My Filipino side doesn’t really make Adobo. Nor Pansit, nor Lumpia for that matter. About 10 years ago, I finally took matters into my own hands and went … where else? … Google to find authentic recipes. I came across a cookbook at a Filipino event. I watched hilarious videos on youtube.
I tried them all and made my own recipe below.
But as mentioned, finding coconut or sugar cane vinegar is KEY. White Vinegar is too strong and really sucks and just straight up isn’t authentic. Go to Ranch 99 in the Bay Area, or a local Asian / Filipino market. Pick up some frozen Shanghai lumpia too. Why not.
- 2 lbs - Chicken, boneless skinless chicken thighs (OR add some drumsticks for bone flavor)
- 1 head - Garlic, coarsely chopped (yes, an entire head!)
- 1 - thumb-sized piece of ginger, coarsely sliced
- 1 cup - Organic Tamari Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce (or more to taste - or any soy sauce will do. I advise reduced sodium)
- 1 cup - coconut vinegar or sugar cane vinegar (this is the KEY authentic ingredient - find at Ranch 99 or other asian market)
- 1 cup - water
- 1 tsp - ground black pepper (or more to taste)
- 10 - black peppercorns (optional)
- 2 - bay leaves
- 2 tbl spoons - cooking oil
- 1a - [optional] marinade the chicken over night. In a bowl, combine the vinegar, soy, ground black pepper, garlic, and ginger. Add the chicken OR pour over the chicken in a separate bowl and cover OR add chicken to a ziploc and pour over and seal. Let marinade in refrigerator over night.
- 1 - Heat the cooking oil in a large, heavy-bottomed frying pan. Lightly brown garlic and ginger over medium-low heat (about 5 minutes).
- 2 - Add the chicken to the frypan and brown it over medium-high heat (about 5 minutes).
- 3 - Add vinegar, bay leaves, both peppers, soy sauce, and water and simmer, partly covered, until the chicken is done. About 45 minutes OR as long as possible (2 hours or so) over low heat with barely a light boil.
- 4 - Remove the bay leaves, serve chicken over rice with a generous spooning of sauce.
- You can substitute pork for the chicken, or mix the two.
- In the Philippines it is the custom to marinate the meat for two days rather before simmering. To marinate the chicken.
- This dish is too strongly flavored to go well with wine; try serving it with beer.