Adobo recipes have evolved throughout time and everyone’s cooking their own version of the dish, whether it’s a family recipe or a regional one.

This viand is so well-known and well-loved by Filipinos that when asked what their favorite dish is, more often than not they will answer Adobo!

Some of us may even have childhood memories attached to it which makes it more special!

As many variations of the dish have emerged, the Philippines’ Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) even proposed standardization of the recipe.

But don’t worry ’cause that’s just for international promotion. You can still enjoy the variety of recipes concocted by Filipinos for every taste!

Where did Adobo come from?

Adobo is actually a Filipino recipe! Its name is derived from the Spanish word “adobar” (which means marinade) but its ingredients are truly Filipino!

Adobo already existed long before but was only recorded in 1613 by Spaniard Pedro de San Buenaventura in a dictionary where he called the dish “adobo de los naturales” because of its similarity to Spanish and Mexican dishes of the same name. 

Filipinos used to preserve their food with plenty of vinegar and salt. When the Chinese came, soy sauce replaced salt, then, the rest is history!

Adobo Recipes

Adobo’s usual main ingredient is either pork or chicken, then seasoned with soy sauce, vinegar, bay leaves, black pepper, and garlic.

It’s also no surprise that we experimented on the dish because Filipinos are innovators!

Check out this list of Adobo recipes for the taste that you’re looking for!

1. Classic Chicken & Pork Adobo

Nothing beats the classic recipe! Just the good ol’ savory taste of adobo that we eat at home or carinderias (eateries)!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 kg chicken cutlets, adobo cut
  • 1/2 kg pork liempo, diced
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp whole pepper
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 laurel leaves
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup palm oil

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a bowl, marinate chicken and pork in vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, whole pepper, sugar, and bay leaves for at least 20 minutes.
  2. In a pot, add chicken and pork with marinade. Add water and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until meat is tender. Separate meats from the sauce.
  3. In a separate pan, heat palm oil. Pan fry chicken and pork until crispy and golden.
  4. Add chicken and pork back to the pot with sauce.
  5. Simmer for another 5 minutes or until sauce is reduced by half.

2. Adobong Puti 

Skip the soy sauce! This recipe uses vinegar only which gives it the color “puti” or white.

Adobong Puti
Courtesy: salu-salo.com

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 lbs of your favorite chicken pieces (drumsticks and thighs are a good combination)
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1½ tbsp fish sauce (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Combine all ingredients in a pot and without stirring, bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, or until meat is tender.
  2. Take the lid off, increase heat to medium high and continue cooking until sauce reduces and thickens, around 8-10 minutes (depending on how much sauce you like). Correct seasonings with salt to taste.
  3. Serve with steamed rice.
  4. Enjoy!

3. Chicken Adobo sa Gata

A creamy twist with coconut milk!

Chicken Adobo sa Gata
Courtesy: sbs.com.au

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 lbs. chicken cut into serving pieces
  • 1 head garlic crushed
  • 1 tablespoon crushed peppercorn
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 5 pieces dried bay leaves
  • 6 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 5 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Combine chicken, soy sauce, half of the crushed garlic, and crushed peppercorn in a bowl. Mix well. Marinate the chicken for 20 minutes.
  2. Heat oil in a cooking pot.
  3. Once the oil is hot enough, saute the remaining garlic until it turns light brown.
  4. Add the chicken (including all the marinade ingredients) and dried bay leaves. Cook until the chicken browns.
  5. Pour vinegar into the pot. Let boil. Stir and continue to cook for 5 minutes.
  6. Pour the coconut milk. Let boil. Cover and simmer until the chicken becomes tender. Note: you can continue cooking until the sauce reduces to your desired consistency.
  7. Transfer to a serving bowl.
  8. Serve. Share and enjoy!

4. Adobo Flakes

A different form of adobo that’s best partnered with garlic rice! Yum!

Adobo Flakes
Courtesy: Majoy Siason

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups leftover adobo meat
  • 2 tablespoons leftover adobo sauce
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • Rice, to serve

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Remove meat from the sauce and shred the meat with your fingers, gently pulling apart the meat fibers. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil over medium heat on a frying pan. Add shredded adobo meat and adobo sauce and sauté. Fry meat until brown and crispy. Let drain on paper towels before serving. Serve with rice, fried garlic, tomatoes, spring onions.

5. Adobong Dilaw 

Ala eh! A recipe from Batangas. The turmeric or luya used creates the yellow appearance of the dish!

Adobong Dilaw
Courtesy: Page Street Publishing Co.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 600g chicken, cut into pieces
  • 1 piece (about an inch) fresh turmeric (luyang dilaw), peeled and julienned
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 to 1 ½ tsp whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp Patis Balayan (fish sauce)
  • ½ cup vinegar (or more, to taste)
  • ½ cup water
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Siling pansigang (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
  2. In a saucepan, sauté onion, garlic and cook until the onion begins to soften.
  3. Add the turmeric and stir.
  4. Add the chicken and cook, until brown in color, about 4 minutes.
  5. Add in the patis.
  6. Add the vinegar, water, peppercorns and bay leaf, and bring to a boil.
  7. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer covered for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. Remove the lid and continue cooking for 10 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced and thickened.
  9. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Add the sili pansigang, if using.

6. Creamy Adobo

Another creamy twist but this time with all-purpose cream! 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 whole chicken, cut into pieces, approximately 1 kg
  • 1/3 cup vinegar
  • ¼ cup Maggi Soy sauce
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 green chili, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup minced garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 to 8 peppercorns
  • ¼ cup oil
  • 1 250-mL pack all purpose cream, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a pan, mix together vinegar, soy sauce, water, chilli, garlic, bay leaves, and peppercorns. Place chicken on top and allow to boil, uncovered, over high heat.
  2. Lower the heat and allow to simmer while covered, about 10 minutes or until chicken is tender. Reserve the sauce.
  3. In a clean pan, heat oil. Pan-fry the chicken until golden brown on all sides. Be careful as the natural juices of the chicken might cause the oil to sputter.
  4. Remove excess oil. Return the browned chicken and the reserved sauce into the pan and simmer until the sauce is a bit reduced. (Or almost dry if that’s what you prefer.)
  5. Pour in half the pack of all purpose cream first, mixing well before giving it a taste. Add more all purpose cream as needed. Once you’re happy with the flavour of the adobo, remove from heat and serve immediately with rice.

7. Adobong Pusit 

A seafood recipe take on the dish! This one recipe uses squid, a really delicious ingredient!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 ¼ pounds squid, cleaned
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • ½ cup water
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

INSTRUCTIONS 

  1. Combine the squid, vinegar, and water in a small pot over medium heat; season with salt and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat; cook and stir the onion and garlic in the hot oil until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir the tomato and soy sauce into the mixture. Pour the squid mixture into the saucepan and bring to a simmer; cook together another 20 minutes.

8. Adobong Tuyo 

The Adobo that’s tuyo (dry) but its flavors will explode in your mouth once you take a bite of the meat! 

INGREDIENTS

  • 500 g pork liempo cut into chunks
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 medium onion sliced
  • 4 pcs laurel leaves
  • 3-4 pcs siling labuyo chopped (optional)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat cooking oil in a deep pan.
  2. Add the garlic. Sauté until fragrant.
  3. Add the onion and bay leaves. Sauté for another 1 minute.
  4. Add the pork. Cook until it turns brown.
  5. Add water, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, salt, and pepper. Stir well.
  6. Cover the pan and simmer for 40 to 60 minutes or until pork is tender.
  7. Remove cover then add the optional siling labuyo if you want to make it spicy.
  8. Stir and continue to cook until it dries completely and oil gets extracted from the pork.
  9. Transfer to a serving bowl. Serve with steamed rice or serve as pulutan.
  10. Enjoy your adobong baboy na tuyo!

9. Adobo Fried Rice

Make adobo fried rice with the leftover adobo from last night! It’s a thrifty yet absolutely delicious breakfast for the family!

Adobo Fried Rice
Courtesy: manilaspoon.com

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon Oil
  • 3 cloves Garlic
  • Cooked Rice, day-old and chilled, grains separated
  • Left-over Chicken or Pork Adobo, shredded or cut up in small pieces
  • Salt, to taste
  • Green Onion, sliced thinly (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat the oil in a wok or a large frying pan to medium setting. Cook the garlic until nicely browned but not burned. Add the meat and cook until heated up. If there are any sauce left with the meat, add it to. 
  2. Mix the prepared rice with the meat and stir-fry until rice is heated through. Season with salt to taste. For some color, add a little soy sauce if desired. Garnish with some sliced green onions, if desired. Serve immediately with some fried eggs for a complete meal.

10. Adobong Labong (Bamboo Shoots)

If you’re wanting to eat adobo without the guilt of meat, this is the perfect recipe for you! Use bamboo shoots instead of meat! What a healthy alternative!

INGREDIENTS

  • 250 grams bamboo shoots (labong),sliced
  • 2 medium-sized Coconut (grated and freshly-milked)
  • 200 grams pork, cut into small pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 thumb-sized ginger, sliced thinly
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 10 pieces peppercorns
  • 2 pieces bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch(dissolved in 1/2 cup water)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • salt to taste
  • 3 pieces red chili (siling labuyo), chopped (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a pot, pour water and add bamboo shoots, uncover and bring to boil for 20 minutes or until soften. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a pan, heat oil and sauté garlic, onion and ginger.
  3. Add pork and stir-fry until brown.
  4. Add cooked bamboo shoots, cover and simmer for 3 minutes or until tender.
  5. Pour soy sauce, vinegar, pepper corns, bay leaves and sugar. Simmer for 5 minutes over low heat.
  6. Add chopped chili then season with salt according to taste.
  7. Pour dissolved mixture along with the coconut milk and simmer until thicken, turn off the heat. Serve hot.

Ready your spoons and forks, and that extra bowl of steaming hot rice ’cause you’ll definitely need more!

Taste the comfort of home with these delightful Adobo recipes!

For more stories, visit our homepage!

Written by

Robelle Anne Good

An incoming 4th year Public Relations student at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila. Self-proclaimed audiophile who loves travelling and wishes she could travel again.