From Mom's Kitchen: How To Make Flavorful Filipino Chicken Adobo

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

By Diana Ditty, publisher of Macaroni KID Chesapeake, Va. May 13, 2024

I may be biased, but Filipino food is some of the best food in the world. Many Filipino recipes are near and dear to my heart, especially chicken adobo, my favorite recipe that my mom used to make when I was growing up. 

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and I thought this would be the perfect time to share this recipe. It is always popular with family and friends who have never tasted Filipino food before, so I encourage you to try the recipe yourself and give your own family a taste of the Philippines!

At Macaroni KID, we skip the fluff and get straight to the good stuff. No need to scroll through pages of unnecessary content — our recipes are easy to find. Now let's get cooking!

Flavorful Filipino Chicken Adobo


  • 1 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp coarse ground black pepper
  • 8 pieces bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and legs
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • green onions (optional garnish)


  1. Combine the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, garlic, bay leaves, and coarse black pepper to make the adobo sauce. Marinade the chicken in the sauce for at least 30 minutes, but overnight is better!
  2. Heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a heavy frying pan that's large enough that the chicken will fit in a single layer
  3. Brown the chicken for about 4 minutes on each side. Reserve the marinade.
  4. Pour the reserved adobo marinade and 1/2 cup water over the browned chicken, bring to a boil, and then cover and reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. Mix the cornstarch and 1 Tbsp water together in a small bowl, ensuring no clumps are left, then add the mixture to the pan and simmer for 3-5 minutes to thicken the sauce.
  6. Serve the chicken over rice, spoon some adobo sauce on top, and garnish with sliced green onions.

I hope your family enjoys this recipe for Filipino chicken adobo as much as mine does. The sauce really sets it apart from other chicken dishes. Even picky eaters love this flavorful recipe. Maybe this will become a favorite dinner in your home too!

Diana Ditty is the publisher of Macaroni KID Chesapeake, Va. Unless indicated, all photos are by the author.