There’s an unspoken consensus that adobo is the national dish of the Philippines. When you introduce Filipino cuisine to others, adobo is a great dish to start with. It’s simple to make, but don’t be fooled by its simplicity. From this single dish you get sweet, salty, and even some sourness from the few ingredients needed in the dish.

As with many home kitchens, cooking adobo can vary in each household. Most might be familiar with the chicken and pork adobo that’s marinated in soy sauce and vinegar, but adobo can be made in different ways (like cooking it in coconut milk). And in this article, I’ll be showing you how to make this dish in 3 different ways.

 

Chicken Adobo Recipe

When you think of adobo, this is most likely the image that comes to mind. The chicken is marinated in vinegar and soy sauce, resulting in a tender and super flavorful bite.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. bone in chicken thighs
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • 3 tbsp. light soy sauce
  • 6 pcs crushed garlic
  • 3 dried bay leaves
  • 1 tsp whole peppercorns
  • 1 pinch of sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • peanut oil to cook
  1. Heat a greased pan over medium-high heat. Saute garlic until fragrant and is just beginning to brown.
  2. Add chicken thighs and cook each side for 3 minutes, where the meat is starting to cook through but not seared.
  3. Add soy sauce, vinegar, water, pepper corns, and bay leaves. Bring to a simmer and cover for 30 minutes, flip halfway. Continue to simmer until sauce reduces down to a syrupy consistency.

Coconut Milk Adobo

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. bone in chicken thighs
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • 3 tbsp. light soy sauce
  • 6 pcs crushed garlic
  • 3 dried bay leaves
  • Fish sauce to taste
  • 1 tsp whole peppercorns
  • 1 pinch of sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 3 red chillies
  • peanut oil to cook
  1. Heat a greased pan over medium-high heat. Saute garlic until fragrant and is just beginning to brown.
  2. Add chicken thighs and cook each side for 3 minutes, where the meat is starting to cook through but not seared.
  3. Add soy sauce, vinegar, water, pepper corns, and bay leaves. Bring to a simmer and cover for 30 minutes, flip halfway. Continue to simmer until sauce reduces down to a syrupy consistency. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. In the same pan, add coconut oil and bring up to heat. Add chicken thighs skin-down and sear for 3 minutes. Flip and add the sauce. Simmer for 5 minutes and add coconut milk. Continue to simmer until sauce is reduced and coconut milk starts to separate, about 5 minutes. Serve and garnish with thinly sliced chillies.

Adobo Flakes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. Pork ribs and belly, cubed
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • 3 tbsp. light soy sauce
  • 6 pcs crushed garlic
  • 3 dried bay leaves
  • 1 tsp whole peppercorns
  • 1 pinch of sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • peanut oil to cook
  1. Bring pan up to heat with peanut oil. Add pork cubes and sear both sides, about 3-5 minutes. Add crushed garlic and cook until aromatic. Add soy sauce, vinegar, water, pepper corns, and bay leaves.
  2. Bring to a simmer and cover for 30 minutes. Once the sauce has reduced, remove contents and set aside.
  3. In the same pan, add more oil and bring up to heat. Add pork cubes and sear. Place back sauce and reduce until you reach your desired consistency. Serve as is or prepare the pork for flaking by placing it in an airtight container and placing in the fridge overnight.
  4. Once cooled, tear pork into fine flakes, discarding the bones.
  5. Heat up an oiled pan and fry the flakes, spreading it out into an even layer to let it crisp up nicely. Fry for 5-10 minutes until you reach your desired texture.
Erwan Heussaff
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