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Filipino Favorite: Chicken Adobo Recipe

Updated on July 30, 2023
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Iya is a mom, employee, online seller, and dreamer who appreciates the beauty of nature and art while finding comfort in food and coffee.

Chicken Adobo

Chicken Adobo
Chicken Adobo

Adobo and Me

I was only in grade school when I first learned how to cook adobo (pork and chicken). My mother taught me how and when I was in high school, I learned the different ways of cooking it. Some people like it with eggs on top, others prefer adobo with potatoes and more sauce. But what I liked most is the adobo that I learned way back in grade school, the one marinated overnight and then cooked until the sauce was absorbed. This how we do it...


  • 1 kl chicken, (breast or legs will do)
  • 3-4 pcs bay leaf
  • 1tsp ground pepper
  • 1/8 cup ginger, chopped
  • 1-2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 10 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 5 pcs calamansi
  • 1tbsp sugar, *optional
  • 2tbsp oyster sauce, *optional
  • oil for frying
  • 1 cup water


  1. In a bowl, combine the following ingredients: soysauce, vinegar, garlic, bay leaf, pepper, calamansi juice and chicken. Marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
  2. In a pan, heat oil. Saute the garlic and ginger. Add the chicken until golden brown. Then add in the marinade, oyster sauce, sugar and a cup of water. Simmer until the chicken meat was cooked. If the sauce has thickened but your chicken isn't cooked yet, you may add some more water. Note: Make sure that you cook it over low to medium heat to avoid having a burned but uncooked chicken. The water actually helps cook your chicken fast. If your adobo is too salty, you may add some sugar. The sugar helps balance the salty and sour taste of our adobo.
  3. Serve hot with rice and boiled or salted eggs or fried potatoes on the side if you did not include eggs and potatoes on the recipe.

Some of you might be wondering why there are optional ingredients. Sugar and oyster sauce are optionals for me, while for some, they are considered as "important". When oyster sauce seems too expensive for me, I do not use them. Back then, I would think that oyster sauce was used by rich people only. Thanks to some manufacturers who made it affordable for everyone. So, at this dish, it is not really important since we already have the soy sauce (I think). But somehow, it adds flavor. I think, oyster sauce regulates the salty and sour taste from the soy sauce and vinegar. In this regard, no need for a sugar. But my mom told adding a little sugar will do the magic on this dish. My little boy loves it with some chilli so sometimes, I would add a few chopped red or green chillies.

I added a cup of water so that the chicken meat would be very well cooked, eventhough I already did frying from the start. I hate it when I see chicken blood while eating. I am not a fan of raw meat.

Cook Time: Plus 30 min or overnight for marinade

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 20 min
Ready in: 30 min
Yields: Serves 4 to six persons

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2010 Iya


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