The term adobo came from Spanish origin which meant immersion of raw food in a stock (or sauce) composed variously of paprika, oregano, salt, garlic, and vinegar to preserve and enhance flavor.[1]

Spanish colonists coined this dish upon arriving on Philippine shores, when they observed a similar cooking process involving stewing into vinegar. In antiquity, early Filipinos cook their food minimally by roasting steaming or boiling. To keep food resh longer, food was often cooked by immersion in vinegar and salt. [2]

Adobo is considered the unofficial national dish of the Philippines and has been called the quintessential Philippine stew, served with rice both at daily meals and at feasts.

Chicken and Pork adoboCredit:

Due to adobo's flexibility to use any ingredients for its marinade, numerous variants of adobo recipe are made. Philippines alone has different methods of cooking adobo per region or per household. All is done according to personal preference.

Also, it will not spoil easily due to its vinegar and salt ingredients. It is also very easy to prepare and some variants takes usually less than an hour to prepare and cook compared to other types of dishes like beef stew or turkey.

These are the reasons why adobo is often cooked and has become a favourite worldwide. So why not take a chance with adobo on your Christmas. It's easy to do, takes shorter time to cook and leftovers have longer shelf life. What more can you ask more.

Below are adobo recipes you can choose from to add to your christmas feast.

Adobo Recipes

Chicken adobo over riceCredit:

Chicken Adobo Recipe 

This is one of the Filipino's traditional ways to cook Adobo with either chicken or pork meat.


  • 2 lbs. chicken, cut into serving pieces
  • 3 pieces dried bay leaves
  • 5 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 to 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon white sugar
  • Salt and whole peppercorn

Cooking Instructions

  1. Combine soy sauce, garlic and chicken in a large container. Let it marinate for about 1-3 hours.
  2. Place cooking oil in pan and apply heat from stove.
  3. When oil is hot enough, put in marinated chicken. Cook all sides for about 5 minutes.
  4. Pour in remaining marinade and add water. Bring to a boil.
  5. Add dried bay leaves and whole pepper corn. Simmer for 30 minutes or until chicken is tender.
  6. Put-in sugar and salt. Stir and turn the heat off.
  7. Serve hot and enjoy!

Adobong Hipon sa Gata (Filipino Adobo Recipe with Shrimp and Coconut Milk)

Who say's adobo is only for meat? Try this adobo seafood variant using vinegar and coconut milk.


  • 1 pound shrimp (you can have the shells on for added flavor)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns, ground
  • salt or patis (fish sauce), to taste
  • 2 cans light coconut milk

Cooking Instructions

  1. Combine water, vinegar, garlic, pepper, salt and shrimp in a container. Cover with lid and marinate for an hour.
  2. When the hour is over, place pot on stove over medium heat. Cook shrimp mixture with lid off until liquid is reduced by half. Stir frequently.
  3. Stir in coconut milk and allow sauce to thicken. This could take about 20-30 minutes.
  4. Season with salt and pepper if needed.
  5. Serve.

Eggplant Adobo

Adobo is also an excellent vegetarian dish. You can eat this after a day or two and it will even taste better.


  • 1 large raw onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 serving of peppercorn
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 raw potato, diced
  • 1 lb japanese eggplant, cubed
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup palm or white vinegar
  • 1 dash of black pepper
  • 1 dash of granulated sugar

Cooking Instructions

  1. In a pan, heat oil. Then add peppercorn and bay leaves. When bay leaves start to brown, add garlic. Saute until brown.
  2. Add onion and fry until it becomes translucent.
  3. Add the pepper and sugar. Stir briefly to mix. Then add soy sauce and vinegar.
  4. Lower heat to medium then add potatoes and eggplant.
  5. Stir briefly, cover the pan them simmer for around 20 minutes until potatoes and eggplant are soft but not mushy. Add water if liquid level drops too low. The dish must not be burned.
  6. Serve this over rice and enjoy!

Adobong Pusit (Squid) "without the ink" 

This variant usually comes out black which some find unappetizing to look at despite its full flavor. Fortunately, the color is rectified in this recipe.

Squid adoboCredit:


  • 1/2 pusit (squid)
  • Ginger size of a thumb, crushed
  • 1 red onion rings
  • 5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1 siling haba (long chili), cut diagonally into 2
  • 4 pcs. tomatoes, sliced and seeds removed
  • 4 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. vinegar
  • 3 tbsp. vegetable oil or palm oil

Cooking Instructions

  1. Under running water pull the squid's head from the body, scoop out any black ink and innards, then take out the plastic backbone from the squid. For the head and tentacles, take out the hard part at the center, found between it's eyes. Clean the squid thoroughly until it’s clean.
  2. Heat vegetable oil in casserole. Saute onions, garlic and ginger. When they're starting to brown a bit toss the tomatoes in and continue sauteing.
  3. After tomatoes become soft, mix the squid and saute for about a minute.
  4. Pour soy sauce and vinegar. Then add siling haba. Stir a bit to mix all ingredients.
  5. Simmer for 15-30 minutes.
  6. If you like to have sauce with the dish, stop cooking when the squid is cooked. If you like it dry, cook until the oil is separated from the sauce.
  7. Serve hot with steaming white rice.

Hopefully these adobo recipes will motivate you to include adobo in your christmas feast. It’s flexible, easy to cook and you will not be wary of leftovers. Adobo even tastes better after a day or two. You can also be creative on the ingredients you use. You can use chili, oregano, basil, lamb, guacamole, put it in a bun, make the meat flaky, use balsamic vinegar, etc. Be creative and enjoy cooking!