Chicken Adobo – considered one of the Phillipines’ national dishes

Like so many people around the world, I absolutely love chicken and never tire of it. So am always looking for new recipes that use this ubiquitous ingredient. Came across Chicken Adobo – considered one of the Phillipines’ national dishes – and thought I would give it a try. Glad I did as it is easy to make and we really enjoyed the tasty tang imparted by the ingredients used for the sauce.

Chicken Adobo – considered one of the Phillipines’ national dishes

Recipe by Lee Johnson, adapted, tried and tasted by GraceDifficulty: Easy


Total time



I followed Lee Johnson, co-founder of Bong Bong’s Manila Kanteen, recipe but added chopped mixed herbs at the end. Next time I make this excellent recipe, am going to add chopped green chillies, for a little more heat, as pictured above. You’ll need a shallow casserole dish with a lid for this easy recipe.


  • vegetable oil 2 tbsp

  • skin on chicken thighs 1kg

  • garlic 6-7 cloves, sliced thickly

  • light soy sauce 125ml

  • coconut vinegar 170ml (available in supermarkets or use apple cider vinegar)

  • 2 sprigs of bay leaves

  • whole black peppercorns ½ tbsp

  • onion 1 large, sliced

  • Sliced green chilli or chopped mixed herbs(optional)

  • microwave rice and steamed green beans to serve


  • Heat the oil in a casserole over a medium-high heat and brown the chicken pieces on all sides. Turn down the heat and lightly fry the garlic until just brown. Add the soy, vinegar, bay and peppercorns.
  • Lay the onion slices over the chicken and bring the liquid to the boil. Reduce the heat to medium so it maintains a simmer and cover. Cook for 20-25 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the onions have softened.
  • Remove the lid and continue to cook for another 10 minutes to reduce the liquid slightly. Sprinkle over fresh herbs or slices of green chilli, if liked. Serve with steamed rice and steamed green beans.

Filipino-born Lee Johnson co-founded Bong Bong’s Manila Kanteen with his partner Sinead Campbell. They started with food truck BBQ Dreamz in 2014, winning BBC Two’s My Million Pound Menu. Based in Kerb’s indoor market in Covent Garden, Bong Bong’s has a menu based on the founding flavours of Filipino cuisine.

More chicken recipes tried and tasted by the A&G team

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1 year ago

Sounded easy and tasty – so cooked it last night. Super easy and delicious – I put in the green chilli just about 1/4 inch chopped up very small, made a big difference all to the better in my opinion. Thanks for such a simple recipe.

Annabel & Grace
1 year ago
Reply to  Sarah

Delighted you enjoyed it as much as we did! Thanks for letting us know, means a lot. Best wishes, Grace