Adobong Manok(Filipino chicken in vinegar sauce)

Adobong manok, often called “chicken adobo,” is often considered the national dish of the Philippines. Its origins are with the Spanish colonizers — adobo is the Spanish word for a marinade — but Filipinos have happily adapted it as their own.

The vinegar marinade makes a dish that stores very well in the Filipino heat. Endless varieties of adobo exist and each region has its own specialty. Besides chicken and pork, there is fish, squid, green bean and even eggplant adobo.

4 to 6 servings


  • Chicken, cut into serving pieces — 2 1/2 to 3 pound
  • White vinegar — 3/4 cup
  • Soy sauce — 1/4 cup
  • Onion, thinly sliced — 1/2
  • Garlic, crushed — 4 to 6 cloves
  • Bay leaf — 1-2
  • Peppercorns — 6 to 8
  • Salt — 1 teaspoon
  • Water — 1 cup
  • Oil — 1/4 cup


  1. Add the chicken pieces, vinegar, soy sauce, onion, garlic, bay leaf, peppercorns and salt to a large, non-reactive bowl and refrigerate for 1-4 hours to marinate.
  2. Place the chicken and its marinade in a large pot. Add the water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30-45 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and tender. Add water as necessary to keep the chicken from drying out.
  3. Remove the chicken from its sauce, reserving the sauce, and pat dry. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high flame and sauté the chicken pieces to brown them. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Bring the remaining sauce to a boil over medium flame and cook until somewhat reduced and thickened.
  5. Toss the browned chicken pieces with the reduced sauce and serve with rice.

Adobo Variations

  • Adobong Manok na Gata (Chicken in vinegar sauce with coconut milk): Use 1 cup coconut milk instead of the water.
  • Pork Adobo: Substitute 1 1/2 pounds of cubed pork for the chicken. The pork is usually browned in oil first and then simmered with the rest of the ingredients. Pork adobo is probably even more popular than chicken.
  • Using a combination of pork and chicken is very popular.
  • Sautéing the chicken or pork can be eliminated if you like, but it adds a lot of flavor and color.
  • Vary the proportions of vinegar and soy sauce to your taste.
  • Sugar cane vinegar is used in the Philippines, but white or cider vinegar can be used.
  • Add a little sugar to round off the tartness if you like.
  • Add 1 cup pineapple to the simmering sauce or use pineapple juice instead of the water.
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