Adobo (National dish!)


Adobo can be made with chicken, pork, or a combination of both.  This one I made is with chicken, and the soy sauce version (the traditional recipe uses salt, and without the onion and potatoes).  An Irish friend loves this so much, and since I’ve given her the recipe has been making this several times already!


1 kg chicken or pork or both (preferably with skin and fat on as these are where the flavours would come from; also, these are what would cook the garlic and onion if sautéing would be skipped—see below under Procedure)

sugar cane or coconut vinegar (1 part vinegar to 2 parts soy sauce for a dominant salty taste; or almost 1 part vinegar to 1 part soy sauce if preferred to have that “vinegar-kick”)

soy sauce (see note under vinegar) – should be with 20%-27% soya content

garlic (1/2 – 1 head–> the more the merrier)

onion (optional)

peppercorns (est. 1 tsp, whole or crushed)

bay leaf (1-3, depending on the amount of meat)

potatoes (optional, halved or quartered)


  1. Put everything (except the potatoes) together in a pot (or, if preferred, give the chicken/pork a quick fry in the same pot where it will be cooked. When the meat has browned a little, add the garlic and onion to sauté—then add the rest of the ingredients).  The meat should be almost submerged in the liquid.
  2. Bring to a boil. After a few minutes, lower the heat to simmer.
  3. Do NOT disturb.  The dish will give off a very sour scent—but this will evaporate after several minutes.
  4. When the dish starts to smell sweet, carefully turn over each cut of meat inside the pot.
  5. If adding potatoes, add the potatoes at this point.
  6. Bring to a boil again and then lower heat to simmer.
  7. When meat is tender or almost falling off the bones, turn off the stove.
  8. Serve with plain rice.


10 responses to “Adobo (National dish!)

  1. Pingback: Squid stew | Cooking Filipino in the UK·

  2. Pingback: Chicken liver adobo (Adobong atay ng manok) | Cooking Filipino in the UK·

  3. A freind told us to use Cocunut Milk in the recipe, YOU WILL NOT REGRET DOING THIS! Sobrang ‘Sarap! give it a shot (we did it with Manok)

    • Yes, I do that as well 🙂 –that is adobo sa gata, i.e., in coconut milk. Glad you liked it! There’s also adobo sa puti (without soy sauce nor coconut milk)–just salt and vinegar (and cooked to dry with the meat rendering and browning at the edges). So many to cook, too little time! 🙂

  4. This is the very first dish I learned to make… with my mother being a Filipina, I grew up on this. And one of my favourites considering how easy it is to make and how delicious it can be! Never tried it with sugar cane or coconut vinegar… i’ll have to hunt some down for next time.

    • Easy, isn’t it? 🙂 It’s rare that I would even fry the meat first–I just throw all the ingredients in the pot and leave it on the hob–glorious instant meal indeed! 🙂 I have tried using malt vinegar a few times (every time I’d run out of the sugar/coco vinegar), but I reduce the proportion as I find the taste a bit sharp; still does the job–I just have my bias. You have a great day! 🙂

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