Adobong Manok (Chicken Adobo)

Adobong Manok or Chicken Adobo. Chicken adobo is the definitive Filipino main course. In fact it is considered to be the National Dish of the Philippines (adobo in general that is, not just the chicken adobo variety exclusively). This is most certainly a Filipino comfort food for those Filipinos living and working abroad. The beauty of chicken adobo is not just the amazing, savory flavors of the dish but also how simple and easy it is to prepare. And when I say simple, I do mean simple. You can marinate the chicken in the same pan that you cook it in. The list of ingredients is rather short and the procedures to prepare the dish are pretty straight forward. Enjoy this recipe from all of us at Filipino Chow.


  • 2 pounds of chicken, cut into serving pieces
  • 1 head of garlic, crushed then peeled
  • 2 tablespoons of vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of dark soy sauce
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 3-4 pieces of bay leaf
  • 1/2 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • water if needed


  1. Put all the chicken pieces in a large skillet or wok.
  2. Pour in the vinegar then add the crushed garlic, peppercorns and bay leaf.
  3. Place the skillet or wok over the heating element and turn it on to medium-high heat.
  4. When the liquid starts to boil turn chicken pieces over.
  5. Continue to cook uncovered until the vinegar has been mostly absorbed by the chicken or evaporated.
  6. When nearly all the liquid is gone lower the heat to medium-low.
  7. Stir this chicken until it starts to render fat then increase the heat to medium-high again.
  8. Stir fry the chicken until a light golden brown crust forms on the outside.
  9. Remove the excess oil then add the soy sauce and brown sugar.
  10. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
  11. Check the liquid once in a while and stir occasionally.
  12. Add a little water (about 1/4 cup) if the chicken adobo becomes too dry for your taste.
  13. Cook for about 10 more minutes.
  14. Turn the heat off and transfer the chicken adobo to a serving dish.
  15. Serve with steam rice and enjoy!

Chicken Adobo is traditionally served with steamed rice or garlic fried rice in the Philippines. If preferred, add more brown sugar to balance the taste of the adobo. I think brown sugar tastes better with adobo than white sugar. I prefer my adobo dry so if you prefer your adobo that way, dry or less sauce, remove excess sauce and continue cooking until sauce reaches the amount you want it to be.


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