Archive for the ‘Filipino’ Category


The first time I tried chicken adobo was when some Filipino friends in Abu Dhabi made it for me. I then went on to learn that there is no defined recipe as every mum in the Philippines seem to have their own version. The basics of garlic, soy, and vinegar stay the same but the balance of these ingredients are altered to suit each person who makes it. There are even one or two who add coconut milk to the dish but as far as I can see this is not acceptable to many.

The History:
Adobo is Spanish for sauce, seasoning or marinade used in Latin American- and Southwest U.S.-style cooking. In Filipino cuisine, adobo refers to a common cooking process indigenous to the Philippines. When the Spanish took administration over the Philippines in the late 1500s through Mexico City, they found an indigenous cooking process that involved stewing with vinegar. They referred to this method as “adobo.” Over time, dishes prepared in this manner came to be known by this name as well.

(historical references from Wikipedia)


  • 1 kg chicken pieces thighs and legs
  • 250ml rice vinegar
  • 125ml light soy sauce
  • 75ml dark soy sauce
  • 75ml of Sprite
  • 4-6 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 birdseye chiles, two left whole 1 chopped
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper


  1. Put some cold water (to cool it down)  in the insulated outer container and shut the lid and leave to stand in a cool place for about 15 minutes.
  2. Wash the chicken pieces well and put the in the inner pot.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
  4. Put on the lid.
  5. After removing the water from the outer container put the inner pot in and shut the lid. Keep in a cool place for a minimum of 2 hours.
  6. When ready to cook the adobo, remove the inner pot and leave the lid of the outer container open so that it can warm up as you are going to use it next for cooking.
  7. Bring to the inner pot to the boil.
  8. Once boiling skim off any impurities that have formed on the surface and then turn the heat down to a simmer.
  9. Simmer for 5 minutes with the lid on before placing the inner pot into the outer insulated container. If the outer container still feels cold, warm it with a little warm water (not boiling) before putting the inner pot in.
  10. Shut the lid and leave to thermal cook without power for a minimum of 3 hours.
  11. Serve with rice which you can cook at the same time as the adobo in a top pot if you have one.

NOTE: you can marinate the adobo in the fridge prior to cooking if you prefer.


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I have spent a lot of time in Abu Dhabi. We have for the last 15 years had major filming projects there. In 2000 I helped a very good friend Graham Wheeler (our cameraman on one of our projects) took over a failing restaurant and redesigned it from bottom up. The building was completely gutted and rebuilt inside to Grahams amazing design. I helped Graham choose the menu and was very involved in the birth of what is now one of the most popular places to eat in Abu Dhabi. The concept of the restaurant is eat and drink as much as you like from a huge selection of Oriental Freshly Cooked Dishes.
In the kitchen Andrew a Filipino was the cook. He had been the chef at the previous restaurant that had been in the building and he brought many recipes two of which are my favourites which I always have to have when I visit the BamBu!
Unfortunately a fews years ago Andrew had a heart attack and is no longer with us but this a dish he taught me that I have adapted for a thermal cooker.



  • 1 kg of pork spare ribs (try to purchase ones trimmed of most of the fat). Make sure also the membrane is removed
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 500ml bottle tomato ketchup
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 magi stock cube
  • 2 tbsp Lea & Perrins
    Worcester Sauce
  • 1 cup of Sprite *
  • ½ tsp salt

 * Sprite is used as a tenderiser.


  1. Put all the ingredients into your thermal cooker.
  2. Bring to the boil.
  3. Skim off any impurities that form on the surface.
  4. Turn down the heat and simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on.
  5. Turn off the heat and transfer the inner pot into the vacuum-insulated outer container.
  6. Close the lid and leave to thermal cook cook for a minimum of 3 hours. If you leave it longer (up to 6 hours) it will just get better.

This recipe is in memory of Andrew and his great cooking.

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