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Authentic Filipino Chicken Adobo Recipe


Let me first share with you a short history of this famous dish. What is adobo? It is the name of the most famous dish in the Philippine cuisine. It is a Spanish word which means seasoning or marinade. But the meat or poultry that is cooked with the marinade is called 'Adobada'.

Early Filipinos cooked their food minimally by roasting or boiling. But most often, they cooked food in a process which involved stewing with salt and vinegar to keep the food fresh longer. Thus, early Filipinos could have been cooking its meat in salt and vinegar which is the basic process on how to cook this dish, even before the Spaniards conquered the Philippines. Although the name was taken from the Spanish, the cooking method is indigenous to the Philippines. We can say that it was the Spaniards who coined the name to the cooking method used by early Filipinos.

Chicken and Pork Adobo Recipe

Chicken and Pork Adobo Recipe

Pork or chicken, or a combination of both, salt, black peppercorn, bay leaf, and vinegar were the main ingredients of a typical Adobo recipe. But when Filipinos learned to use soy sauce, salt was slowly taken out and replaced with soy sauce. However, there are some people who continue to use salt in their marinade when making when making this dish.

It is considered the Philippine national dish and has been famous all over the world. The combination of its ingredients is really delicious and actually makes this dish stays longer even without refrigeration. Its long shelf-life is due to one of its primary ingredients, vinegar, which inhibits the growth of bacteria.

There are so many versions of this dish. While other versions use chicken (manok) or pork (baboy) or both, some use squid instead. Some use salt or fish sauce instead of soy sauce and some like to add coconut cream. There are versions that use red wine, oyster sauce and some like to add star anise. There are many different ways on how to cook this famous dish.

Below is my version which I learned from my grandmother.This is the the most basic version of this dish. The most common and famous version calls for manok (chicken) but I prefer using a combination of chicken and pork and I suggest you give it a try. This combination really makes this dish much tastier! If you want you can put some bird's eye chili to make this dish hot and sweet.

If you want you can also use chicken liver and gizzard to your adobo.


Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

10 min

30 min

40 min

Serves 4 people


  • 400 grams pork
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup white cane vinegar
  • 1 bulb garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 & 1/2 whole black peppercorns
  • to taste sugar
  • 400 grams chicken
  • bird's eye chili, optional

How to Cook Adobo

  1. Combine all ingredients in a heavy duty pot and leave for 15-30 minutes to marinate.
  2. Place the pot over medium heat then bring to a boil.
  3. Once it boils, reduce heat to a simmer. Cover the pot and simmer for 30 minutes or until chicken becomes tender.
  4. When chicken becomes tender, remove the pieces from the pot and set aside.
  5. Keep simmering until the pork is tender.
  6. When pork is tender, remove pieces from pot and set aside.
  7. Taste the sauce, if it is too salty just add vinegar. You can also add sugar if you'd like a bit of sweetness.
  8. Heat a frying pan with some oil over high heat. When the oil is hot, fry the chicken and pork pieces until brown and slightly crispy.
  9. Check the sauce, When it has reduced to your desired consistency, add the chicken and pork back to the pot. stir gently and remove from heat.
  10. Serve with steamed white rice.


filipinofoods (author) from Philippines on January 14, 2013:

Thanks! I'll try to add kamote next time I cook Adobo. Nice suggestion! Thanks a lot! :)

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FullOfLoveSites from United States on November 28, 2012:

@Jack Burton: I agree with you. And it's the same problem with me! I can't get over it. :)

@filipinofoods: I love adobo... boiled eggs (whole, not sliced) are a great addition. Thanks for giving my fave food a spotlight. :)

filipinofoods (author) from Philippines on October 19, 2012:

Yeah, this dish is really addictive. Squid adobo is good too.

Jack Burton from The Midwest on October 19, 2012:

The only problem with adobo is that it is addictive. Once you eat it the first time you'll just crave more and more of it for the rest of your life. :-)

filipinofoods (author) from Philippines on October 10, 2012:

Thank you! :)

rjsadowski on October 10, 2012:

Interesting recipes. I really enjoy reading about food from other countries and these recipes are worth trying.

filipinofoods (author) from Philippines on November 12, 2011:

Thanks for the comment. I also love pork Vindaloo! :)

Carolee Samuda from Jamaica on November 12, 2011:

This recipe reminds me of the Southeast Asian recipe of Pork Vindaloo, the spice ingredients are similar except that it contains cumin and coriander.

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