Adobado and Adobo are two distinct Filipino dishes that are often mistaken for one another by those unfamiliar with the cuisine. Adobado, which is a Bicol original, is a unique recipe that stands apart from Adobo in several ways. While Adobo can be made with pork, chicken or vegetables, marinated with vinegar, soy sauce and spices, Adobado is typically made with chicken or fish like tuna or mackerel, and stewed in coconut milk with additional preferred ingredients. So, although both dishes share some similarities, Adobado has a distinct flavor and preparation that sets it apart from the more commonly known Adobo.

It seems that Bjorn, Mark’s baby brother who’s also a great cook, has his own unique twist on the traditional Adobado recipe. He uses chopped native chicken as the main ingredient and simmers it in coconut milk, which is a common component of this dish. To add flavor and depth, he spices it up with sliced ginger, chopped garlic, sliced red onions, and bird’s eye chili peppers, along with pepper corns.

In addition to these ingredients, Bjorn also incorporates bell pepper leaves, lemon grass and sliced green papayas. These additions can add a fresh and slightly tangy taste to the dish, while the bell pepper leaves provide an herbal note that complements the other flavors. Overall, Bjorn’s recipe sounds like a delicious and unique take on the traditional Adobado dish.

Ingredients: 6-8 servings

1 whole native chicken cut in small quarters
1 can coconut milk
1 bundle of bell pepper leaves
2-3 stalks of lemon grass
1 medium size green papaya, peeled and sliced in thin slices
1 thumb sized ginger, peeled and sliced in thin pieces
3-4 pieces of bird’s eye green chilis
½ tsp. of pepper corns
2-3 large cloves of chopped garlic
½ medium sized red onions, sliced in pieces
Salt and pepper to taste
1-2 glasses of water for the sauce
1 tsp. of cooking oil

Cooking Procedure:

  1. Wash and clean the whole native chicken. Cut them into small quarters and set aside. Peel and mince garlic and ginger, slice the red onion into thin sizes.
  2. Peel off green papaya, remove the seeds the slice them in desired thickness. Wash and clean 1 bundle of bell pepper leaves, remove each stem, then set all aside.
  3. Wash and clean 2-3 stalks of lemon grass, tie them up together forming them into a bow-like shape. Set them aside.
  4. Heat up oil in a large sized deep pan at medium-high temperature. Sauté garlic, onions and ginger until slightly browned. Add the native chicken quarters and start sauteing ingredients together.
  5. Apply 1 cup of water, then leave it to boil and simmer for at least 10 minutes. Add more water as desired. Follow it up with the can of coconut milk, season with salt and pepper, together with peppercorn.
  6. Appy the tied lemon grass… let all ingredients to simmer and incorporate. Add more salt and pepper as desired. Add the green papaya slices. Mix well together with the rest of the ingredients.
  7. Adjust the heat to slow cook, cover pan with its lid and allow it to simmer for 20-30 minutes or until native chicken is cooked and tender. You may want to add more time to allow a native chicken to properly cook.
  8. Occasionally stir ingredients to avoid coconut milk from curding. Apply an additional amount of water if needed. Apply the bell pepper leaves together with the bird’s eye chilis. Leave it to simmer for another 3 minutes, or until chicken and green papaya slices are cooked, and sauce is thickened.
  9. Turn off the heat and transfer this delicious Adobadong Manok or Chicken Adobado recipe to a deep serving dish. Serve and enjoy them hot with steamed rice.

Tip: It normally takes more time for native chickens to tenderize, so allow them to boil based on your preference. They also tend to have a distinct flavor that is unique from standard market chicken. Applying lemon grass like Bjorn did to his Native Chicken Adobado or Adobadong Manok recipe is an excellent choice.