Filipino Chicken Adobo

Filipino chicken adobo is one the easiest but most flavorful chicken dishes out there. All it uses are common Asian pantry items, some chicken, and love. The chicken turns out extremely tender even though it is cooked for a short period of time.

Should I marinate chicken?

In my video, I clearly did not marinate the chicken at all. This was just to demonstrate how to make this dish even if you only have 30 minutes to cook. Ideally, you want to marinate the chicken in the soy sauce, brown sugar, and vinegar for at least 1 hour and up to overnight. This will allow the chicken to become more flavorful have have a darker color.

How you would cook it afterwards is pretty much the exact same. Remove the chicken from the marinade then sear it on each side. Pour the marinade into the pan along with the remaining ingredients and continue as the instructions state.

What cut of chicken for Filipino chicken adobo?

I only used bone-in chicken thighs, but you can also use chicken wings and drumsticks. The only part I would stay away from is the chicken breast because it will become too dry.

Chicken thighs

Another tip is to trim off some of the fat from the chicken because it may produce a lot of oil. If you decide not to, then you should drain out excess oil from the pan after searing the chicken before proceeding with the remaining steps.

Amount of excess oil I had

How much stock or water to use?

I used about 1.25 – 1.5 cups of chicken stock to cook the chicken. The idea is for the broth or water to cook the chicken and braise it until tender. You don’t want so much water to the point where it covers the entire piece of chicken. You want it to cover about 3/4 of the chicken though. Here is what it should look like before covering with a lid.

Water level before simmering

For those of you who wonder what type of chicken stock I use, I just mix chicken bouillon powder with water. I mixed about 1/2 tbsp of this powder with 1.25 cups hot water.

Chicken bouillon powder I use

Important ingredients for Filipino chicken adobo

Rough chopped garlic

Garlic is a huge flavor component to this dish and you should be generous with it. I added about 10 cloves that have been roughly chopped. You can also just smash them and add it instead.

Rough chopped garlic

Vinegar in Filipino chicken adobo?

The vinegar component is actually what sets this dish apart from other types of Asian soy sauce chicken. Many recipes call for white vinegar, but I like to use rice vinegar instead. Rice vinegar is slightly less acidic but also provides a hint of sweetness. It is my go-to vinegar for most Asian recipes.

Rice vinegar

Scallion whites

Scallion whites aren’t a very traditional thing to add, however I was cutting the scallion greens for garnish and didn’t know what to do with the whites. So I just decided to add it into the cooking process for some additional flavor.

Scallion whites

Filipino Chicken Adobo

This Filipino chicken adobo recipe is one of the easiest and tasty chicken recipes out there. This can be done in 40 minutes.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes


  • 6 chicken thighs (skin on)
  • cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 2 bunches scallions
  • cup chicken stock or water
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns


  • Remove excess fat off of chicken.
    6 chicken thighs
  • In a hot pan with 1 tbsp of oil, sear the chicken on each side until golden brown in color.
    6 chicken thighs
  • Remove excess oil in the pan then keep the chicken skin side up and add all of the remaining ingredients into the pan.
    ⅓ cup soy sauce, ¼ cup rice vinegar, 3 tbsp brown sugar, 10 cloves garlic, 2 bunches scallions, 1¼ cup chicken stock or water, 3 bay leaves, 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • Bring it up to a simmer then cover and let it cook for 20 minutes.
  • Remove the lid, then turn up the heat to high and allow the sauce so simmer for 10 minutes or until desired flavor/consistency. Towards the end I like to baste the chicken with the sauce.
  • Serve on top of a bed of rice and garnish with green part of scallions.
    2 bunches scallions

If you enjoyed this recipe, check out some more easy chicken recipes here: