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Hawaiian Chicken Adobo Recipe

Adobo is one of those dishes that you either love or hate.

But if you think it’s a bit bland, you should try this traditional Hawaiian adobo recipe.

The sweet, savory, and spicy flavors used to make this dish are unique and will leave your taste buds singing.

In this article, we will take a look at the ingredients and tools needed to make Hawaiian Chicken Adobo.

You can also use this technique with pork or beef as well !

What ingredients are needed to make Hawaiian Chicken Adobo?

The major ingredient for making Hawaiian Chicken Adobo is pork.

In contrast, chicken can be used instead of pork. However, the flavor of the dish will be different.

The second ingredient you need to make Hawaiian Chicken Adobo, is garlic.

Garlic is used in all types of Filipino cuisine, not just Adobo.

But it gives it a strong flavor that makes your mouth water.

And because garlic is expensive, you should use a milder garlic to prevent having an overpowering taste.

The fourth ingredient needed for this recipe is salt extracted from seawater.

This salt is made by evaporating salt water in the sun.

It imparts a unique salty flavor on foods cooked with it.

There are many other ingredients that go into making this dish including onion, green pepper, and vinegar but we will skip discussing them here as they are not essential to making Hawaiian Chicken Adobo.

The point is to focus on the key ingredients used to make this dish.

Hawaiian Chicken Adobo Recipe

What type of cooking vessel is best for making Hawaiian Chicken Adobo?

While a slow cooker is recommended to make this dish, you can easily use a pressure cooker as well.

If you don’t have access to a pressure cooker, you can also use a Dutch oven or a pot.

If you are using the pressure cooker method, it is best to use thick cuts of meat so the meat will cook evenly.

The pressure cooker should be set on high and then allowed to come up to pressure.

This process takes about 15 minutes and will take care of the meat evenly.

Let this cook for about 10 minutes and then turn off the heat.

This should take care of the meat.

How long does it take to prepare Hawaiian Chicken Adobo?

Hawaiian Chicken Adobo is typically made with chicken but you can always substitute ground beef or pork if desired.

The total time to prepare Hawaiian Chicken Adobo is under 30 minutes.

If you want to make a double batch, the cooking time for each individual dish will take about 10 minutes.

You can also make it ahead of time and serve it with rice or noodles on game days.

Hawaiian Chicken Adobo Recipe

How can you customize the flavor of Hawaiian Chicken Adobo?

The traditional Hawaiian adobo recipe calls for a mix of garlic, onion, salt, and pepper.

But although this is the main ingredient, you can also use other ingredients to make your adobo unique.

You can use pineapple juice or even soy sauce to add more flavor.

You can also use your favorite bottled hot sauce if you like the heat in your adobo.

Take note that the soy sauce will reduce the amount of MSG used in this dish.

If you want to add an extra special touch, you can use Mango-Lime hot sauce instead of regular hot sauce.

You will also find chili powder in the ingredient list of this dish too.

What type of rice pairs best with Hawaiian Chicken Adobo?

Hawaiian Chicken Adobo is much like Filipino adobo, which is also a popular dish in the world of Filipino cuisine.

The Hawaiian version differs from the Filipino version mainly in that it uses pineapple as a meat substitute and the use of coconut milk.

Both the Filipino and Hawaiian versions are delicious and are usually made with pork or chicken instead of beef.

Because this recipe uses pineapple, you shouldn’t use long-grain white rice.

The texture of long-grain white rice doesn’t work well when paired with pineapple.

You should use medium- or short-grain white rice for best results.

What are some traditional side dishes for Hawaiian Chicken Adobo?

There is no shortage of side dishes that you can serve with Hawaiian Chicken Adobo.

We can easily make this dish even healthier by choosing low fat ingredients and using healthier oil options.

These are some of the more popular recipes to pair with Hawaiian Chicken Adobo.




Spanish Rice


Ginger Carrots

Corn on the Cob

French Fries

How can you make Hawaiian Chicken Adobo healthier?

The main ingredients in Hawaiian Chicken Adobo are pineapple, garlic, and bell peppers.

These ingredients add a unique flavor and make your mouth water every time you bite into a piece of chicken.

But these ingredients are not the only ones that make this recipe healthy.

There are plenty of other healthy ingredients that work well together to create a balanced meal.

For example, vinegar is used in this dish to balance the sweet pineapple.

What type of wine pairs best with Hawaiian Chicken Adobo?

A good wine to pair with Hawaiian Chicken Adobo is one that will complement the sweetness of the dish.

The more tropical flavors you intend to use, the sweeter the wine you should choose.

A white wine will go great with this particular dish.

Try a dry sparkling wine such as Prosecco or champagne.

You can also experiment with a fruity red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon.

Dry white wines are meant to be paired with foods with higher acid levels, whereas red wines are better suited to food that has a lower acid level.

If you want to understand more about pairing wines with food, read our article on how to choose a quality red wine.

Hawaiian Chicken Adobo Recipe

How can you make Hawaiian Chicken Adobo spicier?

One thing you might find when you first taste Hawaiian Chicken Adobo is that there is a hint of heat which isn’t overwhelming.

But if you want it spicier, all you have to do is to increase the amount of chili powder or red pepper flakes.

Remember, even though the combination of sweet, savory and spicy flavors sounds awesome, it can easily be too much.

One way you might want to add spice to your dish is by adding a hit of cayenne pepper.

Cayenne peppers are actually not that hot but they are extremely flavorful which allows them to overcome the spiciness of chilies.

This is an excellent way to amp up the flavor of the dish and make it more enjoyable.

What type of garnish can be added to Hawaiian Chicken Adobo?

There are several options for adding garnish to this dish.

Here is a list of some of the more common garnishes that can be used.

  • Pineapple: Pineapples add sweetness to the dish.
  • Micro greens: This adds color and texture to the dish.
  • Cherry tomato: Cherries add tartness, along with some color.
  • Cilantro: The fresh herb adds a fresh and zesty flavor.
Hawaiian Chicken Adobo Recipe

Hawaiian Chicken Adobo Recipe

The traditional Hawaiian adobo recipe calls for a mix of garlic, onion, salt, and pepper .
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Diet: Diabetic
Keyword: Hawaiian Chicken Adobo Recipe
Servings: 4
Calories: 322kcal


  • 1 Pan


  • 2 lb cut up chicken
  • 1 small garlic head, minced
  • 2 medium sized onions, diced
  • 1/2 c dark soy sauce
  • 4 dried bay leaves
  • 4 Tbsp vegetable cooking oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 c vinegar
  • 4 Tbsp brown or white sugar
  • 1 small size can pineapple chunks


  • Sauté garlic and onions in oil over medium heat until the onions are transparent. Avoid burning garlic.
  • Add chopped chicken, soy sauce, sugar, and bay leaves to sautéed onions and garlic. To taste, add salt and pepper to the food.
  • Cook for 25 minutes with the lid on over medium heat. To ensure equal cooking, turn chicken occasionally.
    To taste, add salt and pepper to the food.
  • Chicken should be simmered with pineapple juice until it is tender. Cover. For around 15 minutes, cook.
  • Cook for another 10 minutes uncovered after adding vinegar. Add pineapple chunks last. After 5 minutes of simmering, turn off the heat.
  • Serve hot white rice alongside this chicken meal.



Calories: 322kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 45g | Monounsaturated Fat: 213g | Sodium: 32mg | Vitamin A: 345IU | Calcium: 1112mg | Iron: 1mg
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