Chicken thighs with Adobo sauce

Recipe by Meomeo


Prep time


Cooking time







Simple Homemade Recipe for Adobo Chicken Thighs


  • 4 boneless chicken thighs

  • 5 chicken thighs

  • 1 tablespoon of oil

  • 14 oz. canned coconut milk (400 ml)

  • 1/2 to 2/3 cup of low-sodium soy sauce (115-155 ml, We do NOT recommend using light soy sauce for this dish as it’s too salty)

  • 1/4-1/3 cup of white vinegar or distilled cane vinegar (60-80 ml)

  • 2 teaspoons of sugar

  • 1 teaspoon of black peppercorns (or 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper)

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 4 cloves of garlic (crushed)

  • 1 dried red chili pepper (optional)

  • 2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro (optional)

Preparing Ingredients and Making Adobo Chicken Thighs

  • Clean the chicken pieces and pat them dry with paper towels. Heat a large skillet or a Dutch oven over medium heat and add oil. Brown the chicken on all sides until crispy.
  • Add the coconut milk, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, pepper, bay leaves, garlic, and chili if using. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to low. Cover the pan and let simmer for 1 hour (add a bit of hot water if you need more liquid).
  • In the last 10 minutes of cooking, turn the heat to medium to slightly thicken the sauce. Note that you should not boil the sauce too vigorously or for too long, as it might “break” and transition from a creamy texture to an oily one! Serve over rice.

NOTE on Coconut Milk

  • The Lucky Peach version of the recipe also includes coconut milk (you can find the original recipe reposted on Goop.com).
  • I conducted some research, and while there are many adobo chicken recipes that do not include coconut milk, I believe it truly rounds out all the flavors––the savory taste of soy sauce and the tanginess of vinegar.”

Recipe: Easy-to-Make Guide for Adobo Chicken Thighs

Adobo Chicken Thighs, a dish originating from the Philippines, involves just a handful of ingredients. It’s a one-pot wonder, and you won’t believe how fragrant and tender the sauce turns out to be!

Adobo Chicken Thighs is a Philippine dish where chicken is braised in a mixture of soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, and black peppercorns.

At first, it seems quite similar to the Braised Soy Sauce Chicken I grew up eating, like this Braised Soy Sauce Chicken recipe my mom shared back in the early days of the blog.

However, what sets it apart is the liberal use of vinegar. It imparts a truly delightful quality to the dish that I absolutely love.

Nonetheless, I’ve made a few tweaks to the recipe. I added more coconut milk than called for and reduced the amount of soy sauce and vinegar. Initially, I found the dish a tad too salty and tangy, but that could very well be due to the brand of soy sauce I was using (which is why I recommend using low-sodium soy sauce. Definitely steer clear of “light soy sauce” for this dish, as it’s too salty).

You can adjust the amount of soy sauce to your preference. I suggest starting with 1/2 cup and adding more as needed after the sauce has reduced.

But that’s the beauty of this recipe. You can tailor it to your liking, and you’re free to adapt my version as you see fit! If you can’t find dried red chili peppers, simply add a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes.

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