Meal-Prep Monday: Chicken Adobo (Filipino Style)

Hi There!

The Filipino Chicken Adobo that I grew up with was a stew made with chicken, beef or pork that we placed on steamed rice.  The best part for me was mixing the stew liquid with my rice (at one point, I was convinced that I could live just off of that).

If you were to ask three different Filipinos how they make adobo, you will get three different answers.  Even if you were to go to the Philippines and asked three different people in the same village, you will get three different answers.   It’s kind of like mole with Mexicans – you ask three different people how they make their mole, you will get three different answers.

When I was (trying) to learn how to make this dish, my Mom would adjust amounts by taste – she never knew if it was 1 cup of this and 2 teaspoons of that.  At one point I did measure out everything, but can’t seem to find the recipe that I made out.  Even now, I season to taste (which probably doesn’t help my fellow readers much!)  Fear not, I found a recipe that was close to the ratios of the ingredients that I used (see below).  However, the way I was taught to make it was slightly different.

You will need:

Chicken drumsticks, thighs and/or wings (I used a package of 4 thighs and drumsticks each)

4 cloves Garlic

1 sliced or chopped onion

Whole Peppercorn

3 Bay Leaves

White or Apple Cider Vinegar (there is debate on which to use among Filipinos, I hear!)

Soy Sauce


Sugar (brown or regular, again, up to debate)

Fresh ground salt/pepper to taste

Steamed Rice for Serving

Gathered all the ingredients first, of course

This dish can be made on a stove top, slow cooker or pressure cooker.  Today, I went old-school and made it on my stove top.

A lot of recipes will state to let the chicken sit in the soy sauce/vingar marinade for 1 to 3 hours.  However, this recipe seems so forgiving that, if you just put everything in the pot, it would still come out delicious!

In fact, that is what I did – I just threw everything in the pot, from the liquids (soy sauce, vinegar and water) in a 1:2:1 ratio (for example, 1 cup soy sauce, 2 cups vinegar, 1 cup water) into my stock pot.  Then added the garlic, onion, peppercorn and bay leaves.

Followed by the meat.

Allow to come to a boil, then cover and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes until cooked through.

Serve on top of freshly steamed rice, with vegetables of choice, such as steamed green beans or asparagus.

No, I didn’t eat the bay leaf…

Disclaimer: I sometimes forget the peppercorn when I make this.  However, because this dish is so forgiving (at least for me), it still tastes great with just the fresh ground pepper on top.

There you have it!  Have you made Filipino Adobo too?  What did you think of it?  Please leave your comments in the box below!

Until next time!








Jolibee – Chicago

Happy National Fried Chicken Day everyone!

I’ll admit, I was taken surprise by this day. I was totally off the ball and haven’t been keeping up with the ever important “Foodie Days”. You may think I’m being sarcastic, but I’m actually kind of disappointed in myself! These random days are so light-hearted and fun, they make for decent potluck days, and they sometimes make me think outside the box.

And by outside the box, I mean this time I’m referencing a Filipino CHAIN to celebrate.

20161008_150844Enter…. JOLIBEE. For Filipinos, specifically in the Chicagoland area, this was a huge freaking deal when the ‘bee first arrived. I’m talking, Six Flags-style lines, Black Friday-esque impatience… ya’ll really wanted your Chickenjoy.

And if you didn’t catch what I said, this is a CHAIN. With that said, I will drive the 30 minutes, passing yellow archs, crowns, and ivory towers to get my fix. At first, I was such a hater – mainly because I hate crowds and for the first several months, that’s all I saw when passing by. But now that the hype has died down, I managed to finally get my order in. Let’s focus on the chicken – I love fried chicken, and they’re doing it and doing it and doing it well.

And in case you haven’t gone in yourself, make sure to pick up their *peach mango pie* too. Better yet, get yourself like, 5. And hide that stash from your kids because they WILL steal them. And you will regret the things you say & do to your kids for being innocently drawn to sweet, sugary, beautiful things.

Supper Club Saturday: Bad Saint

Bad Saint

3226 11th St NW,
Washington, DC 20010

Even though our visit to Washington D.C. was going to be short, I did not want to pass up the opportunity to enjoy one of the top restaurants in the area (the question was which one?)  Well, Bad Saint was literally steps from where we were staying, so it would be foolhardy to pass up this opportunity.

Bad Saint is a Filipino Restaurant with limited seating and they take no reservations.  It is usually advised to come an hour or more before opening.

The Line for Bad Saint Before Opening

Having been raised by my Filipino Mom and having grown up on Filipino cuisine, why would I wait in line for something so familiar?  Even though it may be the same recipe, the dish will vary in flavor/style from island to island, and even from family to family.

I just wanted to see how their “house” recipes compare and contrast to ours.

What is Filipino food exactly?  There isn’t a concrete answer to that, and opinions differ from person to person, depending on who you ask.  The best answer I have from what I know of Filipino food is that it is a mix of a lot of things: Spanish, a variety of Asian influences (Chinese, Japanese and Korean, for example) and Indonesian, to name a few.  There is not a lot of sweet, but sour and salty.  There are dishes that are light and others that are heavy and comforting.

Yeah, the food is pretty diverse.

When they had opened, there was already a big party at the head of the line.  I believe the largest table they had sits 4 or 6 people. The line moved quickly and we advanced a few feet.  Already they were at capacity.  They were taking names and phone numbers so they could text you when a table is ready.

I came prepared for this already. I wasn’t too hungry yet and already planned to head back to our place to wait my turn.  I expected at least an hour and a half wait.

Then the Hostess announced that they had one seat available and asked if anyone was dining solo.  Hey, that would be me!

I raised my hand so high and fast, that I was literally standing on my toes.  The Hostess gestured to me and I followed her in.
Yeah, maybe it looked sad that I was eating alone, but I was far from being sad – I was happy that I did not have to wait over an hour to eat here after all!

I was seated along the windows on a high seat.  The bar ledge was edged with Mahjong tiles, and I was immediately reminded of the late nights with my Uncles and Cousins with the sounds of tiles getting “shuffled” on the card table.

Proof of Life (I Loved the Bar Behind Me)

When I was handed the menu, I was advised that the chef changes the selections often.

I may not have been hungry outside, but I was now.  The kitchen was literally behind me and, whatever they were cooking was making my mouth water.

I also accepted the fact that I was going to smell like food after this.

I decided to go with 3 dishes (mostly because I couldn’t make up my mind!)

I started with Kinilaw Na Pugita, which was octopus with fingerling potatoes and sliced Queen Olives in a vinagrette.

The octopus was light and fresh with a citrusy finish

I want to say we had something similar to this but with squid once.  I did like the olives in this version.

Next was Bulalo, a bone marrow stew with corn, carrots, potatoes, cabbage, green chili and a side of a vinegary fish sauce for more seasoning.  I couldn’t resist getting this as I am a fan of this stew!

Even With The Stew, I Couldn’t Forget the Rice!

The stew was delicious and reminded me of how my Mom makes it. In fact, its hard to say, whose is better.

The last dish I tried was Pancit Na Hipon, made with glass noodles, pork belly (mmm pork belly 😍), shrimp and chili.

This Had Some Kick!

Pancit is one of those dishes that takes many forms, usually dependent on the type of noodle.  When my Mom makes pancit, its with a rice noodle.  My aunt makes her with a thicker, almost lo mein style type noodle. With the noodles, you can add any type of protein (ie chicken, pork or shellfish) and sliced vegetables (ie celery, carrots, green onions) and don’t forget the fish sauce!  Having the pancit with the glass noodle was an interesting take. It almost slid in my mouth from the sauce and the pork belly.  The peanuts added crunch and the chilis some heat (even though I asked for it to be mild).   I really did like it.

At the end I was given, what reminded me of Turon, Banana Lumpia with Caramel Sauce.  However, the Hostess called it something else (I think, because it didnt sound like Turon).  The outside was a crispy and flaky egg roll wrapper, coated in a sticky caramel with a ripe and sweet banana inside.  Anyway, it was still good, no matter what it was.

Overall it was a great meal.  I wished I had more room to try the rest.  I definitely would go back if I had another opportunity.

Have you also been to Bad Saint?  How did it go?  Leave your comments below!


Arts and Entertainment: DongYan… Laugh Trip in America

Celebrities from the Philippines grace the stage to entertain Filipinos in California.


As some of you may not know, I (Jaja, @theforevertourist) was born and raised in the Philippines. I have been living in the United States for the 12 years.  In that time, I’ve learned to embrace other cultures, thanks to the friends that I’ve met. But nothing feels better than engaging yourself in your own culture. In my case, parts of my culture that I have not embraced in a while. Like Filipino entertainment!

I was lucky enough that someone gave me tickets to see a concert of a famous celebrity couple from the Philippines. The concert is called DongYan.. Laugh Trip in America. The main act is husband and wife Dingdon Dantes and Marian Rivera. They are both big celebrities in the Philippines. They met in the industry and got married a couple of years ago. Together with them is a group of comedians, namely Ate Gay, Boobsie Wonderland, and Boobay.

For their opening acts, different talented performers from around California (and even Texas) opened the show with their dancing and singing skills.


Boobsie came out first with her stand-up comedy, and even graced us with her very powerful singing voice. This was the first time I’ve heard of her, and I was glad I went to this show. She was very funny and I was very amazed at her singing. I’ve been watching her performances on YouTube.

Next came Boobay and Ate Gay as a comedic duo. Since they’re both singers, they performed a mixture of stand-up comedy and mash-up duets. I especially liked Ate Gay for her one of a kind talent of making on the spot mash-ups. Boobay would say one song and Ate Gay would do the mash-up. Yes, I know it’s probably rehearsed. Haha. But she’s been doing the impromptu mashups back home and it really is quite impressive, sometimes even mixing songs in English and Tagalog.


And then, they brought out Dingdong Dantes. Admittedly, I’m not a big fan or anything like that. But he’s one of the famous “teenage actors” in the early 2000s, my -aherm- generation, and I did get my share of giddy feelings. So to see him on stage singing and charming the pants off all the ladies in the audience was quite fun. So yeah, while he was singing and performing on stage, I allowed myself to be mesmerized. *giggles*


Finally, the belle of the ball came out – Marian Rivera. Okay, so. She became famous when I was already in the US so I didn’t really know her. But I saw her perform at another concert a couple of years ago in Los Angeles. She is really, really, REALLY pretty. One of the segments of the concert was she would talk about all these romantic/heartbreaking situations, and the comedians would act out the bits, and she would sing the accompanying song after the scene.

As a finale, all of the performers came onstage to sing a medley. At that time, everyone was invited to stand in front of the stage, take pictures, get autographs, and interacts with their favorite celebrities.

I enjoy living in the United States, but I do miss the Philippines. When I get the chance to go to these events, I really enjoy myself because I really miss the culture. And being surrounded by Filipinos, hearing the chatter in my native language, and engaging with them as if I know them is just so fulfilling that it lessens the homesickness.

-Jaja (@theforevertourist)