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MRP Building, Mola Corner Pasong Tirad Streets, Brgy La Paz, Makati City

Girl in a jacket

Ah, Adobo. What would the world be without you. 

In celebration of Filipino-American History Month in the United States, Disney shared an adobo recipe last October 22, 2022. 

via Twitter

The recipe featured one way of cooking adobo. Yes, one, because there’s a multitude of Adobo versions the Philippines have. Time to cook them all:


The Classic, Chicken Adobo 

The classic, the legendary and probably the most widely known version of this dish is Chicken Adobo. 

Photo and recipe from knorr.com


 2 tbsp canola oil

6 cloves garlic crushed

1 pc onion, sliced

1 kilogram chicken cut ups

2 tbsp vinegar

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 cup water

2 pcs bay leaves

1 tsp whole black peppercorns, slightly crushed

2 pc Knorr chicken cubes

1 tsp brown sugar packed

Option: 1 cup kale or spinach


Heat oil in a pan and sauté garlic and onions. Then add chicken to the pan and sear on all sides, until you have a little browning in the chicken skin.

Pour in vinegar, soy sauce and water. Add bay leaves, pepper Bring to a boil over high heat then reduce heat to simmer, but do not cover the pan. Continue to simmer for 10 mins.

Separate the chicken from the sauce then fry it in another pan until it reach the optimal brownness

Reunite it with the sauce, then you can devour the simple yet delicious chicken adobo.


Chicken Adobo, but make it creamier

Adobo sa Gata or Adobo with coconut milk is just like chicken adobo, but with the added creamy feature of the coconut milk. 

Photo and recipe from Panlasang Pinoy


1 ½ lbs chicken cut into serving pieces

2 cups coconut milk

1 piece Knorr Chicken Cube

½ cup white vinegar

¼ cup soy sauce

6 cloves garlic

5 pieces bay leaves dried

2 teaspoons whole peppercorn

3 tablespoons cooking oil


Just like the Chicken Adobo, start by heating the oil in a pan, add the crushed garlic then saute it until it starts to brown. Add the chicken, fry it with 1 to 1 and a half minutes per side. 

After frying, you can add the soy sauce and vinegar. Cover the pan and let it boil, flip it then let it cook for 5 more minutes. 

Add whole peppercorn and bay leaves. Then add the key ingredient, coconut milk. Stir it religiously.

Let it cook until the chicken tenderizes and the sauce reduces to desired amount.

Then, serve. 


The Yellow Adobo 

Yes, you read it right, Yellow Adobo, the twist on this variation of Adobo is instead of using soy sauce, Turmeric will be used.  

Photo and recipe from Panlasang Pinoy


2 lbs. pork sliced

1/2 cup white vinegar

1 small yellow onion minced

1 knob turmeric sliced

6 cloves garlic crushed

4 dried bay leaves

1 piece pork or beef cube or 2 teaspoons beef powder

1/2 teaspoon granulated white sugar

1 cup water

2 teaspoons peppercorn

3 tablespoons cooking oil


Heat the cooking oil in a cooking pot, then add the garlic once it’s hot. Wait till it turns light brown before putting the onion. Cook it for 1 minute after the onion is placed. 

Then add the key ingredient, the sliced turmeric with peppercorn, and bay leaves. Wait for 10 to 15 seconds before putting the pork slices.  

Cook the pork slices until it turns to light brown. And to make up for the lost flavor due to the absence of soy sauce, you may add flavorings such as pork or beef or two (2) teaspoons of powder flavorings. Add water then let it boil. 

Cover the pot and then simmer for 30 to 45 minutes, you may add water if necessary. Then, you may add the vinegar. Let it re-boil.

Stir and add the sugar. Cook for another minute then Voila, you may now serve it. 


Vegetable based Adobo

The good thing with Adobo is that you can do it even without the pork. This next series of Adobo variants features vegetables as the main component of Adobo:


Bok Choy Adobo, Or Adobong Pechay. 

Some call it Ginisang pechay with oyster sauce but let’s call it Adobong Pechay.

Photo and recipe from clovegarden.com


1 lb. bok choy chopped

1 head garlic crushed

3 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons white vinegar

1/2 teaspoon granulated white sugar

3 pieces dried bay leaves

salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons cooking oil


Wash the Bok Choy then drain, ideally, you can chop it medium coarse but you can do what you want. 

Mix all broth items. 

Heat oil over moderate heat then fry the garlic just enough to make it golden. Then add the Bok Choy until it’s well coated with oil and start to wilt. This would take another three (3) minutes. 

Stir in broth mix, let it boil then lower the heat and simmer with cover. Wait till Bok Choy is cooked through but thicker stems still have some crunch. 

Wait for another five (5) minutes. 

Serve with steaming rice. 


Adobong Kangkong

Either you’re working with a strict budget or you just want to add a vegetable twist on your meal, Adobong Kangkong is a great option! And for those who are asking, Kangkong is water spinach. 

Photo and recipe from yummyfood.ph


1 bunch kangkong/water spinach (washed & cleaned)

3 tablespoons cooking oil

5 cloves garlic (crushed and chopped)

1 piece onion (sliced)

1 piece tomato (sliced)

2 tablespoons soy sauce

3 tablespoons oyster sauce

1 tablespoon vinegar

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper


Prepare the Kangkong first by washing it, then separating the kangkong leaves from the stalk. They cut the stalk into two (2) inch pieces then set it aside.

You can now heat oil in a pan, saute the garlic until aromatic, then add the sliced onion and continue until it is translucent. 

Add the sliced tomato and after a few minutes, add the kangkong stalk together with soy sauce and mix. Leave it covered for 2 minutes. 

Stir, then add the kangkong leaves, oyster sauce, vinegar and ground black pepper. Mix well. 

Cover and let it simmer until the kangkong is fully cooked.  

Make adjustments as you wish. 



Adobong Sitaw

Another famous, vegetable-based adobo is adobong sitaw or string beans.

Photo and recipe from Salu Salo Recipe


2 tablespoons olive oil

3 cloves garlic , minced

1 medium onion , chopped

1 lb pork belly or shoulder , cut into strips

1/2 cup water

½ teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons soy sauce

3 tablespoons white vinegar or more to taste

1 ½ lbs string beans (sitaw) , cut into 2 inch pieces, discarding the ends

Salt and pepper to taste


Prepare a skillet, heat oil in it with medium heat. Add garlic and onions then saute for two (2) minutes or until onions are soft. 

Add pork and saute until no longer pink. After another two minutes, add water and ½ teaspoon of salt. Let it boil then lower the heat and simmer for 12 minutes or until the pork tenders. 

Add soy sauce, vinegar and the Sitaw or string beans. Wait for another 12 minutes or until the Sitaw is cooked. 

Adjust according to preference, you can use vinegar or salt and pepper. 


Underwater Adobo!

Because, why not:

Adobong Pusit. 

Who says that we’re limited to land meats? Nah uh, Presenting, the inky Adobong Pusit. 

Photo and recipe from Panlasang Pinoy


5 pieces squid large, cleaned and sliced

2 tablespoons soy sauce

5 tablespoons white vinegar

1 teaspoon salt coarse

1 piece onion chopped

1 piece tomato chopped

5 cloves garlic crushed

1/2 teaspoon sugar

3 tablespoons cooking oil


Before starting, clean the squid thoroughly. The ink sac of the squid is not needed for this dish, so you can remove it. 

Combine squid, salt, soy sauce and vinegar in a bowl. Mix them well, Marinate for at least 12 minutes. 

And just like the other version, start with heating oil in a cooking pot. Saute garlic until it starts to turn light brown. 

Add onion and tomato, continue cooking until onion and tomato completely softens. 

Then, pour the marinade liquid in the pot. Add ground black pepper, let it boil and then cook for another three (3) minutes using low to medium heat, cover the pot. 

Add the squid, let the sauce boil. Cover, then continue cooking for three (3) minutes. 

Put sugar, stir then remove the squid from the pot and arrange it in a bowl. Continue cooking the sauce until it reduces to half.

Pour the sauce over the squid. Then serve. 


The Shrimp Adobo

 Ah yes, the seafood that most Filipinos love combined with the arguably best Pinoy dish. 

Photo and recipe from pinoyrecipe.net


3/4 kilo medium sized shrimps

1/2 cup vinegar, preferably coconut or cane vinegar

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup lemon-lime soda

1 tbsp Lechon Sauce (optional)

5 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium sized onions

salt and ground pepper to taste

1 tablespoon cooking oil

3 pcs bay leaf

3 pcs Siling Labuyo (optional if you want it spicy)


Wash the shrimps and remove all the whiskers. 

Then in a bowl, you can mix the vinegar, soy sauce and the lechon sauce. 

In a frying pan, put the shrimps and lemon-lime soda. Cook it for a minute or if the shrimp is already half cooked. 

You’ll know that it’s already half cooked if the shrimp is no longer transparent, but do not wait for it to turn completely orange. 

Drain and set aside the sauce. In the same frying pan, heat oil and saute the garlic and onions. 

Put in the vinegar-soy sauce mixture and bay leaves, let it boil then add the half cooked shrimps. 

From the previous sauce, add 3 tablespoons. Wait until the shrimp turns bright orange, do not overcook

Adjust based on your preference. 



Fish Adobo

To finish the underwater version of our adobos, here’s the Adobong Galunggong

Photo and recipe from Panlasang Pinoy


2 lbs. round scad galunggong, gutted and cleaned

1 tablespoon minced garlic

4 dried bay leaves

1 tablespoon whole pepper corn

5 tablespoons dark soy sauce

3 tablespoons white vinegar

1 cup water

2 tablespoons sea salt


Season the finish with sea salt, don’t forget the inner cavity. Then arrange it in a cooking pot. 

Add water with soy sauce, let it boil. 

Then add bay leaves, garlic and peppercorn. Leave it for five (5) minutes uncovered. 

Pour-in vinegar. Cover and allow to re-boil. With low to medium heat, let it cook for 10 to 15 minutes. 

Then, serve. 


Multiverse of Adobo

Even though Adobo were already present during the precolonial Philippines, we can still see people making different ways of how to cook it today. 

That’s why it will be an understatement to say that adobo has a lot of versions. It is a simple yet flexible dish that literally every household can have its own version. I’m sure your own household has its own version to it.

You can have it with boiled egg, quail egg, potato, liver spread, tofu etc. The list just goes on.

Maybe the ‘Multiverse’ of adobo is a reminder of our diverse and rich culture as a country. That even though we have different versions of it, we’re just one and the same adobo after all.



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