Clean Eating: Chicken Adobo

August 21, 2013

My family loves my version of healthy chicken adobo. This is a Filipino favorite that is usually made with chicken thighs and legs, served over a generous portion of white rice because the soy sauce and vinegar makes the dish so salty!   I actually don’t make a lot of Filipino Food (as there is a lot of  pork, frying and sauces…3 things I’m not a fan of)  but my family loves this. When I was younger I loved to eat this dish, but after I saw the layer of hardened fat when it sat overnight in the fridge I vowed never to eat it again.  My version of healthy chicken adobo has  mostly breasts and a few drumsticks (for flavor) and I take all the fat/skin off of it.

4 chicken breasts (cut in thirds to get the flavor in)
4 drumsticks (skin taken off)
5 cloves of garlic
3/4 cup of soy sauce
1 cup of water (to dilute the sodium and add more sauce)
1/2-1cup of apple cider vinegar (you can use regular vinegar. This is all I had. My hubby likes it with a lot of vinegar so it’s up to you)
3 bay leaves
Pepper (just shake some in!)

Combine all ingredients and let it cook on medium-high for an hour. Cover and allow it to marinate. Stir every 20 minutes and uncover for the last 20 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken a bit more before serving over rice.

** I use brown rice also. In this picture I served with white rice.



  • Reply John Castanon October 14, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    Thanks for the easy-to-follow adobo recipe. I am a TX hispanic boy (now living in LA) but I’ve had MANY close filipino friends and families over my lifetime and always enjoyed their adobo. Now I can cook it for them sometime!!

    Keep up your GOOD LIFE’S WORK!! It’s inspirational.

  • Reply Shaherra October 15, 2013 at 3:01 am

    I made Adobo last night and since I am still trying to eat the foods I love in a healthy way, I made the chicken without the skin and limited my rice! Yum

  • Reply Robert Watson October 15, 2013 at 6:15 am

    You’re gorgeous! Keep up the good work! We’re groping trying to find the truth and take action on it!

  • Reply novy darjan October 15, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    Thanks for giving me the idea of cooking chicken adobo in a healthy and easy way for my kids,
    Keep up a healthy lifestyle, proud to be a Filipino!

  • Reply Darlene October 16, 2013 at 8:01 am

    You are an inspiration and keep up what you’re doing. I think you are absolutely adorable! People who are negative are just envious and they lack ambition.

  • Reply Maggie October 16, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    My hubby is Filipino so I’ve learned how to make this dish as it’s always requested and like you said, a Filipino favorite! We have a 2 year old who love carrots so here’s my take on this dish:

    3 cloves garlic
    1/2 onion, thinly sliced
    4 chicken breasts
    4 chicken thighs
    3 carrots, thinly sliced
    3 medium potatoes, cubed
    1 cup water
    3/4 cup Toyomansi sauce (similar to soy but less sodium and hint of kalamansi (limes), usually available in Asian aisle)
    Pepper to taste

    • Reply Raquel Bopp December 14, 2013 at 3:26 am

      You recipe sounds healthy but, Toyomansi sauce has 9g of carbs for every 15 mls. Therefore, that equals to 288 grams of carb and 1,440 added calories in your cooking. Therefore, not making your meal too healthy and loaded with extra calorie and sugar. If you like the sweetness you can use diet sprint or a sugar substitute but that defeats the pour pose of clean eating just like using Toyomansi; for soy sauce braggs amino would be a better option than soy sauce with 0 calories and a lower sodium content.

  • Reply MD October 16, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    Great job on your accomplishments! I am Pinay also and love Filipino food which also consists of a lot fish and chicken. You are right that there is pork and frying but there is also soooo many good and healthy food that Filipino cuisine has to offer. I’d like to say my family bakes and sautés a lot of our food. I actually feel that at least in the some of the provinces of the Philippines where some of my family reside, there was much clean eating going on. Most of the food is fresh from the market or newly butchered. Our family would come home and prepare the food and my skin and health was never better. Now back to the states and trying to refrain from the “American” diet…

  • Reply David Maxwell October 18, 2013 at 10:19 am

    Good morning Maria,
    I have been watching the interest your posting (“What’s Your Excuse”) garnered around the world. I am currently living in Croatia, from Canada, but continue to stay current with all the technology available.
    I just want to say that you look like you have an amazing group of little children and I deeply appreciate all the work that it takes to live your life.
    Congratulations on setting an example for all of us – men and women – to set goals, exercise discipline, strive to better ourselves and contribute to our community. I hope that deeper message continues to resonate and inspire.
    Thank you,

  • Reply Bernardo October 18, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    You are simply gorgeous, keep up the good work you are doing, and I loved the caption on your photo!

  • Reply Jeff October 19, 2013 at 3:52 am

    Cool. How bout a Vegetarian option with lots of potatoes, carrots

  • Reply Marshall October 19, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    I like many also agree with you “What’s your excuse ” photo. Has you have become so aware of the pitiful way we live and think. As you see .lots of people excuse practically everything in their life with no responsibility at all on them. They instead choose to blame you for showing them that they are wrong and need to change. Thus taking responsibility for their life. Being a cancer survivor I, in a nation filled with excuses, we get our current Government and all it’s excuses as well. All the people living with a hand out instead of putting something in their hand and going to work to change. I agree with you 1000%.

  • Reply Ross Papilla October 19, 2013 at 11:48 pm

    Thanks for being an inspiration to many people who want to be fit, and for posting your adobo recipe. What we do is we let the adobo sit in the ref all night, then remove the fat that hardens on top. Also, we don’t use pork, and use only a small amount of low-sodium soy sauce.

  • Reply mybohemianlove October 20, 2013 at 7:36 am

    I just made some today to bad the rice is bad or u= you I had brown rice instead boo =(

  • Reply Patricia H October 20, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    I can not believe the negativity in the world, I personally am inspired by your photo. I am a 42 year old grandmother and while I am not big I am not in shape., I would love to get your abs and be as toned as you. I am such a unhealthy eater and I hate exercise so I am going to use your picture as my inspiration to get my lazy butt moving. In reading your story it is obvious you are more than just a pretty face with a great body, no one has the right to judge you as a person or a mother, I say keep doing what you are doing, and inspiring lazy people like me.

  • Reply Anita C October 20, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    Thanks for this recipe! I love that we can still eat the foods we grew up with and enjoy, like adobo. My family has switched to just brown rice too. You’re truly an inspiration for me as I start my journey of a lifestyle change and being healthy. Thank you so much!!!

  • Reply Amethyst October 22, 2013 at 10:34 pm

    Please make more “clean eating” versions of Pinoy foods! Yum! Thanks 😀

  • Reply Jules October 23, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    I’m going to try this recipe. Have you tried Bragg’s Liquid Aminos? I always use it instead of soy sauce. It has waaay less sodium, even than the low sodium soy sauce, and it is gluten free.

  • Reply Dan October 25, 2013 at 9:29 am

    I am not sure. The diet program is not one size fits all. They can be healthy even they are overweight.

  • Reply Mat October 27, 2013 at 11:54 pm

    That’s one way to kill a great dish

    For your next amazing trick, why not take chocolate out of a ferrero rocher?
    Or the chicken out of a chicken Salad?

    But I digress we should all strive to eat healthy, but at what cost?

    • Reply Tatjana October 29, 2013 at 5:32 am

      Mat… Do you need a huuuuuug?

      • Reply Rebecca October 31, 2013 at 3:25 am

        Mat, get the heck outta here. Go troll somewhere else, if someone wants a full-fledged Chicken Adobo recipe they can google it. We’re not friggin’ idiots and neither are you. This is a site for healthy living so to expect anything else but that is ridiculous!

        • Reply Mat November 27, 2013 at 7:53 pm

          “not friggin’ idiots” I beg to differ

          You’re sweet (see I can “kill em with kindness” too)

      • Reply Mat November 27, 2013 at 8:07 pm

        Yes, but from Rebecca, not you, you have a silly name an I feel that would cheapen the hug experience.
        You silly goose.

    • Reply April November 8, 2013 at 3:01 am

      How do *you* make adobo, Mat? I’m Filipino, and Maria’s recipe is pretty much the same as mine, except I don’t add water (but when I saw it in the ingredients list, I suddenly remembered that my sister mentioned it when passing along our mom’s recipe).

      • Reply Mat November 27, 2013 at 8:03 pm

        Dear April.
        I’m so glad you suddenly remembered that, I mean, your story had a slow start an to tell you the truth I was a little disinterested , but then you mentioned how you didn’t add water and i was all like “nah uh” because in “Book 2: Aprils return” I remembered your sister warning you about your mothers recipe, but then you had the flashback about that talk an I tell you what, by the end of this book i was hanging off my seat.
        Well done, another best seller.

        Your adoring fan

        P.s I’m so sorry to hear about you being filipino, I hope they find a cure soon.

        • Reply Mat-is-lame May 30, 2014 at 12:54 am

          Wow, you are such a douche bag…lol

  • Reply Rebecca October 31, 2013 at 3:29 am

    Love you, Maria! Can’t wait for more recipes!! Ignore the haters; I have no idea why they come here if all they want to do is complain and bring other people down. UG, so HATE THAT! In the end, they should consider intent more than anything else, and your intent is to promote health! Why be cynical about that???!!! RIDICULOUS!!

  • Reply jap May 1, 2014 at 3:43 am

    lol, most are.actually.stews, not fried or.with sauces…it “party food”

  • Reply Jocelyn May 21, 2014 at 2:00 am

    Great site 🙂 thanks for sharing! You’re beautiful!

  • Reply Mat-is-lame May 30, 2014 at 12:52 am

    Mat…you’re so lame…getting in fights with people on a recipe blog. Wow, your life must really suck. Get a life douche.

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