Heart-Healthy Recipes: Chicken Adobo

This Vascular Healthy Chicken Adobo Recipe tastes delicious, and can even help prevent or manage vascular disease!

Chicken adobo or adobong manok (ah-doh-bong mah-nok) is a traditional recipe from the Philippines. This recipe varies depending on region and family preference but is usually made with bone-in chicken thighs and legs, braised in vinegar & seasoned with garlic, soy sauce, and black pepper. The recipe below cuts back on sodium and saturated fat to make this well-loved dish better for the heart and blood vessels.


  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves fresh, minced or chopped garlic
  • 2 medium chopped onions
  • 1 pound (1/2 kg) chicken breasts, no skin. Pat dry with paper towel before cooking.
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ cup white vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tablespoons ground black pepper
  • 1-2 bay leaves, broken in half
  • (Optional) 1 tablespoon of honey or oyster sauce

Directions for Chicken Adobo:

  1. Add olive oil to large sauté or frying pan. Heat oil on medium to high heat (at least 1 to 2 minutes)
  2. Add onions to oil and sauté for 2 minutes. Add minced or chopped garlic, stirring frequently for at least 30 seconds.
  3. Add chicken breasts to onions and garlic. Cook on each side for at least 5-6 minutes or until chicken has browned.
  4. Add low sodium soy sauce, vinegar, black pepper & bay leaf. Stir until combined. Bring mixture to a boil.
  5. Once boiling, decrease to low heat and cover pan. Let simmer for 40 to 60 minutes or until chicken is done. Stir occasionally to ensure that chicken is cooking evenly. Optional: When there is about 5-10 minutes left in the simmer, add 1 tablespoon of honey or oyster sauce.
  6. Preheat oven to 500 F or set to broil.
  7. Once chicken is cooked, turn off stove. Remove the chicken and set liquid in pan aside. Arrange chicken evenly on a baking sheet or broiling pan.
  8. Broil chicken for at least 5 minutes or until browned.
  9. Remove chicken from baking sheet and add to a large serving bowl.
  10. Boil liquid in pan, uncovered. Stir occasionally and boil liquid until volume is reduced and sauce has reached desired thickness (about 7-12 minutes).
  11. Pour the thickened liquid or sauce over broiled chicken. Remove bay leaves. Serve over rice and your choice of vegetables.

Why is it Heart Healthy:

This recipe is lower in saturated fat and cholesterol because It is made using chicken breast without the skin and only 1 tsp of unsaturated fat (olive oil) is added. Keeping track of how much cholesterol and saturated fat you consume on a daily basis is an important part of maintaining a healthy diet.

Vascular Cures encourages that you contact your primary physician before making any large diet changes.

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