Adobo Chicken Bao Burger

During my trip to the Philippines, I was majorly disappointed by the food. Perhaps it wasn't the same as I remember eating them. This is one of those dishes. Filipino cuisine is very much like the Italian cuisine; it uses very few and simple ingredients to create excellent dishes. But it has to be done properly to get it right. Like this iconic dish for example, it's main ingredients are soy sauce and vinegar. Nothing more.

The vinegar has to be Filipino coconut vinegar. If you can't get your hands on that, apple cider vinegar will be the best replacement. I personally do not really like Filipino's soy sauce. I find it way salty, so I used Kikkoman's soy sauce. You can of cos use any brands of soy sauce you prefer as different people has different preferences.

I amped up the coconut taste just a little with coconut rum. You can totally omit if desired. I find that the "unwanted" parts of chicken is really used often, so I decided to make use of the skin, fat and bones to create chicken flavored oil and simple chicken stock respectively. I mean, why spend extra money to buy chicken fat and stock when you can make them? Anyway, I also decided to keep this bao burger as simple as I can without going over the top. I hope you will enjoy making this as much as I do.


(Make 4 bao burger)

  • Adobo Chicken:

  • Chicken Thigh Skin & Bones On, 500g

  • Soy Sauce, 4 TBSP

  • Garlic Finely Minced, 3 Cloves

  • Canola / Peanut / Vegetable Oil, 1/4 Cup

  • Water, 1 Cup

  • Red Onion Finely Sliced, 1

  • Coconut Rum, 2 TBSP

  • Bay Leaves, 2

  • Filipino Coconut Vinegar, 2 TBSP

  • Sea Salt, Pinch

  • White Pepper, Pinch

  • Granulated Sugar, Pinch

  • Bao Burger:

  • Homemade Turnover Bao, 4

  • Green Onion Finely Sliced Lengthwise, A Handful


  • Cast Iron Skillet / Pan


  1. Please visit my “How To Make Mantou / Bao / Turnover Bao" page for turn over bao recipe.

  2. Prepare the chicken.

  3. Separate chicken thigh into skin, fat, bones and meat.

  4. Divide the meat into 4 equal sizes.

  5. Transfer meat into a shallow bowl.

  6. Add in soy sauce and garlic.

  7. Make sure the chicken is coated well with the marinade.

  8. Cover with cling film and keep chilled in the fridge for at least 4 hrs to overnight.

  9. In a skillet over medium low heat, add in oil.

  10. Once the oil is heated up, add in the skin and fat.

  11. Turn the heat down to low.

  12. Slowing poach the skin and fat in the oil until golden brown on all sides.

  13. Remove from heat and transfer into a bowl.

  14. This will be your flavored oil.

  15. In the same skillet, add 1 TBSP of the flavored oil, over medium heat.

  16. Add in the chicken bones.

  17. Season well with salt and pepper.

  18. Sear the bones until lightly golden brown on all sides.

  19. Add in the water.

  20. Bring it up to a simmer.

  21. Turn the heat down to low and continue to simmer for about 5 to 8 mins.

  22. Remove from heat and transfer into a bowl.

  23. This will be your simple stock and you should have about 3/4 cup.

  24. In the same skillet over medium heat, add in 2 TBSP of the flavored oil.

  25. Once the oil is heated up, add in onion.

  26. Season with salt, pepper and sugar.

  27. Saute until lightly caramelized.

  28. Add in the chicken and sear until golden brown on both sides.

  29. Deglaze the skillet with rum.

  30. Add in the rest of the marinade.

  31. Stir to combine well.

  32. Add in 3/4 cup of the stock.

  33. Stir to combine well.

  34. Break the bay leaves in halves and add into the stew.

  35. Stir to combine well.

  36. Cook until the liquid has reduced to 1/4.

  37. Add in the vinegar.

  38. Stir to combine well.

  39. Lastly. taste and adjust for seasoning with salt, pepper or sugar.

  40. Remove from heat and set aside.

  41. Assemble the bao burger.

  42. Gently open the bao.

  43. Spread the adobo sauce onto the bao.

  44. Place in the adobo chicken.

  45. Garnish with green onion.

  46. Repeat the steps for the remaining bao burgers.

  47. Serve immediately.

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