An Intro to Adobo: Tender Chicken Adobo Recipe for First-Timers
Ask any of your Filipino friends what their recommended Filipino dish is and for sure, one of the answers will be adobo. We'll get into the basics of adobo, the best sauces for adobo recipes, and cap it off with a beginner-friendly Chicken Adobo recipe, so you can enjoy this Filipino favorite in under an hour!
HISTORY OF ADOBO
Even locals will debate on adobo’s official position as the Philippines’ national dish because it’s definitely high up in the ranks along with sinigang, lechon, and kare-kare.
Way before the Philippines was colonized by the Spaniards, our ancestors have developed ways of preserving food in a tropical climate through vinegar and soy sauce. When the Spanish arrived, Franciscan Friar Pedro de San Buenaventura coined the term adobo de naturales or adobo of the natives to refer to this meat preservation technique.
At present, adobo may refer to either the dish or the method of marinating and stewing meat in vinegar, soy sauce, and spices. This yields a mix of tangy, savory, and tender flavors that best goes with white rice. Given this definition, there really is no one recipe for adobo.
REGIONAL VARIETIES OF ADOBO
They say there are as many varieties of adobo as there are cooks in the Philippines and they are all special and delicious in their own ways. Most adobo variants differ in their regional origins and the base ingredient that they use. There’s adobo sa gata (coconut milk), adobo sa asin (salt), adobong puti (white vinegar), adobong dilaw (turmeric), and many more.
BEST SAUCES FOR ADOBO RECIPES
There may be several ways to prepare this well-loved Filipino dish but one thing is certain: you can't leave out vinegar and soy sauce in the recipe!
The vinegar's acidity will mellow down as you cook but it is the secret ingredient behind that tender and juicy adobo meat.
Any good quality vinegar will do fine and neutralize the saltiness from your soy sauce but Filipino coconut sap vinegar is guaranteed to yield the best results.
Available in Karman Foods online, Coconut Secret's Raw Coconut Vinegar is a 100% organic and Filipino-made product that's easier on the palate and less harsh in flavor than apple cider vinegar. Plus, it's also loaded with vitamins, minerals, and amino acid content. This might just be the perfect base for your adobo!
When it comes to the use of soy sauce, adobo purists (yes, they exist!) will not include it in their recipes and stick with coconut milk. However, soy sauce is a great complement to vinegar. While vinegar offers a tingling sourness, soy sauce adds an irresistible savory taste that will have you asking for seconds.
For our top soy sauce for adobo, we recommend the Coconut Secret Coconut Aminos Soy-Free Seasoning Sauce. As the name suggests, it's a soy-free alternative to soy sauce that's made from organic coconut tree sap and mineral-rich salt from Mindanao, Philippines. This means you won't have to worry about coconut flavors getting in the way of your usual salty soy sauce flavors.
We highly recommend this product because not only does it come from the homeland of adobo, but it's also a healthier alternative to soy sauce with 73% less sodium. Asking for seconds wouldn't be so bad with this in your recipe!
TYPES OF MEAT USED IN ADOBO
When it comes to the meat used, anything goes! Chicken is a popular choice, but pork, beef, and even seafood variants also exist. Whichever region you’re from, one thing stood the test of time: vinegar and soy sauce remain at the heart of adobo.
10-INGREDIENT TENDER CHICKEN ADOBO RECIPE
If it’s your first time making adobo, let’s start with the basics! Here’s an easy no-fail Chicken Adobo recipe from Panlasang Pinoy with links to Organic Coconut Secret products available via Karman Foods online to help you prepare this Filipino-favorites. All these ingredients are available in our Filipino Market, what are you waiting for, try it now!
Easy 10-ingredient Tender Chicken Adobo Recipe
Filipino Chicken Adobo is a type of chicken stew that's marinated and tenderized with vinegar, soy sauce, bay leaves, pepper, and other fresh spices. This 10-ingredient recipe will allow you to enjoy the sweet, sour, and salty flavors of this popular Filipino dish in under an hour.
2 lbs. chicken, cut into serving pieces
3 pcs dried bay leaves
8 tbsp Coconut Secret Soy-Free Seasoning Sauce
4 tbsp Coconut Secret Raw Coconut Vinegar
5 cloves garlic, crushed
1 1/2 cups water
3 tbsp cooking oil
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt (optional)
1 tsp whole peppercorns
Combine chicken, soy sauce, and garlic in a large bowl. Mix well.
Marinate the chicken for at least 1 hour. The longer the time, the better.
Heat a cooking pot. Pour cooking oil.
When the oil is hot enough, pan-fry the marinated chicken for 2 minutes per side.
Pour-in the remaining marinade, including garlic.
Add water. Bring to a boil.
Add dried bay leaves and whole peppercorn.
Simmer for 30 minutes or until the chicken gets tender.
Stir in vinegar. Cook for 10 minutes.
Stir in the sugar, and salt. Turn the heat off and serve hot.