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4.91 from 50 votes

Filipino Chicken Adobo (Flavour Kapow!)

One of the most amazing Asian chicken dishes I have ever come across. Intense in flavour, but so fast and easy to prepare. MARINATING TIME: 20 min to overnight
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Chicken
Cuisine: Filipino
Servings: 4
Calories: 388kcal
Author: Nagi | RecipeTin Eats


  • 1.5 lb / 750g chicken thigh fillets , boneless and skinless (4 to 6 pieces)
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce (ordinary all purpose soy sauce, not light or dark soy sauce)
  • 1/3 cup + 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 3 dried bay leaves (or 4 fresh)
  • 3 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 small brown onion , diced
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp whole black pepper
  • 2 shallots/scallions , sliced


  • Combine the chicken with 3 garlic cloves (minced), soy sauce, vinegar and bay leaves in a bowl. Marinate for at least 20 minutes, or up to overnight.
  • Heat 1 tbsp oil in a fry pan 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. Remove chicken from the fry pan and set aside.
  • Heat the remaining 2 tbsp oil, then add the garlic and onion and sauté until the onion is golden and translucent (2 minutes).
  • Add the reserved marinade, water, sugar and black pepper. Bring it to a simmer then turn heat down to medium high.
  • Simmer for 5 minutes, then add the chicken back in, top side down (ie the smooth side should face down). Leave to simmer uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes (no need to stir) until the sauce reduces down to a thick jam-like syrup and when you turn the chicken over, it is glazed (note - it will thicken slightly as it rests).
  • 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.
  • Set aside to rest for 5 minutes, then serve, garnished with shallots/scallions.


1. You 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 a fried rice with leftover Filipino Chicken Adobo and chopped Asian greens. No other flavourings required!
2. This needs to be made with chicken thighs in order for the sauce to thicken because the oil in the chicken is required. This recipe won't work as well with chicken breast.
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.
3. Nutrition per serving.
Filipino Chicken Adobo Nutrition


Serving: 407g | Calories: 388kcal | Carbohydrates: 13.5g | Protein: 38.9g | Fat: 20.2g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 158mg | Sodium: 1365mg | Potassium: 192mg | Fiber: 1.6g | Sugar: 7.4g | Vitamin A: 100IU | Vitamin C: 9.1mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 2.7mg