When coconut meets adobo


Adobo is one of the most popular dish from the Philippines, and is in fact considered a national dish. It usually uses pork or chicken or a combination of both (dubbed as CPA or chicken-pork adobo) which is slowly cooked in water, vinegar, soy sauce, pepper, and garlic as the basic ingedients. Variations occur in different regions of the country – in terms of ingredients and manner of cooking. Some peopel add laurel leaves, there are those who prefer their adobo dry as well some prefering to have saucy adobo. In any case, the salty-sour combo of soy sauce and vinegar and the garlicky flavor makes for a much flavorful adobo. Did I just mention vinegar? Some regions have their local vinegar from cane, coconut or other palm trees thus adding another dimension to the national dish.


The adobo dish I will share with you is a version I learned from my dad. Coconut milk is added to adobo making a creamy sour sauce. This is best cooked with chicken raised in the backyard which we have plenty off.


1 whole chicken, cut into serving pieces
1 cup vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce (optional)
1 whole garlic, crushed
1 tsp crushed pepper
salt to taste
at least 3 cups water
1 cup of coconut milk



1. Combine chicken, vinegar, soy sauce (if adding) garlic, pepper and water in a pot. Bring to a boil then simmer until meat is tender. Chickens raised in the backyard tend to need longer time for cooking so check to make sure that there is enough water to tenderize the meat.

2. When meat is tender, taste the sauce – a great adobo tastes garlicky salty and sour all at the same time. Add the coconut milk and simmer for a few minutes until the coconut milk starts to release oil and mixture becomes creamy.

This version of adobo is called “adobo sa gata”. Gata means coconut milk in Tagalog. This dish usually uses chicken meat rather than pork, I’m not sure why. I have yet to across adobo sa gata using pork. As with most Filipino dishes, this is great with rice!

This is my contribution to Grow Your Own hosted by Andrea.




  1. says

    I love adobo with a big bowl of rice! The recipe I have uses red wine vinegar, but I’ve also used white and apple cider vinegar. I’ve never had it with coconut, so I’ll definitely have to give this one a try. Thanks for another great entry for Grow Your Own!


  2. says

    I’ve never seen adobo with coconut milk before, I’ll have to try it! My husband’s Filipino great-grandfather added a can of tomato sauce to his adobo – very tasty, but I’ve never seen that in any other adobo recipes, have you?

  3. says

    Hi Vicki, adobo is really good with coconut. Nope, I haven’t tried adobo with tomato sauce and yes, I haven’t tried it in any other adobo recipes. Will try it myself, I’m sure it’s delicious.

  4. says

    Mmmm, do I love adobe (lots of Filipinos in Alaska, so often seen here). The combination of flavors are wonderful; I particularly like it made with chicken wings. Like Vicki, I’ve never seen it made with coconut milk – I’ll have to try it. (I do make it with bay leaves though, according to my friend’s father’s recipe. Boy, was he a good cook!)

  5. says

    HI Laurie, adding laurel leaves is another version of adobo. Even if it is a national dish, you’d find that there are a lot of adobo versions – like every family have their own adobo dish. My adobo is even a bit different with my mom!


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