English: Marinated meat / Deutsch: mariniertes Fleisch / Español: Carne Marinada / Português: Carne Marinada / Français: Viande marinée / Italiano: Carne marinata /

Adobo is a flavorful and widely loved cooking technique and dish that has its roots in Filipino cuisine. This article will explore the concept of Adobo in the food context, provide examples of different types of Adobo, discuss its popularity, and offer a popular Adobo recipe. Additionally, we'll briefly delve into its history, legal basics, and list some similar culinary techniques or dishes.

Adobo: Definition and Method

Adobo is a cooking method that involves marinating meat, seafood, or vegetables in a mixture of vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, bay leaves, and black peppercorns before simmering or stewing until tender. The word "Adobo" itself comes from the Spanish term "adobar," which means "marinade" or "sauce." The technique has been adapted and customized in various cultures and regions, each adding its own twist to this classic dish.

Examples of Adobo Variations

  1. Chicken Adobo: Perhaps the most well-known variation, chicken Adobo features tender pieces of chicken simmered in a savory and slightly tangy sauce made from vinegar and soy sauce. Garlic, bay leaves, and black peppercorns are essential flavorings.

  2. Pork Adobo: Pork Adobo is another popular version, where pork chunks or ribs are slowly cooked in the same flavorful marinade until the meat is tender and the sauce is rich and thick.

  3. Adobong Pusit (Squid Adobo): In this seafood variation, fresh squid is cooked in Adobo sauce. The tender squid pairs wonderfully with the tangy and savory flavors of the sauce.

  4. Vegetable Adobo: For a vegetarian or vegan option, you can make Adobo using vegetables like eggplant, string beans, or mushrooms. The same marinade and cooking method apply.

Popularity and Cultural Significance

Adobo holds immense popularity in the Philippines and among Filipino communities worldwide. It's considered a comfort food and a staple dish in Filipino households. Additionally, variations of Adobo can be found in other Southeast Asian countries like Indonesia and Malaysia.

Popular Chicken Adobo Recipe


  • 1.5 lbs (about 700g) chicken pieces (thighs and drumsticks)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large bowl, combine the chicken, soy sauce, garlic, and black peppercorns. Let it marinate for at least 30 minutes, preferably longer for more flavor.

  2. Heat the cooking oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until translucent.

  3. Add the marinated chicken pieces and cook until they are lightly browned on all sides.

  4. Pour in the marinade, vinegar, and water. Add the bay leaf.

  5. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 30-40 minutes or until the chicken is tender and the sauce has thickened.

  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  7. Serve hot with steamed rice.

History and Legal Basics

The history of Adobo dates back to the Philippines' colonial period, with influences from Spanish and indigenous Filipino cuisines. While there are no specific legal regulations governing Adobo, it remains an essential part of Filipino culinary heritage.

Similar Dishes and Techniques

  1. Soy Sauce-Based Marinades: Many Asian cuisines incorporate soy sauce-based marinades with variations in ingredients and cooking methods.

  2. Braising: Adobo's slow cooking method is similar to braising, which involves simmering meat or vegetables in a flavorful liquid until tender.

  3. Stew: Adobo shares characteristics with stews, as both involve simmering ingredients in a savory sauce.


Adobo is a versatile and beloved cooking technique and dish originating from Filipino cuisine. It involves marinating and simmering meat, seafood, or vegetables in a flavorful mixture of vinegar, soy sauce, and spices. Chicken and pork Adobo are among the most popular variations, but the technique can be applied to various ingredients. Its cultural significance and rich history make it a cornerstone of Filipino cuisine, enjoyed by people around the world. Whether you're cooking chicken, pork, seafood, or vegetables, Adobo is a delicious and comforting dish that offers a taste of Filipino culture and culinary tradition.

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