of soy sauce, vinegar, and other spices, then simmering it in the

    3. Can I use other types of meat for Adobo?

    Absolutely! Adobo can be made with pork, beef, or even seafood. The cooking time may vary depending on the type of meat you use, so be sure to adjust accordingly.

    4. Is Adobo a spicy dish?

    Not necessarily. Adobo can be made spicy by adding chili peppers or other spicy ingredients, but it can also be made mild by leaving out the heat.

    6. Can I freeze leftover Adobo?

    Absolutely! Adobo freezes well and can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. Simply thaw and reheat in the microwave or on the stove.

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