Adobo Recipe
December 14th, 2008 75 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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75 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!

  10. rebeccalee86 says:

    My Filipino maid used to cook Chicken Adobo, one day I taught her to cook stew. I told her that Chinese cuisine’s secret was to fry all the ingredients well before adding in water. The next time when she cooked the Chicken Adobo, it was so, so yummy even herself was shocked. I asked her why this time it tasted so good. She told me that she applied my teaching into her cooking. Since then she cooked well.
    So try to cook it the Chinese way, stir fry until dry and then add in the water to simmer.

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