Vegan Filipino Chicken Adobo (Gluten-free)

October 5, 2018

Entree

By: Jasmine Briones 

A veganized version of a Filipino dish that is packed with bold flavors and is spot on to the classic recipe. This vegan filipino chicken adobo is easy to make and will be ready in about 30 minutes. With a marinade of vinegar, black peppercorns, bay leaves, and tamari, it has the perfect balance of sweet and sour, with a kick!

Vegan Filipino Adobo with soy curls! Gluten-free and easy to make in less than 30 minutes.

Today’s recipe is a bit different than others we have shared on our blog. I don’t want to be corny, but this dish truly does have a special place in my heart. I am excited to share a piece of my family with you to enjoy and I hope you love it! 🙂

Vegan Filipino Adobo Ingredients

Adobo has many different connotations across various cultures, but in the Philippines, adobo refers to a whole dish and not a specific marinade or spice blend. Many people have even claimed it to be the “national dish of the Philippines”. There are many different ways to make adobo (according to the region of origin in the Phillippines), and proportion (and even presence) of ingredients like soy sauce, bay leaves, garlic, or black pepper can vary from recipe to recipe. The recipe we are sharing today is based on how my family used to make it in the Philippines (Palawan).

When my mom came up to visit us in Washington in September, I took her to one of my favorite a restaurants (ever) called Ichiza. Not only did I want her to try their delicious food, but I also wanted to introduce her to their veganized versions of classic Filipino dishes she (and I) grew up eating. She was BLOWN away. She actually called the waiter over and talked to him for a good 5 minutes trying to get him to spill the deets on the recipe. Of course, he didn’t share, but he did give us some motivation to make our own.

Vegan Filipino Adobo with soy curls! Gluten-free and easy to make in less than 30 minutes.

Adobo was THE dish of my childhood. We had it at every family gathering (and still do to this day), and it was even something I requested every year on my birthday along with some pancit (Filipino noodles). After going vegan, I was sure that I was never going to be able to have the same adobo I grew up eating veganized. And by that, I mean I thought I wouldn’t be able to enjoy an adobo that was as nostalgic as the recipe my mom and aunties made for me growing up. Ichiza gave us the hope to squash that belief and try harder, and well, here we are!

My mom has on and off experimented with adobo for the last 6 years or so, since I started my vegan journey. She has tried various different vegan meat substitutes (store0bought seitan, jackfruit, tempeh, mushrooms) as well as all vegetable adobo, but nothing quite hit the spot. It wasn’t until I started eating more soy curls that I got the idea to try them out in the recipe. Soy curls are widely available up here in the Pacific Northwest, so when she came up to visit, we grabbed a few bags and tested it out. We also did more research to perfect the recipe–and by that I mean my mom called my aunties and asked them what they do and why. We made the changes we needed, and four batches later, we got it!

Vegan Filipino Adobo with soy curls! Gluten-free and easy to make in less than 30 minutes.

If you’re looking for more vegan Filipino dishes,  we’ve got you covered!

We originally used water instead of broth (in the video) but after testing it with broth, it is what we recommend for the best results. If you use broth, you do not need to drain it as mentioned in the instructions of the recipe. If you use water, drain it (like the video).

If you make this recipe, let us know what you think in the comments below! + If you post any photos on Instagram, make sure you tag us @sweetsimplevegan and @consciouschris so that we don’t miss it, we love seeing your photos!

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Vegan Filipino Adobo with soy curls! Gluten-free and easy to make in less than 30 minutes.

Vegan Filipino Chicken Adobo (Gluten-free)


  • Author: Jasmine @ Sweet Simple Vegan
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings

Description

A veganized version of a Filipino dish that is packed with bold flavors and is spot on to the classic recipe. This vegan Filipino chicken adobo is easy to make and will be ready in about 30 minutes. With a marinade of vinegar, black peppercorns, bay leaves, and tamari, it has the perfect balance of sweet and sour, with a kick!


Ingredients

  • 2 heaping cups soy curls*
  • 4 cups Vegan chicken broth (or vegetable broth of choice) * (see notes)
  • ¼ cup liquid refined coconut oil* (or cooking oil of choice)
  • 5 bay leaves
  • ½ teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 5 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 small (1 ½ cups) white onion, finely diced
  • 2 small (2 cups) potatoes, peeled and cut into medium-sized pieces
  • 1 medium (1 cup) carrot, peeled and cut into medium-sized pieces
  • 1 cup reduced sodium tamari (or soy sauce if not gluten-free)
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar*
  • 1-inch fresh ginger, sliced (optional)
  • 45 tablespoons light brown sugar

Instructions

  1. Prepare the soy curls. Add the broth to a small pot and bring to a boil. Remove the pot from heat. Add the soy curls into the pot and use a spoon to mix and make sure that every piece is covered. Allow the soy curls to rehydrate for 10 minutes.
  2. In the meantime, set a medium sauté pan over medium heat and add in the oil. Once heated, add in the bay leaves and black peppercorns, and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Next add in the minced garlic and continue cooking until golden brown, being sure not to burn it. Add in the white onion and cook for 1 minute more, then add in the potatoes and carrots and mix until well combined. Adjust the heat to medium-low and cover the pot. Allow the vegetables to cook through for about 5 minutes.
  4. After 5 minutes, mix the soy curls (with the broth) into the pan along with the soy sauce, vinegar and ginger. Push the mixture to the side with a cooking utensil and mix 4 tablespoons of brown sugar into the liquid portion until mostly dissolved, then mix through.
  5. Bring the mixture to boil over medium heat, cover the pot again and allow it to simmer over medium heat. Simmer for 25-30 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through. Adjust seasoning to taste. We added in 1 more tablespoon of brown sugar.
  6. Remove from heat and cool before serving. If you would like, you can remove the bay leaves and peppercorns as best you can, but my family leaves them in and we just eat around them.
  7. Serve with brown or white rice and enjoy!

Notes

  • We tested this recipe with several different meat substitutes and we were the happiest with the soy curls. We have also made this recipe using our seitan chicken, but we did not list that in the recipe as it would require you to make that from scratch since it would taste different than store-bought seitan. If you would like to make the homemade chicken seitan, just follow all of the steps up until the boiling. After you boil the seitan, it will be ready for the adobo. We suggest also making the seitan pieces 1/2 of the size that you would have used in that recipe for the nuggets.
  • We originally used water instead of broth in the video, but after testing it with broth, it is what we recommend for the best results.
  • Check your local health food store or even Whole Foods for Soy Curls. If you are unable to find them local to you, they are available on Amazon.
  • We used refined coconut oil to ensure that there was no coconut flavor in the dish.
  • Apple cider vinegar is our preferred vinegar for this recipe. We tested it with white vinegar as well and it was too strong for our liking.
  • Adobo is traditionally made with pork or chicken, but since we are using soy curls here, we added ¼ cup of oil to try and mimic the fat content that the non vegan version has. It seems like a lot, but keep in mind that there are 6 servings.
  • Category: Entree, Dinner
  • Method: One Pot
  • Cuisine: Vegan, Filipino

Keywords: Entree, Dinner, Vegan, Filipino, One Pot, Adobo, Soy Curls

Nutrition facts label provided by Nutri Fox.

Disclaimer: The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional’s advice. This page may contain affiliate links, which simply means that we earn a commission if you purchase through those links, but your price remains the same. Thank you for supporting Sweet Simple Vegan!

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Recipe rating

  1. Clémence says:

    I just made this recipe with a seitan leftover and I have to say I am impressed by how good it is!
    We are not huge fans of garlic so we put garlic powder instead of fresh one and we didn’t have apple cider vinegar so we used regular lemon. It was full of flavor and deliciousness, thank you!!

  2. Jane Robertson says:

    Glad you found soy curls! I bought them in bulk in June and haven’t stopped using them since. Including using them for Adobo! I’m a Filipino Vegan too (transitioning) since the start of the year.

  3. GIULIA says:

    really interesting

  4. Sherrie says:

    Omigosh, I just bought soy curls at Trader Joe’s a couple days again and was wondering what to do with them! Now I know — I’ll be making this 🙂 I love Filipino food so this brings back fond memories for me, too. Now I need to get your pancit recipe as well!

  5. Soy curls are my FAVORITE! I haven’t used them in forever but I really do miss them. I made a vegan orange chicken stir-fry with them before, but I do want to explore my realm of possibilities, starting off with this chicken adobo! I have never actually tried the dish before, but this is a glorious recipe to start with!

  6. Jenny Sherpa says:

    This recipe was incredible!! So homey and delicious. I added peas since I had some I was trying to get rid of them. Can’t wait to make this for my vegan mom!

  7. Diego Gal says:

    BOMB. I’m half Filipino and grew up on adobo (although I’ve never actually cooked it). It’s comfort food that I haven’t had since going vegan 5+ years ago. I couldn’t bring myself to use an entire cup of soy sauce, so I did a half cup combo of regular and low sodium, and a half cup of water. I regretted the decision last night as the curls didn’t seem flavorful enough. But today, after sitting in the juice all night it’s perfect and taste just like I remember! I love the potato addition, and threw in some mushrooms too. Great recipe, thanks!

  8. Holli McBride says:

    I couldn’t love this recipe more!!!! So delicious and super easy and fast! My only complaint is I ate too much too fast!!!! Lol! This is going to become a regular dish in our house! Once again Sweet Simple Vegan delivers a hit!!!! Thanks so much!

  9. Gloria says:

    Very good!! Thank you for sharing your recipe!

  10. Jo-Ann Van Der Merwe says:

    Love, love, love it! Delicious, quick and easy and even non-vegan family members loved it. Thanks for this recipe, it will be one of my go-to favorites..

  11. Carolyn Edmond says:

    I LOVE your mother!! Great content, and I can’t wait to make a great Adobo for my non-vegan Filipino friends at work. I never really miss meat, but I’ve missed Adobe, which I haven’t had for at least 12-14 years! You both are a joy to watch, and know the recipes are going to taste awesome. So happy I stumbled upon your website.

  12. KORINA PUNZALAN says:

    Just made this tonight. I added about half 3/4 cup of coconut milk because I love anything creamy and it was delicious! Great recipe! Please make more Filipino vegan dishes <3 Kare Kare please!!

  13. Anika says:

    This was absolutely AMAZING! Thank you so much for sharing <3 I only put 150ml soy sauce and used fake chicken instead of soy curls, but it turned out iiiiiiinnnncredible!!! WIll definitely be making again…and again…and again…and again!

  14. tracy says:

    Hella confusing recipe If you read the instructions it sounds like your supposed to add the ‘broth’ you soaked the soy curls in into the potato/carrot/soy curl mixture but if you watch the video then the ‘water/sauce’ is nowhere to be found

    • The recipe was updated and that is why it is different. if you read the recipe notes you will see it there 🙂

    • Cara says:

      Will definitely have to remake this, as the instructions vs the video are soooo different. I followed the recipe and then watched the video. I should have watched the video first. I found that 4 cups of broth made it very soup like. Anywoo thanksssss.

  15. Rhoda says:

    This recipe has become a staple in our home. Thank you!! Quick question, does this freeze well?

    • Chris Petrellese says:

      We’ve never tried freezing it, but it should hold up just fine 🙂 Glad you’re enjoying the recipe!

  16. Emmafaye Auelua says:

    Great recipe, thanks for sharing. However, please keep in mind that brown sugar is not vegan. I used raw sugar instead.

    • Chris Petrellese says:

      Glad you enjoyed the recipe. Organic brown sugar is vegan 🙂

    • Erin says:

      Adobo is the dish I miss the most and never thought I’d be able to replicate it. Hoping the oil will make up for the fat (my family would always use thighs). Thanks for sharing.

  17. Carisha says:

    Hello! I’m from the Philippines and I love your recipes. Unfortunately, where I live, there aren’t many vegan-friendly ingredients. The closest thing I can find for soy curls is tofu (and it’s also not available daily). Can I use tofu as a substitute? Amazing website guys! Kudos!

    • Chris Petrellese says:

      Hey sorry for the delay on this! Tofu should work to replace the soy curls, just make sure it’s fully pressed and then resoaked with the vegan chicken broth! You can also leave out both and just add a bunch of veggies instead 🙂

  18. Laura says:

    Has anyone tried making this without oil? Do you think it would turn out okay? I miss adobo sooo much but try not to add oils to my food..

  19. rafael g. toledo says:

    May i request to your good website to send me tokea recipes thanks

  20. Erica Blair says:

    Hi! Can’t wait to try this recipe out! How long will this last in the fridge?

  21. Nice twist! Never tried an adobo recipe with carrots. Looks so colorful and yummy!

  22. […] Of course, no list of Filipino food would be complete without adobo. With this veganized version of the crowd favorite, you may want to try to bring this new dish to your next family potluck. The recipe can be found here. […]

  23. Yolanda says:

    My husband is Filipino and enjoyed this vegan adobo very much! I put the soy curls in the air fryer at the end to crisp it up and it turned out delicious! I highly recommend using the airfryer for the soy curls.

  24. Lynn says:

    This recipe made me do the happy dance. It is very good and simple to pull together. Thanks for sharing

  25. Roy Bame says:

    Words can’t explain just how good this dish was.
    This dish was easy to make and the flavors were amazing.
    You will not be disappointed in any way.

  26. Rowan Rivers says:

    Delicious and my Filipino family was so impressed by how it turned out– they couldn’t believe it was vegan! Thank you so much for this recipe <3

  27. Sabel F says:

    This is my go to when I have to cook! I was even able to make it while living in the dorms when I was in college. Great recipe and easy to follow instructions! I feel closer to my Filipino side when I make this.

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