The beauty of chicken adobo is that it’s easy, elemental, and absolutely worth it. You can make chicken adobo anywhere in the world and I promise the results will outweigh the effort you put in. To be honest, it took me awhile to get comfy with making my own adobo, simply because there were so many recipes and ways of doing it. I lost sight of what mattered: learning how to make a classic dish, while satisfying a deep craving for Filipino comfort food.
Average cost to make all 3 recipes = $35
1 afternoon of cooking =
2 dinners for two +
1 packed lunch/breakfast of champs
Look at those crispy flakes!
There are infinite variations to adobo, and I encourage you to try as many recipes as you like. It’s the only way to find out which particular combination of protein and vinegar (i.e. rice vinegar with chicken, apple cider vinegar with pork) you like best, and what, if any, additions you just have to include. It’s your adobo!
My favourite recipe comes from Memories of Philippine Kitchens by Amy Besa and Romy Dorotan. It’s made with soy sauce and coconut milk and requires you to combine ingredients, stick them in the fridge, transfer to a pot and then simmer. It’s absolutely delicious.
Get my favourite Classic Chicken Adobo Recipe.
So you’ve decided to turn a few pounds of chicken into the Philippines’ best loved dish. I highly recommend making more than what you need (double the recipe) because making twice as much adobo once means that you can make adobo flakes - which turn into a legit taco filling. Food trucks love it for a reason! And they’re really not that hard to make at home, with the right technique.
The key is to separate the chicken meat from the adobo sauce before refrigerating them. The next day, take the sauce out, then lift the layer of chicken fat that congeals above the sauce. Then spend half an hour tearing into the chicken by hand. Fry the meat in its fat. Your entire home will smell like adobo.
Get my Crispy Adobo Flake Tacos Recipe.
If you have fried adobo flakes left (or if you decide to reward yourself later by freezing individual portions) you can simply top a bowl of steamed rice with adobo flakes and a fried egg. Filipinos were way ahead of this whole oozing egg yolk thing being a sinful delight.
It also makes a great packed lunch, with or without the egg!