How to cook adobo

How to cook adobo

Adobo Sauce is a rich, reddish brown, earthy flavored sauce synonymous with chipotle peppers. A traditional Mexican sauce made with ground ancho and guajillo chiles that has the consistency of a thick BBQ sauce, I’ll show you how to make it using simple pantry items and spices.

How to cook adobo

What is Adobo Sauce?

Adobo Sauce is made from chili powder, vinegar, sugar, garlic and herbs. This was originally used to flavor and preserve meats and is fantastic in so many Mexican and Tex Mex dishes. It’s mainly known as the sauce poured over chipotle peppers.

The other day I showed you How to Make Dried Chipotle Peppers if you wanted to make them from scratch. It’s super easy and much cheaper than buying store bought.

How to cook adobo

Now feel free to use whatever chili powder you prefer, but I like to make my own. Ancho chili powder is best for making adobo. I often times add a few dried chipotle chiles or guajillo chiles for good measure!

How to cook adobo

Experiment if you’re into that. I love to make my own spice blends and you can find them here.

A little goes a long way when that little kick of smoky flavor is needed.

This Adobo Sauce is fantastic used in soups, mixed with Ranch dressing for salads and to flavor bomb gravies. Enjoy!

How to cook adobo

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Published Jun 21, 2018 By Julia Leave a Comment This post may contain affiliate links.

How to cook adobo

Adobo Sauce (& Beef Adobo Recipe)

INGREDIENTS

Adobo sauce:

  • ▢ 2 ounces (weight) dried whole ancho chiles (about 6)
  • ▢ 1 ounce (weight) dried whole guajillo chiles (about 5)
  • ▢ 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • ▢ 1/4 cup water
  • ▢ 5 cloves garlic
  • ▢ 1 teaspoon salt
  • ▢ 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ▢ 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ▢ 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ▢ 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • ▢ 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ▢ 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

Beef adobo dinner:

  • ▢ 12 ounces flank steak
  • ▢ 1/3 cup adobo sauce (above)
  • ▢ 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • ▢ 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • ▢ 1 tablespoon cooking oil

INSTRUCTIONS

Making adobo sauce:

Making beef adobo:

NUTRITION

Makes 3 Servings
Amount Per Serving (1/3 cup sauce):
Calories 90 (24% from fat)
Total Fat 2g 4%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 790mg 33%
Net Carb 9.5g
Total Carb 16.5g 6%
Dietary Fiber 7g 28%
Sugars 0g
Protein 4g
Vitamin A 120% · Vitamin C 2% · Calcium 4% · Iron 22%

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How to cook adobo

What is adobo sauce? Is it the same as Filipino adobo sauce?

Adobo sauce is composed of dried chiles, vinegar, garlic, and seasonings. It was originally used by the Spanish as a marinade to preserve meats, but was later used for flavoring foods prior to cooking.

Adobo sauce is mild to moderately spicy, and more so if you keep the chiles’ seeds when making the sauce. The heat comes from ancho chiles (1000-1500 on the Scoville scale) and guajillo chiles (2500-5000).

In this post, I’m referring to the adobo sauce that originated in Spanish cuisine, and was then widely adopted in Latin America. The Filipinos independently developed a somewhat similar sauce (see Instant Pot Chicken Adobo), which Spanish colonists called “adobo” because of some similarities. But each has a very distinct and different taste.

Adobo sauce vs chipotle sauce

A chipotle pepper is a smoked, dried jalapeño. Adobo sauce uses ancho and guajillo chiles, not chipotles, so it’s not the same as chipotle sauce.

However, you’ll likely come across “chipotles in adobo sauce” which is exactly as it sounds — chipotle peppers sitting in adobo sauce. This post shows you how to make adobo sauce, and doesn’t add chipotles.

How to cook adobo

Tips for making adobo sauce

  • Make sure that the dried chiles are completely softened before pureeing in a blender with the rest of the ingredients. They’re soft enough when you can easily bend them. If some are still stiff, keep soaking them in hot water until pliable. Don’t attempt to blend them if they’re not totally soft.
  • Adobo sauce should have a thick paste-like consistency. If you prefer the sauce to be thinner, you can add small amounts of water to your blender until you you get your desired texture. Another reason to make it thinner is if your blender has trouble pureeing it. I used a Nutribullet for the job.
  • If you have any leftover sauce, freeze it in ice cube trays. Once frozen, you can pop the cubes out of the tray and store in a resealable bag. You can use them anytime by adding them to stews and such.

How to cook adobo

Beef adobo dinner

I’ve also included instructions for making a delicious beef adobo dinner in the recipe. With just 10 minutes of cooking, this is a very fast and easy method for making an adobo-flavored dinner.

The flank steak is tossed with corn starch prior to cooking to keep the meat moist and tender (see tips for tenderizing stir fry beef and low carb beef and broccoli). If you skip the corn starch, the meat will be tougher.

You can serve beef adobo with anything you’d like. I follow a low carb diet so I opted for spiralized zucchini “noodles.” If you’re not low carb, you might want to serve with rice.

How to cook adobo

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About Julia

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Julia is a recipe developer and the founder of Savory Tooth. Since 2015, she has been sharing simple recipes for tasty dishes, mostly low carb and gluten free. Learn more.

How to cook adobo

How to cook adobo

Try this melt in your mouth Pork Adobo Recipe with a perfect balance of saltiness, and acidity. Slow-cooked and then sauteed in browned garlic for richer and fuller flavors.

Adobo has become an iconic dish that represents Filipino food worldwide. It is always present and usually takes the top place in all the Filipino food list you can find.

There was even a movie called ‘American Adobo’ back in 2002. Which is not about Adobo really but about the lives of five Filipinos living in the USA.

They used the name of the dish as the title in the film as a symbol that reflects the clashing characters and their different struggles in life living abroad.

But despite the conflicts in their characters, in the end, everything ended up well, just like in cooking Adobo that is acidic (vinegar), salty (soy sauce), meaty and full of spices, all ingredients are thrown together to create such a unique and delicious dish.

How to cook adobo

What is Adobo?

Adobo is a way of cooking meat (or vegetable) in a brine solution with vinegar, soy sauce, onions, and peppercorn. Dried bay leaves and garlic are usually added for extra flavor and fragrance.

It also refers to the popular Filipino dish that is cooked using this technique.

Different meat can be used for making this dish. Most common is chicken (Adobong Manok) or Pork (Adobong Baboy). Vegetables like, snake beans, water spinach, and eggplant are also cooked in this manner. So are fishes and squid.

How to cook adobo

How to make Pork Adobo tastier

My pork Adobo recipe is done a bit different than the others.

However, you will also learn that a lot of them have different ways of cooking Adobo. Some people just boil it and prefers a thinner sauce. Others marinate it in the sauce before cooking it. I, on the other hand, do not marinate but cook it twice!

It is like braising but in reverse.

  1. Simmer the meat in the soy sauce-vinegar solution with onions, peppercorn and bay leaves, low and slow until it becomes fork tender.
  2. Then separate the meat from the sauce and saute the meat in browned garlic.
  3. The sauce is, finally, added back and simmered until it is reduced to a caramelized sauce.

This is the way my Mama thought me and most of my titas (aunties) and cousins do it the same way.

Browning the garlic and adding it at the end makes the sauce richer with a fuller flavor.

How to cook adobo

Which cuts to use for pork Adobo

  • Pork belly -(Liempo) the more popular choice because it is the most flavorful cut because of the fats in it.
  • Pork shoulder – (Kasim) than pork belly. A tough cut with lots of fat and tissue that make it ideal for slow cooking.
  • Pork ham – (Pigue) If you want meatier and leaner meat that is also good for slow-cooking.
  • Pork hocks – (Pata) also great for making this pork Adobo recipe with a good combination of bones, skin, and meat flesh.

How to cook adobo

Although it seems that Chicken Adobo is more popular on the international scene, you should also give the pork version a try. You can even mix them if you like. As a Filipino, I cannot say which one is more popular in the Philippines. I think both are equally loved as they are equally delicious. Adobo is Adobo, regardless of the meat you use.

Filipino Chicken Adobo is the national dish of the Philippines and may well become your new favourite Asian chicken dish! Just a few everyday ingredients I can practically guarantee you already have, it’s an effortless recipe that yields juicy, tender chicken coated in a sweet savoury glaze with little pops of heat from peppercorns.

This is a chicken thigh recipe and it MUST be made with thighs – no substituting with chicken breast!

How to cook adobo

Filipino Chicken Adobo

Filipino Chicken Adobo is one of the first chicken thigh recipes I shared way back in 2015 when I started this website. Back then, I boldly stated that this was my new favourite Asian chicken recipe even it was thoroughly disloyal of me to say that, being of Japanese background and all (Teriyaki, Karaage and Yakitori….to name a few….).

To be honest, I may have embellished a wee bit. Blinded by the excitement of discovering Chicken Adobo, how unbelievably easy it is for a dish that yields such incredible flavour,

Check out how sticky the sauce is! It truly tastes as incredible as it looks. And it’s SO EASY with just a HANDFUL of ingredients!

How to cook adobo

What you need

Filipino Chicken Adobo is the national dish of the Philippines and like all traditional dishes, there are many variations – including different proteins like pork and beef.

Fundamentally though, the key ingredients are the right balance of soy sauce, vinegar, black pepper and sugar that create an incredibly sticky glaze that has a depth of flavour like it’s been slow cooked – but it’s not!

How to cook adobo

boneless skinless chicken thighs – cannot substitute with breast, need the fat to transform sauce into a glaze;

soy sauce – all purpose or light soy sauce. NOT dark soy sauce (bottle will be labelled as such if it’s dark soy sauce);

white vinegar – just everyday, plain white vinegar. Sub with any clear vinegar, including rice wine, apple cider, sherry vinegar;

onion and garlic;

peppercorns – or coarse cracked pepper;

sugar – brown best, white ok;

bay leaves – fresh or dried, not the end of the world if you don’t have; and

green onion – optional garnish

How to make Filipino Chicken Adobo

And here’s how to make it. Basically, you marinate the chicken briefly, sear the chicken, then simmer it in the pan with the marinade for 25 minutes. It will look watery right up until the last few minutes, then all of a sudden, the liquid transforms magically into a syrupy glaze!

How to cook adobo

How to cook adobo

What Chicken Adobo tastes like

The glaze of Filipino Chicken Adobo is savoury and sweet with a hint of tang, with a distinct soy flavour. The garlic and onion creates a savoury base along with the bay leaves, and the peppercorns add little subtle pops of heat.

Don’t be afraid of the peppercorns in this! The spiciness is tempered from both the cooking time and the strength of the flavour of the sauce so it becomes a flavour enhancer rather than fiery spiciness.

And finally, the chicken itself. It’s incredibly tender, owing to the cook time. Chicken thighs only take about 6 to 8 minutes to cook on the stove, so simmering them in sauce for 25 minutes yields thighs that are so tender inside, it’s like you’ve slow cooked them for hours.

How to cook adobo

What to serve with Chicken Adobo

Rice to soak up the sauce is essential! Though if you’re counting calories, I can highly recommend Cauliflower Rice – pictured in the first photo in the post alongside Smashed Cucumbers for a seriously delicious dinner plate clocking in at a grand total of just 415 calories.

You may not use all the sauce this Filipino Chicken Adobo recipe makes. It is quite strong, so have a taste before dousing your entire plate with it.

As you can see in the photos, I do not hold back. 😂 – Nagi x

PS If you do have leftover sauce, don’t throw it out! That stuff is GOLD. I use it to make Filipino Chicken Adobo fried rice – just fry up cooked rice with chopped up pieces of this chicken, some chopped Asian greens and the sauce. The sauce is so flavoursome that you don’t need anything else!

Watch how to make it

Originally published February 2015. Updated January 2019 with brand new photos, step photos, video and most importantly, Life of Dozer section added!!

How to cook adobo

Chicken Adobo is a delicious recipe where chicken is braised in a marinade made of soy sauce, black pepper, bay leaves and vinegar. This easy version takes a few shortcuts but delivers the same punchy flavor and super tender braised chicken.

Ingredients

Full recipe with amounts can be found in the recipe card below.

  • Chicken thighs. Use bone-in, skin-on thighs.
  • Vinegar. I used white vinegar. Rice vinegar will also be delicious.
  • Soy sauce. You can use Tamari or Coconut Aminos if you are gluten free.
  • Brown sugar.
  • Garlic.
  • Black pepper.
  • Bay leaves.
  • Chillies. I used green Serenade chillies but Thai/Bird’s eye chillies or jalapeños can be used instead.
  • Salt and pepper.
  • Rice, to serve.
  • Greens, to serve.

How to make Chicken Adobo

  1. Prepare and brown the chicken: Season chicken thighs generously on both sides with salt and black pepper. Brown the chicken in a large, deep skillet or frying pan until deep golden brown. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  2. Make the sauce: Combine the vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, black pepper, bay leaves and chillies then pour into the pan. Bring to a simmer. Add the chicken back into the pot, skin-side up. Turn down the heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes, with the lid ajar, until the chicken is cooked through and very tender. When the chicken is cooked, remove the lid and turn up the heat. Baste the chicken with the braising liquid until the chicken is glazed.
  3. Serve: Serve the chicken with rice and cooked greens like broccoli, bok choy or spinach.

Can I freeze this recipe?

The finished chicken can be frozen in a suitable container for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw completely then reheat in a pan set over medium heat. Leftovers can also be kept in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Cooking Australian food

Question: How To Cook Filipino Adobo?

What are the steps in cooking adobo?

Adobong Manok (Chicken Adobo ) Step 1: Gathering Ingredients. To make Chicken Adobo, you will need: Step 2: Heating the Pan. First thing first, we need a pan to cook in! Step 3: Cut the Chicken. Step 4: Getting the Rice Ready. Step 5: Dice the Onion. Step 6: Mince the Garlic. Step 7: Cutting the Carrots. Step 8: Making the Sauce.

What goes with Filipino adobo?

WHAT TO SERVE WITH CHICKEN ADOBO A side of rice, quinoa or mashed potatoes is a must! A simple citrusy green salad is a perfect side dish with chicken adobo. This shredded raw carrot salad is also a great choice. To garnish, I recommend chopped cilantro or chopped scallions or both.

How do you use adobo?

Uses for Adobo It’s an excellent seasoning for most cooking methods such as grilling, roasting, frying, or sautéing. Adobo can also be used as a base seasoning for stews, sauces, beans, soup stock, baked potatoes, and vegetables. In Mexico, adobo sauces are red, thick, and spicy.

What is the function of vinegar in cooking adobo?

Cooking softens the acidity of the vinegar, which then combines with the flavor of the meat to enhance it. Whether consumed in Manila’s heat or on the edge of a New York winter, adobo holds the power to change moods and alter dining habits. It is a difficult dish to cook just once.

Why adobo is the national dish of the Philippines?

The Philippines, on the other hand, has no official national dish. In an exclusive interview with CNN Philippines, she cited that adobo should be named as our country’s official national food because it is easy to prepare, with many different varieties — from the choice of meat down to the sauce base.

How do you make adobo sauce from scratch?

Ingredients 3 ounces guajillo chiles, (12), wiped clean, stemmed, slit open, seeded, and deveined. 3/4 cup water for blending, or more if necessary. 2 cloves garlic, peeled. 1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar. 3/4 teaspoon fine salt, or 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt. 3/4 teaspoon sugar. 1/4 rounded teaspoon ground cumin.

Is Adobo Mexican or Filipino?

The base of Mexican adobo uses the traditional Spanish spices but adds indigenous ingredients to the mix: tomatoes and chilies. Thus, Mexican adobo is a fusion of indigenous and colonial influences. Filipino Adobo refers to a whole dish. In fact, it is basically the national dish of the Philippines.

What is your favorite Filipino food?

Chicken adobo: the famous Filipino dish Chicken adobo is the most famous and popular of all Filipino foods, known and loved by everyone. It’s also one of the best examples of how the country is such a rich melting pot of different historical influences.

How do you thicken adobo sauce?

Remove the bay leaves from the adobo. In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with a tablespoon of water, then stir it into the sauce. Let the sauce boil and thicken until the chicken and vegetables are well glazed. Serve over the rice.

Which adobo seasoning is the best?

Best Sellers in Adobo Seasonings #1. Simply Organic Adobo Seasoning, Certified Organic, Non-GMO | 4.41 oz. Goya Adobo All Purpose Seasoning With Cumin, Lemon & Pepper, 8 Oz Bottle Each. Goya Adobo All Purpose Seasoning With Pepper, 16.5 Ounce.

What does adobo mean in Filipino?

Philippine adobo (from Spanish adobar: “marinade,” “sauce” or “seasoning” / English: /əˈdoʊboʊ/ Tagalog pronunciation: [ɐdobo]) is a popular Filipino dish and cooking process in Philippine cuisine that involves meat, seafood, or vegetables marinated in vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, bay leaves, and black peppercorns,

What is adobo seasoning similar to?

These are common spices: paprika, chili powder, black pepper, oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, and ground cumin. See our homemade adobo seasoning recipe here for the portions you should use to create your seasoning mix from scratch.

What is the color of adobo?

United Colors of Adobo “There’s yellow adobo, which is made with turmeric and achuete, and the red-orange adobo, made with achuete,” she said. Brown adobo is what Nancy would call the “city adobo,” which is commonly made with soy sauce.

What does adobo symbolize?

The word adobo is derived from the Spanish word adobar, which means “marinade” or “pickling sauce.” The existence of the tangy dish was first recorded in 1613 by the Spaniard Pedro de San Buenaventura.

What does Filipino chicken adobo taste like?

Adobo, a popular dish in Philippine cuisine. You may use chicken, pork, seafood, or vegetables marinated in vinegar, soy sauce, and garlic and slowly simmered until yummy! Put too much vinegar, and the adobo will taste like paksiw (sour stew); put a little vinegar and it will taste like nilaga (boiled meat).

Filipino Chicken Adobo is the national dish of the Philippines and may well become your new favourite Asian chicken dish! Just a few everyday ingredients I can practically guarantee you already have, it’s an effortless recipe that yields juicy, tender chicken coated in a sweet savoury glaze with little pops of heat from peppercorns.

This is a chicken thigh recipe and it MUST be made with thighs – no substituting with chicken breast!

How to cook adobo

Filipino Chicken Adobo

Filipino Chicken Adobo is one of the first chicken thigh recipes I shared way back in 2015 when I started this website. Back then, I boldly stated that this was my new favourite Asian chicken recipe even it was thoroughly disloyal of me to say that, being of Japanese background and all (Teriyaki, Karaage and Yakitori….to name a few….).

To be honest, I may have embellished a wee bit. Blinded by the excitement of discovering Chicken Adobo, how unbelievably easy it is for a dish that yields such incredible flavour,

Check out how sticky the sauce is! It truly tastes as incredible as it looks. And it’s SO EASY with just a HANDFUL of ingredients!

How to cook adobo

What you need

Filipino Chicken Adobo is the national dish of the Philippines and like all traditional dishes, there are many variations – including different proteins like pork and beef.

Fundamentally though, the key ingredients are the right balance of soy sauce, vinegar, black pepper and sugar that create an incredibly sticky glaze that has a depth of flavour like it’s been slow cooked – but it’s not!

How to cook adobo

boneless skinless chicken thighs – cannot substitute with breast, need the fat to transform sauce into a glaze;

soy sauce – all purpose or light soy sauce. NOT dark soy sauce (bottle will be labelled as such if it’s dark soy sauce);

white vinegar – just everyday, plain white vinegar. Sub with any clear vinegar, including rice wine, apple cider, sherry vinegar;

onion and garlic;

peppercorns – or coarse cracked pepper;

sugar – brown best, white ok;

bay leaves – fresh or dried, not the end of the world if you don’t have; and

green onion – optional garnish

How to make Filipino Chicken Adobo

And here’s how to make it. Basically, you marinate the chicken briefly, sear the chicken, then simmer it in the pan with the marinade for 25 minutes. It will look watery right up until the last few minutes, then all of a sudden, the liquid transforms magically into a syrupy glaze!

How to cook adobo

How to cook adobo

What Chicken Adobo tastes like

The glaze of Filipino Chicken Adobo is savoury and sweet with a hint of tang, with a distinct soy flavour. The garlic and onion creates a savoury base along with the bay leaves, and the peppercorns add little subtle pops of heat.

Don’t be afraid of the peppercorns in this! The spiciness is tempered from both the cooking time and the strength of the flavour of the sauce so it becomes a flavour enhancer rather than fiery spiciness.

And finally, the chicken itself. It’s incredibly tender, owing to the cook time. Chicken thighs only take about 6 to 8 minutes to cook on the stove, so simmering them in sauce for 25 minutes yields thighs that are so tender inside, it’s like you’ve slow cooked them for hours.

How to cook adobo

What to serve with Chicken Adobo

Rice to soak up the sauce is essential! Though if you’re counting calories, I can highly recommend Cauliflower Rice – pictured in the first photo in the post alongside Smashed Cucumbers for a seriously delicious dinner plate clocking in at a grand total of just 415 calories.

You may not use all the sauce this Filipino Chicken Adobo recipe makes. It is quite strong, so have a taste before dousing your entire plate with it.

As you can see in the photos, I do not hold back. 😂 – Nagi x

PS If you do have leftover sauce, don’t throw it out! That stuff is GOLD. I use it to make Filipino Chicken Adobo fried rice – just fry up cooked rice with chopped up pieces of this chicken, some chopped Asian greens and the sauce. The sauce is so flavoursome that you don’t need anything else!

Watch how to make it

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How to cook adobo

We think one of the best reasons to make adobo has to be the sauce. The sauce is what makes the adobo so addictive!

The sauce for adobo however is usually just whatever liquid that is left behind after you are done cooking the dish. Sometimes it’s not even intentional so you add more water to make a “sauce”. This is where you add too much water that it’s too watered down to taste great.

The trick to always knowing how much water you need in the pot of adobo is to always add the water after you’ve added all the other ingredients. The soy sauce and vinegar ratio is important so that you’re left with a dish that isn’t so dried up that you have to fight others for some sauce. The opposite is that your dish is too watery that it’s more of a soup than a stew.

How to cook adobo

Take a tip from stir-fried recipes and use a slurry! This way, you’ll have an even more luscious adobo sauce to pour over your steamed rice!

Here’s how to do it:

  • 1 For every 1 kilo meat, prepare 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup soy sauce. (Add 1/4 cup more vinegar if you like your adobo to be tangier. Tweak this ratio to your taste.) Marinate overnight if desired.
  • 2 Transfer the meat and the soy sauce and vinegar mix to a pot. Bring to a boil and let cook for 5 minutes so the juices of the meat come out.
  • 3 When ready to tenderize the meat, add just enough water to cover the meat and cook, uncovered, until tender. (You might need to add more water as needed if the meat pieces are still not tender.) This allows the vinegar as well as the water to evaporate while cooking.
  • 4 Once tender, taste the leftover liquid. If too watery, let simmer until reduced. If it’s too flavorful, add a little water to tame the flavor. If just right, add a slurry (1 teaspoon cornstarch diluted in 1 teaspoon water) and stir until combined. Bring to a simmer and let thicken, about 1 minute.

This thick adobo sauce is perfect for saving if you have any leftovers after all the meat is consumed! You’ll have incredibly tasty adobo fried rice in the morning to pair with your meat of choice.