Quick and Delicious: Mom’s Chicken Adobo With Dumplings

Between getting my work done, being at home with Bash, and taking care of the usual household stuff, things can get pretty hectic around here. This is why I generally try to plan dinners for the family that are easy to prepare and can be ready to eat within an hour.

One of our favorite dinners here in our home is my mom’s chicken adobo. Adobo is a traditional Filipino dish, usually made with chicken, braised in a soy and vinegar mixture. Filipino food is starting to gain a following here in NYC, but while I have no problem plunking down money for other Filipino deliciousness at these establishments, I will almost never pay to eat chicken adobo. This is because I truly have never found one that is as good as the kind my mom’s always made. It’s not too soupy, as the sauce is reduced and thicker than most adobos I’ve had elsewhere. I learned how to make it in the 6th grade for a home ec class, and since then, it has never steered me wrong. It’s so simple and so good that even my rice-averse son will gladly eat every last bit of chicken and rice in his bowl and then ask for seconds.

Mom’s Chicken Adobo with Dumplings 


2lbs chicken wings and drumsticks

1/4 c. oyster sauce (I usually use Lee Kum Kee, but any kind of oyster sauce will work in a pinch)

1/2 c. Kikkoman low sodium soy sauce

3/4 c. apple cider vinegar (*don’t be scared of the vinegar!)

1 1/2 c. water

2-3 bay leaves

4-5 cloves of garlic, minced

fresh ground pepper, to taste

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 package of Trader Joe’s frozen dumplings (we use chicken but pork is also fine)


  1. In a large bowl, mix oyster sauce, soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, and water. Add bay leaves and a sprinkle of ground pepper, then place chicken in the mixture.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet pan over medium high heat. Sauté garlic until fragrant, about 1 minute. Drop the chicken and sauce mixture into the pan, cover, and let it simmer. Set your timer for 15 minutes.
  3. When your timer goes off, add the dumplings to the pan, do a quick stir, and recover. Set your timer again for 15 minutes.
  4. At this point, the sauce mixture should be reduced to about half and a little bit thicker in consistency. If it is, it’s done and you can enjoy! If you’d like it a little thicker, you can simmer for another minute or two, stirring the chicken and dumplings around to ensure it’s all covered in all that deliciousness.
  5. Serve over a nice helping of sticky rice, or sautéed cauliflower rice or zucchini noodles, if you’re feeling like ditching the carbs. The sauce makes anything you put over it taste amazing! 🙂