Adobo is considered as the national food of the Philippines. It comes from the Spanish word adobar which means marinade, sauce or seasoning. It’s a cooking process that can be done in meat, seafood and vegetables, seasoning it with vinegar, soy sauce, black pepper and bay leaf.

Before the Spanish regime in the Philippines, the natives used to cook meat using vinegar and it was also used as a preservative to keep food fresh for longer. When Spaniards came they introduced the use of soy sauce. Which since then became popular and become part of this recipe. It was
then first recorded in the dictionary Vocabulario de la Lengua Tagala (1613) compiled by Pedro de San Buenaventura a Franciscan missionary and called it as adobo de los naturales (adobo of the native peoples).

As time passed, variations of how to cook adobo appeared left and right. Including twists that make more out of the traditional dish, however this recipe is the most commonly used.


  • 1 kilo chicken, cut into serving portions
  • ¾ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp. black peppercorns
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Cooking oil


  • In a small pot sautee garlic, and then add chicken.
  • Add the soy sauce and vinegar.
  • Bring to boil.
  • Lower the heat then add the black pepper corns and bay leaves
  • Simmer until sauce is thickened and chicken is tender
  • Serve with steamed rice!

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