Adobo Recipe
December 14th, 2008 74 Comments

Adobo Recipe

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Recipe: My Filipino Adobo


1/2 cup white cane vinegar
1/4 cup toyo (our local soy sauce)
3/4 – 1 cup water (you may not use all of it)
3 chicken legs (drumstick) and 3 chicken thighs (I like to use dark meat – this should come to about 600-650 grams of chicken)
350-400 grams pork belly (the part with the bone, skin on), cut into generous chunks (about 2 inches)
1 1/2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
8-10 cloves garlic, just slightly bashed, skin still on (do not peel!)
2 bay (laurel) leaves
Freshly cracked black pepper, a few twists


- Put all the ingredients except for the water in a Dutch oven or any heavy duty pot and leave for about 30 minutes to marinate.
- Place the pot over medium heat, add 1/2 cup water, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and simmer without stirring until most of the vinegar’s acid has been cooked off – you will know when this is done because it won’t smell as sharp and “sting-y”.
- Keep simmering over low heat until the chicken is very tender – about 40 minutes to an hour. Taste the sauce. If it’s too salty or too sharp for your taste, add some of the remaining water. I usually end up using 3/4 cup total.
- When chicken is tender, remove the pieces from the pot and set aside. At this point the garlic will be very tender as well – you can mash some (not all!) of the cloves against the sides of the pot to incorporate it into the sauce.
- Keep simmering on low heat a further 30 minutes to 1 hour or until pork is meltingly tender.
- When pork is very tender, remove from pot and set aside.
- Keep simmering sauce until reduced to your desired consistency. Taste the sauce and if you’d like a bit of sweetness, stir in a pinch of brown sugar – I like to do this but you certainly don’t have to.
- Heat a skillet with some oil over high heat. When the oil is hot, fry the chicken and pork pieces to brown.
- When the sauce has reduced to your desired consistency add the browned chicken and pork back to the pot. Toss gently and remove from heat.
- You can eat it at this point but it gains depth of flavour if you let it rest for a day.

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74 comments... read them below or add one

  1. kendra says:

    definitively not my favorite,i like ‘real’ adobo much better

  2. LindsE says:

    I remember the smell of Adobo coming from my friend’s mother’s kitchen in high school. This recipe was that same intoxicating aroma. Simple is always best.

  3. Pingback:Fillipino adobo | Cgbill

  4. Jacinta says:

    I tried this dish yesterday, with thanks. The only problem was, I used dark soy sauce instead, and it turned out just as good, as I added a bit more water. Especially like the caramelized meat pieces. I served it with green vege and mango chutney. Family loved it.Next time I will use the normal soy sauce. Thanks again.

  5. Pingback:Adobo Recipe | Easy Asian Recipes at « Antony Fisher

  6. Rose says:

    This is exactly how we cook adobo at home (Philippines) but I don’t get the same mouth-watering aroma when using the garlic here in the US.

  7. Ulam says:

    We should try this later for dinner.. I really like adobo.

  8. Paul says:

    Mmmmmm….adobo. If you really want to experiment with adobo, try it with lemongrass, ginger and coconut milk.

  9. Murvyn R. Callo says:

    A while back I read in Simone Beck’s book, Simca’s Cuisine (1972), that the garlic peel has as much flavor and aroma of the garlic as the garlic itself. So in dishes needing a strong garlic aroma (like Adobo), I just smash garlic and throw the whole thing including the peel. Never failed!

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