Chicken and pork adobo and adobo flakes

Chicken and pork adobo and adobo flakes

Adobong baboy at manok, adobong malutong

7000 Islands
Jana Liebenstein

Filipinos love mixing meats and deep-frying things. I am a huge fan of both. I assumed they were mutually exclusive until I noticed a meal one day at 21 Restaurant in Bacolod, where ‘chicken and pork adobo flakes’ was listed on the menu. Could it be? I quickly placed an order and out came a plate of mixed-meat deep-fried heaven. Chef Richie Gamboa and I became friends that day and he has shared his recipe here. There are two options: stop at the adobo and eat as a stew, or continue to create the flakes; they are equally moreish. For even cooking, Richie has swapped traditional bone-in chicken and thick fatty pork belly for leaner options.


Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus extra for deep-frying
250g pork loin medallion, cut into 3 pieces
250g chicken breast, halved
1 onion, cut into wedges
6 garlic cloves, smashed
60ml soy sauce
3 bay leaves
125ml native or rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper
steamed rice, to serve


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil in a large, deep frying pan over medium–high heat. Add the pork and chicken and cook for 2 minutes on each side, or until browned all over. Transfer to a plate. Reduce the heat to medium, add the remaining oil and cook the onion and garlic for 3 minutes, stirring until soft. Return the pork and chicken to the pan with the soy sauce, bay leaves and 500 ml water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low–medium, cover, and cook for 10 minutes. Stir in the vinegar, sugar and pepper, cover again, and continue to cook for a further 35 minutes, or until the meat is tender.
  2. Remove the pork and chicken to a plate — keep the meats warm if serving as adobo, or allow to cool if making flakes. Meanwhile, increase the heat to medium–high and continue cooking the liquid for 12 minutes, or until reduced by two-thirds. Discard the bay leaves.
  3. To serve the dish as adobo, return the pork and chicken to the pan with the sauce and heat through. Serve with steamed rice.
  4. To make adobo flakes, finely shred the pork and chicken, then stir into the sauce. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely. Fill a saucepan one-third full of vegetable oil and place over medium–high heat until the oil reaches 180ºC. Using tongs, gently lower the adobo mixture into the hot oil, in batches, and deep-fry for 20–30 seconds, or until golden and crisp (this happens very quickly, so remove immediately). Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Season with salt and serve with steamed rice.

What is it?

  • Today in the Philippines, adobo refers to a technique of braising in vinegar more than a single dish. It is made with meat (adobong baka – beef), seafood (adobong pusit – squid), vegetables (adobong kangkong – water spinach), served saucy (‘wet’) or the liquid cooked until almost evaporated (‘dry’). It is even deep-fried, like these flakes (adobong malutong), which was first introduced into the culinary landscape in 1975 at Glenda Barretto’s famed restaurant Via Mare. The most common version of adobo is the soy sauce and mixed-meat combination of chicken and pork, colloquially known as CPA (chicken and pork adobo).
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