Filipino Chicken Adobo and Ginisang Sitaw at Kalabasa (Green Beans and Squash)

For ungrounded reasons, Bryan thinks all my cooking is bland. I had to prove him wrong, so I pulled out the most flavorful dishes I know…Filipino food!

PS. After the meal Bryan conceded I had flavor. Boo yah!

Filipino Chicken Adobo
A classic dish that’s super easy to make. There’s not one set ratio, so everything is to taste. The white vinegar and bay leaf is crucial for the flavor. 

Here is what it looks like when marinating. Look at those spices, oh yeah!

For the Chinese version, remove the white vinegar and add brown sugar and star anise. This is what I was used to at home. When I joined the Filipino community at Stanford, they were baffled at my mom’s version. Personally, I make the Filipino one more since the sour vinegar flavor gives a nice kick, but both ways are delicious.

cooking oil
garlic, minced
1/2 onion, chopped
3-4 chicken thighs/legs (pork works well too)
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup water
black peppercorns
2-3 bay leaves
2 eggs, with shell for hard boiling (optional)


Sautee garlic and onions in oil and add chicken to brown. Add vinegar and soy sauce, just barely covering the chicken (water may be added, but don’t add too much for maximum flavor). Add pepper, salt, and bay leaves, and eggs if desired. (optional: let sit and marinate for a few hours). 
Bring to boil, then lower heat (do not overboil). Cover and let simmer for 1-2 hrs, stirring occasionally until sauce is reduced and thickened, and chicken is tender. Serve with steamed rice.


Ginisang Sitaw at Kalabasa
This is my favorite vegetable Filipino dish. There’s a billion variations (this is after all home cooking!) which can include shrimp, pork, and other meats, but this all veggie one is the version I like to make.

Kalabasa (acorn squash) is a small squash, green on the outside and orange on the inside. It’s really hard to cut, so I recommend getting a nice strong dude to chop it for you.

cooking oil
garlic, minced
1 medium-sized onion, chopped
1 squash (kalabasa), peeled and cubed
green beans (sitaw), cut into 2-inch strips
1 can coconut milk
2-3 jalapeno or serano peppers, chopped, with seeds
black bean chili paste
crushed red pepper
salt and pepper (to taste)


Sautee the onion and garlic in oil with the kalabasa in a saucepan. Add coconut milk, jalapeno or serano peppers, chili paste, salt and pepper and let it stew on medium high.

When the kalabasa is starting to soften, add green beans (I don’t like my green beans overcooked and kalabasa takes a while to stew). Stew with top covered until vegetables are ready.

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