Adobo – WARNING once you start eating this, you won’t be able to stop……………

One of the best things to eat is a Filipino chicken Adobo! Adobo is as Filipino as it can get, it’s like the curry is as Indian as it gets and tacos are as Mexican as it can get. If you ask “Filo’s” what a typical Filo dish would be, most will say Adobo. Teamed with garlic fried rice, all you’ll need is warm weather and straw hutts and you’ll think you were in the Philippines.

The smell alone gets you salivating and hungry or not, you will succumb to this fabulous dish purely just on the aromas. You can make it with pork, chicken or a combination of both but when you are making it with chicken, use the legs or my favourite, the wings, cooked both on the bone. For the pork use the belly cut into strips, it’s so much more tastier. A combination of both gives such a great flavour to the juice/gravy and both ingredients remains juicy after being braised for a long time and it also gives out that “sticky” gelatinous texture that this dish is known for.

It has such simple flavours but it works, it does the job. As a kid my mum would cook this and it would be the only dish that my friends had no hesitation in trying, they loved it, couldn’t get enough of it. It is a great dish to introduce to people who haven’t tasted Filipino food in their lives.

What I love more abut this dish is that it is easy, I mean, you can really just place all the ingredients in a pot, turn the flame on and let it cook out, that’s how easy it is! I choose to brown the pig bits because I love the texture and flavour and for me, it’s about being “cheffy”, frying bits off and stuff, I mean it wouldn’t be theatrical if I just threw it all in a pot, now would it? We need flames, splatter of the oil, stirring of the pot and the theatre that comes with it all and if there’s anything you want to know about Filipino’s, it’s that every thing must be done with a little theatre!

Photo by Jun Pang

Chicken and Pork Adobo with Garlic Fried Rice

Serves 6

For the Adobo:

1kg Chicken Wings wing tips cut off, cut them into winglets

500gr Pork Belly cut into 1cm thick strips

4 tblspn Vegetable oil

1 Onion cut into 1cm dice

1/2 Bulb Garlic finely chopped

1 Bay Leaf

1 ¾ Cup Cane Vinegar use rice vinegar if not available

1 ½ Cup Light Soy Sauce

2 tspn Cracked Black Pepper

1 Cup Water

For the Fried Rice:

1tblspn Chopped Garlic

5 Cups Cooked Rice cooked and left to cool uncovered

4 tblspn Light Soy


1. Heat up a large pot on medium – high heat for one minute

2. Add the half the vegetable oil and heat for 30 seconds then add the pork strips. Cook the belly until it browns evenly

3. Add the onions and cook until they are translucent

4. Add the chicken wing and stir through

5. Add the garlic, bay leaf, cane vinegar, light soy, water and cracked black pepper

6. Bring to the boil then simmer on very low heat for 45 minutes or until the meat starts to fall off the bone on the chicken

7. For the rice, heat up a frying pan or wok really hot

8. Add the remaining oil then garlic and stir fry on high heat for 10 seconds then quickly add the rice and stir through continuously until the rice starts to break down into individual rice kernels and starts to fry evenly

9. Add the light soy and stir through

Photo by Jun Pang

Cane Vinegar – is made from sugar cane juice, made popular in the Philippines. It is a some what mellower flavour compared to other vinegars. It can range in colour from golden brown to yellow. It isn’t sweeter than any other vinegars and the closest substitute is rice vinegar. Vinegar is used in a lot of Filipino cooking and cane vinegar is the most used especially in dips, sauces etc. Cane vinegar is usually sold in most Asian supermarkets in Australia

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