Filipino Chicken Adobo (Flavour Kapow!)


I figured I already had aromatic flavors in the stock and my observations online seemed to paint the root ingredients as white or palm or coconut vinegar, soy sauce, water, LOTS of garlic, bay leaves, and whole black peppercorns.
Some added coconut milk, hot fresh chiles, sweeteners, onions, shallots, green onion garnish, and even tomatoes -it seems every Filipino island has its own version 🙂 Next time I will try with coconut milk instead of water (maybe still some water? have to taste) OR stock.


  • 1.5 lb / 750g chicken thigh fillets , boneless and skinless (4 to 6 pieces)
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce (ordinary all purpose soy sauce, not light or dark soy sauce)
  • 1/3 cup + 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 3 dried bay leaves (or 4 fresh)
  • 3 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 small brown onion , diced
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp whole black pepper
  • 2 shallots/scallions , sliced


  1. Combine the chicken with 3 garlic cloves (minced), soy sauce, vinegar and bay leaves in a bowl. Marinate for at least 20 minutes, or up to overnight.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a fry pan over high heat. Remove chicken from marinade (reserve marinade) and place in the pan. Sear both sides until browned – about 1 minute on each side. Do not cook the chicken all the way through. Remove chicken from the fry pan and set aside.
  3. Heat the remaining 2 tbsp oil, then add the garlic and onion and sauté until the onion is golden and translucent (2 minutes).
  4. Add the reserved marinade, water, sugar and black pepper. Bring it to a simmer then turn heat down to medium high.
  5. Simmer for 5 minutes, then add the chicken back in, top side down (ie the smooth side should face down). Leave to simmer uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes (no need to stir) until the sauce reduces down to a thick jam-like syrup and when you turn the chicken over, it is glazed (note - it will thicken slightly as it rests).
  6. If the sauce isn't thick enough, remove chicken onto a plate and let the sauce simmer by itself - it will thicken much quicker - then return chicken to the skillet to coat in the glaze.
  7. Set aside to rest for 5 minutes, then serve, garnished with shallots/scallions.
Source of Filipino Chicken Adobo (Flavour Kapow!) Recipe @