Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Paigang Adobo sa Gata (Chicken Adobo in Coconut Milk)

We are being served with lots of curried dishes lately and as typical Filipinos away from home, we are deeply missing the salty-sourly-savory comforting taste of “adobo”. Particularly the type that has little sauce that remains …… so flavorful that simply slathering the sauce on a pile of steamed rice would create a mound of carb so appealing and delightful. And just when the craving further intensifies …… beyond the threshold of gastronomic sanity, we decided it’s time we commander the kitchen …… ask the crew to move aside ……… chop some meat, crush some garlic, get some vinegar and let our instincts do the rest.

We have many other “adobo” dishes already featured here so we tried another route to the great “adobo” world and decided to prepare a creamy and dry a.k.a. oily variation using coconut milk with longer cooking time until the sauce is fully reduced and coconut milk renders oil. In the Philippine language, this is called “adobo sa gata” ("adobo" in coconut milk} cooked “paiga” (somewhat dry).

Reminder: This dish is sinfully fatty - laden with both animal and vegetable oil, perhaps has high count of calories (per serving), probably have lots of bad (and good) cholesterol, will likely make one eat lots of rice or carbohydrates and yes it’s heavenly delicious. So proceed at your own risk. You have been warned. :) 

We regularly walk about 14 kilometers, making about 20,000 steps and burning an extra 900 calories every other day so the paragraph above have no issues with us (wishful thinking, okay). If it’s any consolation, we will be using the leaner chicken instead of the fatty pork but of course, chicken with skin-on for that “killer” flavor, figuratively of course. Lol.

I love this dish so much. It goes well with rice and superb as “pulutan” or bites especially if using free range or native chickens, or other fowl or birds for that matter. Cut-up whole chicken or like what we have, the juicy and meaty cuts of thighs and legs or drumstick combined can be used in the dish.

I have about 1.5 kilos (about 3.3 lbs.) chicken cut to large bite sizes of about 1.5 inches square, thoroughly washed to remove traces of blood then rinsed and drained. To supply the creamy-tasty flavor of this ‘adobo” we need about 1.5 cups coconut milk/cream from one coconut or the instant ones readily available in supermarkets.

The other ingredients needed are: 1 head garlic, peeled and minced, 2 medium onions, peeled and thinly sliced, ½ tsp whole peppercorn, ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper, 1 thumb-sized ginger, minced, about ½ cup natural vinegar (please adjust accordingly, depending on the acidity), 2 tbsp fish sauce or “patis”, 2 pcs lemon grass, white part only, 2 pcs chili peppers, chopped, 1 tsp table salt and about 2 tbsp of vegetable oil.
Additionally, we need about 3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut up as well.

In a large heavy pan or wok, heat the oil and fry garlic until it is slightly browned. Add in ginger followed by onions and cook until soft. Add in fish sauce and sauté until it sizzles. Put all the thoroughly drained chicken pieces and combine.

Let the meat renders its own juice and fat. Add in half of the salt. Give it a gentle stir and simmer on medium-high heat until the liquid is partially reduced and meat starts to boil in its own fatty liquid diffusing an aromatic smell.

Add the vinegar and continue cooking without stirring until it boils. Simmer on low until the meat is just tender.

Add in potatoes, whole peppercorn, ground pepper and chili peppers and continue cooking until potatoes is cooked through. Add the remaining salt and adjust the seasoning. Pour the coconut milk slowly and continue simmering with occasional stirring.

When the liquid has evaporated and sauce starts to thicken add some more whole chilies for extra kick, if you like. Continue simmering on low until the sauce becomes somewhat oily. Stir to make sure you don’t scorch the bottom. Cook for a couple of minutes more. Turn off the heat, it’s done.

Transfer in a large serving platter. Serve it with lots of plain steamed rice, grab your cutlery and start you carb load. :-) Sinfully yummy!

Enjoy this creamy “abodo” version cooked to the point it becomes a little fatty. Have a bite …… hit the gym. c“,)


  1. Hmmm...yummy! Thumbs up...

  2. Dear Reel and Grill,

    We would like to invite you to the launching of McCormick’s new Facebook app in the event “Discover Flavors”. Join us on May 10, 2012 as we explore zesty surprises behind McCormick's herbs and spices. We’ll be waiting for you at Fully Booked TopShelf, B6 Bonifacio High Street, 11th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig at 3:00pm.

    Don’t forget to RSVP to JC Pullan on or before May 7, 2012. You can reach me at
    the following contact details

    E-mail: jc@dualactionblender.com
    Mobile: 09166426832
    Telephone: 7503416

    See you there!


    JC Pullan

  3. My mom used to cook abobo sa gata... pwedeng gamitan sya ng chicken, beef or squid.

  4. Awesome Blog! Going to try this out on the weekend. Thanks a lot!

  5. This recipe looks and tastes good. Instead of chicken, can i use meat like pork or beef or fish as well? Thank you.

  6. Kakaibang adobo ito aUh..! nakaka'excite tikman"


  7. thanks for sharing..

  8. Tried this one out yesterday and the results were awesome! Thanks for sharing this recipe! :)

  9. I love this chicken adobo with gata. The gata just makes a difference in it all. Thanks for the recipe and the blog-visit!

  10. Thanks for sharing this "curry" adobo, even without turmeric it has all the elements of a great curry dish, lovely! also, im a fan of yours, your dishes are the best any Filipino can be proud of.



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