Growing up, my mama would make us Filipino chicken adobo whenever she needed a quick dinner on the table. Hers is authentic (she’s from the Philippines so she knows) and my childhood food memories consist of chicken adobo, fried lumpia and SO MUCH rice. Once I was living on my own and wanted to make chicken adobo myself, I realized the biggest problem was that my mom is the type of cook who haphazardly throws things together, paying no attention to how much of what she uses. I’ve watched her make Filipino chicken adobo a zillion times and there’s ZERO measuring that occurs. Years ago, I managed to pull some resemblance of a recipe from her, which I’ve since recreated to make a keto-friendly and gluten-free chicken adobo. It’s a simple dinner served with garlic green beans, and a treat if you’re on a low-carb diet and are craving a comforting, Asian-inspired dish.
what is Filipino chicken adobo?
Filipino chicken adobo is chicken that is boiled in soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, peppercorns and bay leaves until it becomes tender, then served over a bed of rice (often the sauce is drizzled over it). In the Philippines, it’s basically the national dish. The biggest change to my mama’s recipe (and other traditional chicken adobo recipes) besides nixing the rice, is substituting the soy sauce for a type of Japanese soy sauce called tamari. It’s gluten-free because, unlike other soy sauces, it’s made without wheat.
Is tamari keto-friendly? Most quality brands of tamari contain very few carbs (this organic tamari, for instance, has less than 1g carbs per tablespoon). Still, pay attention to the ingredient list when you’re purchasing tamari. Find a brand that has very few ingredients and no added sugars.
how to make Filipino chicken adobo with garlic green beans
To make chicken adobo, I like to use skinless, boneless, chicken thighs but you could also use a combination of thighs and legs. Other ingredients you’ll need include:
- apple cider vinegar
- dried bay leaves
- garlic cloves (or minced garlic)
- salt + pepper
- coconut oil
- olive oil
- green beans
- yellow onion
- sesame seeds (optional)
- xanthan gum (optional, but it’s used to thicken the marinade to make a sauce)
- vegetable stock or water (optional, it’s used to thin down the chicken adobo sauce if needed)
What I love about this chicken adobo recipe, is the chicken cooks in the marinade and is also browned in coconut oil for a nice, crispy outer layer. Making the chicken adobo sauce is not a must (and requires xanthan gum for the low-carb version), but it’s seriously delicious and I highly recommend it. 🙂 Here’s the process, summarized:
- In a large bowl, combine the vinegar, tamari, minced garlic, salt and pepper. Marinade the raw chicken for 30 minutes (recommended, but you can absolutely skip this step and go right into cooking it).
- Cook the chicken in a large pan with the marinade for about 20 minutes. Cover the pan and flip the chicken about 10 minutes in. (Note: the vinegar will smell pretty strong at this point and it can be kind of overwhelming but, no worries- it’ll cook down).
- Sauté the green beans and onions in olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Remove the chicken from the pan (pour the cooked marinade into a bowl) and melt the coconut oil in the hot pan. Return the chicken to the pan to fry each side until browned.
- Make the sauce by pouring the marinade back into the pan and adding xanthan gum until thickened.
What a simple, five-step process for this low-carb, Filipino chicken adobo! You can serve it with other veggies, if you’d like, or with a salad for some extra greens. The chicken is tender yet crisp, and the sauce is packed with big flavor. I plan to make this for my mama the next time she visits and I know she’ll love it.
you might also love…
- This protein and vegetable-packed keto chili, a no-bean spin on the traditional comfort food!
- A Turkish eggplant casserole with layers of eggplant in a spiced tomato sauce and a big dose of olive oil.
- This roasted winter salad with, seemingly, all the super greens.
Filipino chicken adobo + garlic green beansCourse: main courseCuisine: Filipino, Asian, keto-friendly, gluten-free, sugar-freeDifficulty: Easy
Chicken thighs are cooked in a garlic, vinegar and tamari marinade until tender for this Filipino chicken adobo recipe that is keto-friendly and gluten-free! Served with crispy, garlic green beans and a chicken adobo sauce for extra flavor.
- Filipino Chicken Adobo
1.5 pounds chicken thighs, boneless (skinless optional)
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup tamari soy sauce
4-5 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/4-1/2 cup water or vegetable broth (optional, for thinning down the sauce if needed)
sesame seeds (optional)
- Garlic Green Beans
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, sliced thin
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed
- Combine the apple cider vinegar, tamari, bay leaves, minced garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl and add the chicken. Marinade the chicken for 30 minutes in the fridge, if desired (I recommend it but it’s not necessary).
- Transfer the chicken and marinade to a large frying pan and cook over medium heat, slightly covered, for about 20 minutes.* The liquid should come to a boil. Flip the chicken halfway through the cook time.
- As the chicken cooks, heat the olive oil in a separate frying pan over medium heat, then add the sliced yellow onion and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add the remaining minced garlic (about 3 cloves) and cook for 1-2 minutes before adding the green beans. Cook the green beans for about 10 minutes, then remove from heat.
- Remove the chicken from the marinade and set on a plate. Pour the cooked marinade into a bowl and set aside. Melt the coconut oil in the frying pan over medium heat, then place the chicken thighs in the pan to brown, about 5 minutes per side.
- When the chicken is browned, turn off the stove top, and transfer the chicken back onto plate or serving dish. Pour the marinade into the pan (don’t remove the coconut oil) and immediately whisk in the xanthan gum to thicken.*
- Serve the chicken adobo with garlic green beans, and with the sauce on top or on the side. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top, if desired.
- A warning- when you’re boiling the chicken in the marinade, it will smell strongly of vinegar, which is completely normal and will subside as it cooks!
- Start with 1/4 teaspoon of xanthan gum. It will immediately thicken the sauce and if it becomes too thick, you can use water or chicken/vegetable broth to thin it.