Back before the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a food truck called Curbside Chef that would stop by work on a weekly basis. One of my favorite dishes out of that truck was their chicken adobo. Tender, flavorful chicken served over a bed of white rice, an over-easy egg, and a side of potstickers. My to-go box would often feel pretty hefty as I took it back up to my cubicle to chow down on.

Sometimes a dish will come along where I get inspired to learn how to cook it after trying it, and chicken adobo was one of them. This is especially true now that the food truck doesn’t come around work anymore. After doing quite a bit of research, I ended up combining together elements from three different recipes to create my own interpretation.

With sweet, savory, and umami flavors, these chicken thighs are cooked in a marinade consisting of soy sauce, garlic, ginger, rice vinegar, and a variety of spices until tender.


Chicken Adobo
Makes 4 servings

1/2 cup water
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
3/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
8 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 bay leaves
3/4 tsp black pepper
2 tsp minced ginger or ginger paste
2-1/2 lbs. chicken thighs
1/2 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 cup chopped scallions, for garnish
Sesame seeds, for garnish

Prep Work:

  • Combine soy sauce, water, rice vinegar, garlic, red pepper flakes, bay leaves, black pepper, and ginger into a large bowl. Whisk together to allow everything to get distributed evenly.
  • Trim off any excess fat on your chicken thighs before placing them into the bowl with the marinade.

  • Cover your bowl with Saran wrap and allow the chicken to marinate overnight before cooking.


  • In a large sauté pan, heat up your coconut oil on medium-high heat. I used a five quart sauté pan and was able to fit all of the chicken thighs comfortably on one layer.
  • Brown the chicken thighs on both sides (two minutes per side) before rotating back to the original side you placed the chicken down in the pan.

  • Pour the marinade into the sauté pan and bring the liquid up to a simmer. Reduce your heat down to low, cover the pan, and let the chicken cook for about 30 minutes total.
  • After time has passed, remove the lid and turn the heat back up to just above medium (6 / 10 on a stove dial). We’ll now be reducing down the remaining liquid a bit, no more than five minutes.
  • This is also a good opportunity to skim off any excess fat you may see sitting at the top of the liquid.
  • Baste the chicken with the marinade every minute or two as the liquid is reducing.
  • Once the liquid has reduced down, it’s ready to get plated.


  • While you could eat this chicken by itself, I think that rice is the best pairing to help absorb off any of the excess juices and flavor that come off the chicken.
  • Place your two chicken thighs over a bed of rice before spooning some of the liquid from the pan over each piece of chicken. Add your garnish of scallions and sesame seeds and you’re ready to dive in.
  • I added on an over-easy egg to the top of the plate, as a nod to the dish I enjoyed from Curbside Chef. I would highly recommend the egg on top as well, if that’s up your alley.

I think that the hardest part of this entire process is waiting for the overnight marinate. You could probably also do it same day, maybe with a four-hour marinade, although I haven’t tested it out to be sure how that might affect the end result.

Aside from that, I think that the dish is very easy to make, and the ingredients are things that would be available at your local supermarket. That savory flavor really comes through with each bite of the chicken, with the rice vinegar also adding a bit of tang as well. It’s a great dish for either a weekday or weekend, and overall doesn’t take a whole bunch of time to do.

Categories: Recipes

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