There’s adobo and there’s adobo, my mom would say. And there’s really no right way or wrong way on how to cook adobong manok. The Filipino Adobo can get very addicting and it’s usually a gateway food that starts others when discovering Filipino dishes. Moms love it because it’s frugal, has simple ingredients, and you can find them all in your pantry!
This is a classic adobo recipe which is one of the first recipe I learned and cooked at home. Our classic chicken adobo, not to be confused with the Mexican Adobo, is a simple blend of tuba vinegar, garlic, and soy sauce simmered gently. Anybody can cook it, even a kid!
History tells us that our Adobo far predates the Spanish colonization and adding vinegar to the stew is a preservation technique. I actually use 2 kinds of vinegar in this chicken adobo. I like the combination of sukang tuba -coconut sap vinegar, which has undertones of sweetness and sukang maasim -sugarcane vinegar, for that mouth puckering sourness or asim kilig, as they say.
How to Cook Adobong Manok
- 5 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 tbsp tuba vinegar (coconut sap vinegar)
- 1 kilo chicken
- 3 pieces dried bay leaves
- 4 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sukang maasim (white vinegar)
- whole peppercorn
- 1 – 2 cup water (just enough to leave a small amount of sauce after simmering in medium fire for 30 minutes)
- ½ tsp white sugar
Instructions on How to Cook Adobong Manok
- Saute garlic and chicken. Add tuba vinegar. Cover and cook until vinegar has evaporated and chicken is brown.
- Add soy sauce, bay leaves, peppercorn, and water. Let simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add white vinegar and sugar. Don’t mix.
- Let the chicken cook for 20 minutes more until sauce is almost evaporated and chicken is cooked thoroughly.
Aside from the vinegar, I think what spells the difference in how to cook adobong manok is the peppercorn. Use the best and freshest peppercorn you can find and you will have a memorable Adobong Manok. I would also let the the chicken cook on it’s own fat on step 1 to remove what some people call as “langsa” or fishiness. Though I’m not sure why a chicken would be fishy, I agree with this and love it to be “sangkutsado” or browned.
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