Filipino Chicken Adobo
27 Sep 2020

Filipino Chicken Adobo

27 Sep 2020

Wanted to contribute a dish to the dinner table one night, something to eat with rice like we usually do. I can’t really remember now what triggered my curiosity to look for Filipino dishes for ideas, but finally I settled on this yummy-looking chicken adobo recipe from Rasa Malaysia. The blog took the recipe from a book The Adobo Road Cookbook, so I guessed this recipe would be quite authentic.

Given the very few basic ingredients needed for the recipe, I imagined choosing the right types of ingredients at the right ratios would play an important role in getting an authentic, balanced flavor. Nowadays you can pretty much get anything online, and in fact I’ve seen authentic Filipino soy sauce and vinegar combo sets conveniently available for purchase. Nonetheless at the point of this writing I used whatever ingredients I had on hand, Lee Kum Kee’s Selected Dark Soy Sauce and Tamin white vinegar. I read around and found that dark soy sauce would work best for the closest approximation of authentic adobo, and the vinegar I chose at least had some sugar in it instead of just acetic acid.

Then came the question of balance. It seems like no two adobo recipes are alike depending on who makes it, and the vinegar/soy sauce amounts and ratios vary depending on personal tastes as well as how saucy one wants their adobo to be. While I found the recipe from Rasa Malaysia to be superb as-is, I did wonder if the vinegar flavor was too overpowering, so here I’ve cut it back just a bit to balance it out.

A simple yet delicious dish one can easily make even on a weeknight. Enjoy!

Filipino Chicken Adobo


  • 1/4 cup dark soy sauce (kicap pekat)
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar OR apple cider vinegar
  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 6 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs


In a large skillet, add the soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, bay leaves and black peppercorns.

Nestle the chicken thighs skin-side down in the pan.

Turn on the heat to High and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to Low then cover and simmer, 20 minutes.

Turn the chicken over then cover and cook, another 10 minutes.

Remove the cover and bring the mixture back to a boil over High heat.

Cook uncovered, turning and basting the chicken occasionally, until the sauce is reduced by half and has slightly thickened, 5 to 7 minutes.

Serve immediately with hot white rice.

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