The Absolute Best Chicken Adobo

October 5, 2018

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Chicken adobo is a tasty dish that you will add to your rotation of favorites the first time you try it! Simple and quick to put together, it is perfect served with fresh tomatoes and rice.

the best chicken adobo

Hello, friends! This is Trish of Spoonful of Butter. I hope you all are having a wonderful summer! Today, I am so excited to share a special guest post with you – how to make Filipino Chicken Adobo! Adobo is one of the quintessential dishes of the Philippines, and you’ll understand why once you have tasted it.

Filipino Chicken Adobo served with chopped fresh tomatoes

What is Adobo?

Adobo is a braised dish prepared with basic ingredients – a protein (chicken, pork, or even vegetable), soy sauce, vinegar, black pepper, and garlic. Usually, it is accompanied by steamed white rice and chopped fresh tomatoes.

Filipino Chicken Adobo

A Hundred Versions

Adobo versions vary from region to region and even from one household to the next. Really, there is no “correct” or “one recipe” for adobo – it is a cooking method rather than a recipe set in stone. But all the versions are fundamentally cooked in a similar way: with vinegar to braise the food.

Filipino Chicken Adobo

Tips for a Great Adobo

A great adobo is not really about the recipe since we all have our preferences. I’ve provided a simple recipe below, then you can definitely tweak it to your taste. But before we dive into the recipe, here are some tips in perfecting your own adobo version:

  1. Adobo needs fat. I discourage you from using boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Always have the skin on your meat because the collagen gives a desirable sticky consistency to the sauce. The richness also cuts through the acid (vinegar). Ideally, use pork belly, chicken thighs, legs, and wings.
  2. Sear the meat. Much like in western cooking, brown all the sides of the meat to seal the flavor and to give an appealing color to the meat as well.
  3. Don’t stir the vinegar. After adding the vinegar, don’t stir until all the acid is cooked off. Just let it simmer for a few minutes.
  4. Adjust as you go. The wonderful thing about this dish is that it develops flavor as it cooks. Let it simmer and allow the ingredients to meld and the vinegar to mellow. It tastes even better the next day! Cook it a day ahead, if you can.
  5. Not all soy sauces are the same. If you wish to add more saltiness, just add a little at a time or use salt instead.

Holding a bowl of Filipino Chicken Adobo

Chicken Adobo




Yield 2-3 servings

Chicken adobo is a tasty Filipino dish that you will add to your rotation of favorites the first time you try it! A simple and quick recipe to put together, it is perfect served with fresh tomatoes and rice. #chickenadobo #easychickenadobo #stovetopchickenadobo #filipinochickenadobo #filipino #chickenrecipe #easychicken


  • 1 lb (450 grams) bone-in chicken pieces
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 small onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
  • 3 pieces dried bay leaves
  • 2-3 tablespoons neutral tasting cooking oil (e.g. canola)
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1-2 tablespoons granulated 1 sugar
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste


1. In a bowl, combine chicken, soy sauce, garlic, onions, peppercorns, and bay leaves. Massage onto meat and place in the fridge to marinate for about 30 minutes. Drain the chicken, reserving the marinade.

2. In a pot over medium heat, heat oil. Add in the drained chicken pieces including the garlic, onions, peppercorns and bay leaves). Sear the chicken until lightly browned. Add vinegar and let it boil, uncovered and without stirring, for about 4 to 5 minutes. This is very important to cook off the acid.*

3. Add the reserved marinade, water, sugar, and oyster sauce. Bring to a boil then simmer for another 30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Taste the sauce and add salt, pepper, or sugar to taste.

4. Best served with white rice and chopped fresh tomatoes on the side!

*Don’t stir the vinegar. After adding the vinegar, don’t stir until all the acid is cooked off. Just let it simmer for a few minutes.

Courses entree

In case you missed them, here are some of my other recipes at DesignerTrapped.com:

Creamy Panna Cotta with Fresh Fruits
Fried Fish with Harissa Sauce

Enjoy!? – Trish

P.S. I would love for you to hop over my blog, www.SpoonfulOfButter.com , for more recipe inspirations – from sweet to savory and everything in between. See you there!

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