Chicken adobo

Philippine style, with bay leaves, soy sauce, vinegar, peppercorns, and garlic.

There are various styles of Filipinx adobo, but the one I grew up with involves the simple ingredients of garlic, peppercorn, soy sauce, and vinegar. As with all my recipes, ingredient amounts are approximate.


  • 2 lbs chicken, cut into preferred serving size
  • I prefer no smaller than an inch for boneless pieces.
  • Smaller and more abundant pieces would do best in a wide pan.
  • Larger and fewer pieces would do best in a pot.
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 10 pieces or 1 tsp of black peppercorn
  • 8 tbs white vinegar
  • 8 tbs soy sauce
  • I like to do a mixture of dark and regular.
  • 2-3 tbs cooking oil
  • 5+ cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt (optional)


Serves 4-6

  1. Marinade chicken with soy sauce and garlic.
  • For boneless chicken, 30 minutes to 4 hours is good.
  • For bone-in chicken, 4 to 12 hours is good.
  1. In a pot or pan (depending on your chicken piece sizes), heat cooking oil to medium or medium-high heat.
  2. Spread out chicken without marinade into the pot or pan so they are all touching the surface. Brown the chicken for about 2 minutes on each side.
  3. Add rest of marinade to pot or pan.
  4. Bring to a boil.
  5. Turn down heat to a simmer.
  6. Add bay leaves and peppercorn.
  7. Let simmer for 30 minutes, partially covered.
  8. Add vinegar.
  9. Let simmer for another 10 minutes.
  10. Taste and add more vinegar if needed (simmer a few more minutes if so).
  11. Add sugar.
  12. Serve hot with rice.