Filipino Coconut Milk Adobo

July 18, 2022

Filipino

By: Jasmine Briones 

A veganized version of a warm and cozy classic Filipino dish packed with bold flavors and easy to prepare! Made with vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, bay leaves, and black peppercorns, this recipe perfectly balances salty, sour, and sweet.

macro shot of vegan coconut milk adobo in gray pan

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. While Filipino adobo can be considered adobo in the Spanish sense—a marinated dish—the Filipino usage is much more specific to a cooking process (rather than a particular recipe) and is not restricted to meat.

Adobo has occasionally been considered the unofficial national dish in the Philippines. There are many ways to make adobo (according to the region of origin in the Phillippines), and the proportion (and even the presence) of ingredients like soy sauce, bay leaves, garlic, or black pepper can vary from recipe to recipe.

ingredients for vegan coconut milk adobo

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Soy Curls: The star of this vegan jerky is Butler’s Soy Curls, which is a soy-based vegan meat alternative. We purchase ours at a local health food store, but they are also available online. These make for the perfect substitution for vegan chicken in this vegan jerky. Once the marinade is cooked, they have the same chewy and semi-tough meat consistency, with a pop of adobo flavor.
  • Vegan Chicken Broth: Adds “chickeny” flavor without using meat. We like to use this one.
  • Aromatics: Simple yet essential aromatic flavor base to start this dish right: bay leaves, black peppercorns, onions, garlic, and ginger. 
  • Soy Sauce: The salty, umami-packed flavor bomb of a condiment helps this barbecue build depth of flavor. You can also opt for tamari, which tastes like soy sauce, but is gluten-free.
  • Vinegar: We used apple cider vinegar, but white vinegar works.
  • Coconut milk: Brings a creaminess and richness that round out all the flavors.
  • Oil: We like to use coconut oil or avocado oil.
  • Brown Sugar: A sweetness that balances out both the acid and heat in this recipe. 
  • Red Pepper Flakes or Chili Garlic SauceTo add spice. You can also opt for sriracha. 
  • Scallions: We used these as a garnish for serving to add a pop of color. 
vegan coconut milk adobo with rice in white bowl

What does coconut milk adobo taste like?

The best way for me to describe adobo is bold! This recipe has the perfect balance of salty, sour, and sweet tastes with the perfect mix of vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, bay leaves, ginger, and black peppercorns.

I didn’t grow up eating coconut milk adobo, but after trying this variation, I fell in love! The coconut milk adds a creaminess and richness to the broth that rounds out all the flavors in this dish.

Equipment

close up shot of vegan coconut milk adobo in gray pan

If you’re looking for more vegan Filipino food, we’ve got you covered:

horizontal photo of vegan coconut milk adobo with rice in white bowl

Make sure you tag us on Instagram @sweetsimplevegan and @consciouschris and hashtag #sweetsimplevegan if you recreate any of our recipes; we love to see your photos!

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close up shot of vegan coconut milk adobo in gray pan

Filipino Coconut Milk Adobo


  • Author: Jasmine @ Sweet Simple Vegan
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

A veganized version of a warm and cozy classic Filipino dish packed with bold flavors and easy to prepare! Made with vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, bay leaves, and black peppercorns, this recipe perfectly balances salty, sour, and sweet.


Ingredients

  • 3 cups soy curls
  • 3 1/2 cups vegan chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil (or cooking oil of choice)
  • 6 bay leaves
  • ½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 15 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 small white onion, finely diced
  • ½3/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce (or tamari for gluten-free)
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1-inch fresh ginger, cut into 3 or 4 pieces
  • 45 tablespoons light brown sugar, as needed to taste
  • Optional: red pepper flakes, garlic chili sauce, or sriracha, to taste
  • Optional: scallions, for garnish
  • Rice, for serving

Instructions

  1. Prepare the soy curls. Add the broth to a small pot and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, remove the pot from heat and add the soy curls. Mix everything until the soy curls are moistened and then set aside.
  2. In the meantime, set a medium to large sauté pan over medium heat and add the oil. Once heated, add in the bay leaves and black peppercorns and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add in the minced garlic and onion and cook for about 2 minutes or until fragrant.
  4. Add in the hydrated soy curls, broth, ½ cup soy sauce, vinegar, So Delicious coconut milk, ginger, and 4 tablespoons of brown sugar.
  5. Bring the mixture to boil over medium heat, then cover the pot and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook covered for 25 minutes. Remove the lid from the pot and simmer uncovered on medium-low heat for an additional 8 minutes, stirring every so often to ensure everything is uniform.
  6. Remove from heat and adjust soy sauce and brown sugar to taste. If you would like, you can remove the bay leaves and ginger slices, but we eat around them.
  7. Serve with rice, and enjoy!

Notes

  • Both dry or fresh bay leaves work.
  • If you’re looking for a vegan adobo recipe without coconut, try this one out here.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Filipino

Disclaimer: This page may contain affiliate links, meaning 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. Deb Z says:

    Coconut oil, milk from a can is extremely high in SATURATED fats. Very unhealthy. Wish my vegan friends would stop using this stuff as though it were good for you. I tried to click on the recipe without the coconut but it didn’t open.
    I tried.

  2. Maya says:

    Just made this tonight after seeing your video today… I wanted a big pot of protein ready for the heat wave. Delicous!!! Thank you xoxoxo

  3. Andie says:

    Even though it’s 100 degrees today I had to make this when I saw it. This is such a delicious meal! My boyfriend and I loved it so much!! It is not difficult to make, but really packs a punch of flavor! Thank you for sharing this. We will definitely be making it again!

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