The chicken adobo is a Filipino favorite. Vietnamese have the same kind of dish in which they add eggs all the time. Every Filipino family have their own version. Yes some of us also add eggs in our adobo.

I don’t like eggs in mine, each to their own. You guys can always try it. If you have time, I suggest you marinate it overnight, to let those flavor really soak into the meat. This is optional, you can cook it straight out of the fridge.

chicken adobo

A little history about this Filipino dish which has become our staple. Adobo is a Spanish word for marinade or sauce. We were colonize by Spain for more than 300 years, hence the “adobo”.  

Most people would say that Adobo is a dish introduced by Spain to Philippines. They are wrong.

One day, a Spaniard was looking for food. He saw a Filipino housewife cooking, using salt and vinegar for the dish. He pointed to the dish and said to the housewife, Ah, Adobo.

Spain just used the word adobo to name one of our dishes that uses vinegar. This is how it came to be.

So in summary, adobo is Spanish for marinade. Spanish used that word to describe one of our dish’s cooking process.

Then Chinese traders introduced Soy sauce and this replaced salt. To this day, there are still dedicated adobo traditionalists that uses salt instead of soy sauce.

Every Filipino knows their adobo. They start eating adobo when they are still in their mother’s womb. If there would be food that represents Philippines, it would be Chicken adobo. 

As mentioned, foreigners introduced other ingredients which made the Filipino adobo what it is today.  I love cooking this dish, it is just so simple and tasty.


How to make Chicken Adobo


  • 1kg chicken thigh
  • 100ml soy sauce
  • 50ml palm vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 head garlic
  • 4cm ginger
  • 1 long chilies (diced or thinly sliced)
  • 1 onion
  • 4 to 6 bay leaves
  • water 200ml
  • oil for cooking











  1. Cut chicken thighs in a generous bite size.
  2. Slice ginger in little thin strips.
  3. Slice the chilies.
  4. Mix soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, chilies, ground pepper and bay leaves in a bowl.
  5. Add chicken thighs to the mix. Marinate overnight or skip this step and start cooking.
  6. Cut onions lengthwise.
  7. Take 4 cloves of garlic, cut to strips and put the rest aside.


  1. Heat up your pan and add oil.
  2. Add garlic and onion, stir until onions turn translucent.
  3. Set aside garlic and onion on one side of the pan then add meat only.
  4. Let the meat caramelize.
  5. Don’t let the onions and garlic burn, scoop it and put it on top of the meat.
  6. Once meat turns golden brown, add the marinade, your mixture.
  7. Add water.
  8. Let it boil and reduced until desired sauce consistency is achieved. I like mine thick. Then take it off the heat.
  9. Heat up enough oil to deep fry the garlic in a small saucepan.
  10. Careful not to heat up the oil too long, garlic might burn as soon as you fry it. Fry the garlic.
  11. Take out garlic once it’s brown and add it to your chicken adobo.
  12. Serve with rice.
Tried this recipe? Comment below.