Cooking Pinoy Adobo in Korea

I bought a pack of chicken cuts on Tuesday night before I went home from work. The expiration date was on the 29th. I originally planned to make spicy chicken stew or “dalk doritang” but Friday came and I knew that I won’t have any time to cook it at night. At exactly 1030 on Friday morning, I decided to make chicken adobo while preparing my son for day care.
Every Pinoy I know has his own version of adobo. In my family, I like my father’s version best – it’s so simple with just the basic ingredients and a bit dry. I learned to prepare it when I was nine years old – yikes that’s almost three decades ago!
Anyway, some of my Pinoy friends here complain about soy sauce (kanjang) in Korea. There are different kinds sold in the supermarket and it could be confusing when buying for one. There is a soy sauce for soup (kuk kanjang), stew (jorim kanjang), Chinese style (jin kanjang), traditional Korean (choseon kanjang) and so on. My mother-in-law supplies us with her own homemade soy sauce, but I still sometimes prefer the store bought “jin kanjang” as my all-purpose soy sauce.
As much as I’d like to get Pinoy soy sauce and vinegar when making adobo, they are quite expensive and I don’t often prepare it anyway. Instead, I use jin kanjang and brown rice vinegar.
Here’s how I make my adobo:

  • 1.5 kilogram chicken cuts (5,900 won at Homeplus)
  • 1/4 cup of brown rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of jin kanjang
  • 5 segments garlic, crushed
  • 5-10 peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves

After cleaning the chicken, I put them all in a big non-stick wok. I set the stove fire on high. Add the vinegar, garlic, peppercorn and bay leaves. Let it boil until the vinegar evaporates. Fry the chicken in its own fat. (Drain the excess oil afterwards if you prefer. Add the soy sauce. When it boils, lower the fire and simmer until the chicken is cooked and the adobo is quite dry. You may add water if you prefer a saucy adobo. I usually don’t transfer the adobo to another container. It doesn’t need refrigeration anyway and the leftover is good for “sinangag” or fried rice.
Picture taken after dinner.
Anyway, I cooked this adobo while I prepared for work and my son for his day care. I was done by 1125AM. I just covered the adobo and left. When I came back home, I had it for dinner while my husband prepared his own kimchi fried rice. My son and I had the chicken adobo. He said it was good. Oh he’s Pinoy!


  1. where did you get those bay leaves from? I’ve never seen emart or homeplus sell it. I’m glad your son likes to eat adobo… he definitely has pinoy blood in him! ^^;

  2. halos pareho rin pala dito sa Pinas yung price nung chicken sa Korea. coz 5900 won is atleast 250 pesos, am i right? well anyway, i haven’t eaten adobo for quite sometime now, so i might cook it one of these days…. ;-D

  3. have you ladies tried adding kamote not the leaves to your adobo be it pork or chicken or use star anise with bay leaves

    1. Hi Eden! May Mexican adobo din di ba? I haven’t tried that. Pero may nakita ako sa 99cent store na naka-lata na mexican adobo.

  4. hello tita, ate ? lol
    wow naman ngayon lang ako nakapunta sa website mo ang detailed detailed ng life mo jan ha 😀
    well ako naman filipino ako na nasa aussie im 18 yrs of age 🙂 and i too loves korean culture, food, bands lahat lahat na lol and gusto ko someday mag visit jan 🙂 actually my friend and i from new zealand wants to visit hopefully next year 🙂 and tanong ko lang kung how much do you think na dalin namin money for shopping, food and other expenses narin ?.
    get back to me when you can 🙂
    thank you 🙂

  5. Hello! I ended up at your blog searching for a crazy picture of korean beaches during peak vacation time! And I must have to say, your adobo looks so dreamy! I am a Korean living in Canada and I work with many many pinoys and I love the food! I ended up cooking things on my own like chicken affritada, sinigang with shrimps and pork, turon, lumpia, even cassava cake! You should upload more recipes so I can try! My next mission is to make maha blanca! SO GOOD!

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