▷ Original Filipino Chicken Adobo

▷ Original Filipino Chicken Adobo

▷ Filipino Chicken Adobo

Filipino Chicken Adobo is the national dish of the Philippines and may well become your new favourite Asian chicken dish! Just a few everyday ingredients I can practically guarantee you already have, it’s an effortless recipe that yields juicy, tender chicken coated in a sweet-savoury glaze with little pops of heat from peppercorns.

▷ Filipino Chicken Adobo | The Brand Decò

Filipino Chicken Adobo

Recipe Category: Chicken
Recipe Cuisine: Filipino

This is a chicken thigh recipe and it MUST be made with thighs – no substituting with chicken breast!

Filipino Chicken Adobo is one of the first chicken thigh recipes I shared way back in 2015 when I started this website. Back then, I boldly stated that this was my new favourite Asian chicken recipe even it was thoroughly disloyal of me to say that, being of Japanese background and all (Teriyaki, Karaage and Yakitori….to name a few….).

To be honest, I may have embellished a wee bit. Blinded by the excitement of discovering Chicken Adobo, how unbelievably easy it is for a dish that yields such incredible flavour.

Check out how sticky the sauce is! It truly tastes as incredible as it looks. And it’s SO EASY with just a HANDFUL of ingredients!


Chicken and Marinade:
  • 750g / 1.5 lb chicken thigh fillets, boneless and skinless (5 - 6 pieces)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup (85ml) soy sauce, ordinary all-purpose or light
  • 1/3 cup + 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 4 bay leaves (fresh) or 3 dried
For Cooking:
  • 2 tbsp oil, separated (vegetable, canola or peanut)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small brown onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) water
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp whole black pepper (sub 2 tsp coarsely cracked pepper)
  • S2 green onions/scallions, sliced (garnish):


1. Combine Chicken and Marinade ingredients in a bowl. Marinate for at least 20 minutes, or up to overnight.

2. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a skillet over high heat. Remove chicken from marinade (reserve marinade) and place in the pan. Sear both sides until browned – about 1 minute on each side. Do not cook the chicken all the way through.

3. Remove chicken skillet and set aside.

4. Heat the remaining oil in a skillet. Add garlic and onion, cook 1 1/2 minutes.

5. Add the reserved marinade, water, sugar and black pepper. Bring it to a simmer then turn the heat down to medium-high. Simmer 5 minutes.

6. Add chicken smooth side down. Simmer uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes (no need to stir), turning chicken at around 15 minutes, until the sauce reduces down to a thick jam-like syrup.

7. If the sauce isn't thick enough, remove chicken onto a plate and let the sauce simmer by itself - it will thicken much quicker - then return chicken to the skillet to coat in the glaze.

8. Coat chicken in glaze then serves over rice. Pictured in the post as a healthy dinner plate (415 calories) with cauliflower rice and Ginger Smashed Cucumbers.

Recipe Notes:

1. Chicken thighs - do NOT substitute with breast. You need the fat in thighs in order for the sauce to reduce down to a glaze. Can also use bone-in thighs, wings or drumsticks (add 3/4 cup water and simmer 30 minutes). The best way to achieve the closest result with chicken breast is to add 2 tbsp of any oil to the sauce, take the chicken out once cooked and reduce the sauce right down to become jammy, then smear it on the breast.

2. Soy sauce - use all-purpose or light soy sauce. Do not use dark soy sauce - the bottle will be labelled as such if it is. Dark soy is too intense for this sauce once reduced. You probably won't need all the sauce because it is very strong in flavour. Save the leftovers and use it to make fried rice! It is perfect because it is so strong in flavour so a little bit goes a long way. I used it to make fried rice with leftover Filipino Chicken Adobo and chopped Asian greens. No other flavourings required!

3. Nutrition per serving, chicken only and assumes all sauce consumed which is unlikely as it's quite strong. Reduce sodium by using low sodium soy. Make a low-calorie dinner plate with a side of Cauliflower Rice and Smashed Cucumbers.

Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Yield: Serves 4

Calories: 407
Fat: 15 g

Average Rating: 5.0
Votes: 76
Reviews: 16

chicken, soy sauce, onion, pepper, Filipino, Adobo

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