If you’ve ever had the pleasure of sampling Filipino cuisine, you’ve likely encountered adobo, the country’s most popular dish. Adobo is a flavorful and versatile dish that has been passed down through generations of Filipino families, and its popularity has spread throughout the world.

What is Filipino Adobo?

At its most basic, adobo is a dish made with meat (usually chicken or pork) that has been marinated in a mixture of vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, and other seasonings. The meat is then simmered in this marinade until it is tender and flavorful. The result is a dish that is tangy, savory, and deeply satisfying.

A Brief History of Adobo

The exact origins of adobo are unclear, but it is thought to have originated in the Philippines during the Spanish colonial period. The Spanish introduced vinegar as a way to preserve meat, and the Filipinos adapted this technique to create adobo. Over time, adobo became a beloved dish in Filipino homes, and it eventually became the unofficial national dish of the Philippines.

How to Make Adobo

The beauty of adobo is its simplicity. While there are countless variations of the dish, the basic recipe remains the same. Here’s how to make adobo:


  • 2 lbs chicken or pork
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 head of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup water
  • cooking oil


  1. In a large bowl, mix together the vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, black peppercorns, and bay leaves.
  2. Add the meat to the marinade and mix well to coat.
  3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, but preferably overnight.
  4. In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat some cooking oil over medium-high heat.
  5. Add the marinated meat and cook until browned on all sides.
  6. Pour in the remaining marinade and add 1/2 cup of water.
  7. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for 30-40 minutes or until the meat is tender.
  8. Serve hot with rice.

Variations of Adobo

While the basic recipe for adobo remains the same, there are countless variations of the dish. Some cooks add sugar or honey to balance out the tanginess of the vinegar, while others add coconut milk for a richer, creamier sauce. Some even use different meats, such as beef, goat, or seafood.

Why Adobo is So Popular

Adobo has become a beloved dish in the Philippines and beyond for several reasons. For one, it’s incredibly versatile. You can use any type of meat or even vegetables to make adobo, and it can be served with rice, noodles, or bread. Additionally, the tangy and savory flavor of adobo is irresistible, and the dish is incredibly satisfying and comforting.

Filipino Chicken Adobo (incredible, EASY chicken thigh recipe!)


Filipino adobo is a delicious and versatile dish that has become a staple in Filipino homes and restaurants around the world. Whether you’re a seasoned adobo aficionado or a curious foodie, give this beloved dish a try and discover why it has captured the hearts (and stomachs) of so many.


  1. Is adobo spicy?
  • Adobo is not traditionally spicy, but some variations may include chili peppers or hot sauce to add heat.
  1. Can I use different meats for adobo?
  • Yes, adobo can be made with chicken,pork, beef, or even seafood.
  1. Is adobo healthy?
  • Adobo can be a healthy dish, as it is high in protein and low in fat. However, the amount of sodium in the dish can vary depending on the recipe.
  1. How long can I marinate the meat for adobo?
  • It is recommended to marinate the meat for at least 30 minutes, but overnight marination will result in a more flavorful dish.
  1. Can I make adobo in a slow cooker?
  • Yes, adobo can be made in a slow cooker. Simply follow the recipe, but instead of cooking the meat on the stovetop, add all the ingredients to a slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

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