Adobong Manok Dilaw (Yellow Adobo with Chicken)

Adobong Manok Dilaw (Yellow Adobo with Chicken)
Justin Walker

The fresh turmeric in this dish adds not just an earthy, slightly bitter flavor but also a sunny yellow hue. Turmeric root is really a rhizome, and looks similar to ginger (a relative) when fresh. You can find it dried or ground, but if you use either of those in this adobo, the results will be too bitter; you really need to use fresh. Turmeric’s popularity—as an ingredient in health foods and juices thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties—means it is a lot easier to find fresh in the produce section of specialty supermarkets, or you can order it online. Like most adobos, this dish benefits from resting for a few hours or overnight so that the flavors intensify.


  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil‍
  • 2 pounds (910 g) bone-in, skin-on chicken legs or thighs‍
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 finger-size knobs fresh turmeric root, peeled and minced
  • 2 cups (480 ml) chicken stock‍
  • 1 cup (240 ml) coconut vinegar
  • 1 cup (75 g) white button mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper‍
  • 4 cups (800 g) cooked white rice, for serving


  1. In a Dutch oven, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken pieces—it’s best if they don’t overlap. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken pieces are lightly browned on all sides. Transfer the chicken pieces to a plate and set aside.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is just beginning to brown and the onion is soft and translucent, about 7 minutes.
  3. Add the turmeric and cook, stirring occasionally, until it just starts to soften, about 3 minutes.
  4. Return the chicken to the pan. Add the stock and vinegar, then cover the pan tightly and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the cover, increase the heat to medium-high, add the mushrooms, and simmer until the liquid has reduced by half, 10 to 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve with rice.

Excerpted from I Am A Filipino by Nicole Ponseca and Miguel Trinidad (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2018. Photography by Justin Walker.

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