• Chicken adobo: just one of many classic Filipino dishes worthy trying. (Benito Martin)Source: Benito Martin

The word "adobo" is derived from the Spanish word meaning "sauce" or "marinade" and the key ingredients in any authentic recipe for Filipino chicken adobo are vinegar and soy sauce.






Skill level

Average: 3.2 (303 votes)

The word 'adobo' has been used to refer to this traditional dish since the Philippines was colonised by Spain in the late 1500s.


  • 60 ml (¼ cup) cooking oil 
  • 1 small chicken, cut into 8 pieces
  • 8 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped 
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper 
  • 2 bay leaves 
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) soy sauce 
  • 250 ml (1 cup) cane, apple cider or white balsamic vinegar 
  • steamed rice, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium–high heat. Cook the chicken for 6–8 minutes, or until browned on all sides. Add the garlic and cook for 1–2 minutes, until lightly browned. Season with salt and plenty of black pepper. Add the bay leaves and soy sauce and simmer for 2 minutes.

Add the vinegar and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 30 minutes, or until chicken is tender and liquid has reduced by half. Serve with steamed rice.


Photography by Benito Martin. Styling by Lynsey Fryers. Food preparation by Alice Storey and Georgina Larby. Creative concept by Belinda So.