Sweet & sour chicken adobo

Sweet & sour chicken adobo

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(10 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 6 hrs, 20 mins in a slow cooker (2 hrs 20 mins on the hob)


Serves 4

Based on a classic Filipino recipe made with white wine vinegar and sugar, this rich and piquant chicken stew is tempered with creamy coconut milk

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal644
  • fat34g
  • saturates17g
  • carbs46g
  • sugars25g
  • fibre3g
  • protein37g
  • salt3.4g
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  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 600g skinless boneless chicken thighs, cut in half
  • 2 tbsp cornflour, plus 1-2 tsp extra (optional)
  • 1 large onion, cut into chunky pieces



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 5 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 red peppers, deseeded and cut into chunky pieces
  • 400ml can coconut milk
    Coconut milk in a glass, with half a coconut

    Coconut milk

    ko-ko-nut mill-k

    Coconut milk is not the slightly opaque liquid that flows from a freshly opened coconut –…

  • 100ml low-salt soy sauce
    Soy sauce

    Soy sauce

    soy sor-s

    An Asian condiment and ingredient that comes in a variety of of varieties ranging from light to…

  • 100ml white wine vinegar
  • 50g soft light brown sugar
  • 6 bay leaves
  • cooked basmati rice or brown rice, to serve


  1. Heat half the oil in a large pan. Put the chicken in a large bowl, season well and toss through the cornflour, then cook in batches until browned all over (don’t overcrowd the pan or the chicken won’t brown). Tip each batch straight into the slow cooker as you go, adding a little more oil to the pan if you need to. Add the onion, garlic and peppers, cook for a few mins to just soften, then add these to the slow cooker too.

  2. If there is any cornflour remaining in the bowl, add a drop of the coconut milk and swirl it around, then pour into the slow cooker. Add the remaining coconut milk, the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar and bay leaves, season with plenty of black pepper, then heat the slow cooker to Low, cover with the lid and cook for 5-6 hrs until the meat is tender and the sauce has thickened. (If you don’t have a slow cooker, tip the ingredients back into the pan, cover and cook for 11/2-2 hrs, stirring every now and then to prevent it from catching, and adding a splash of water if the stew looks dry.) If the sauce in the slow cooker is too thin, thicken it with the remaining cornflour. Mix 1-2 tsp cornflour with 1-2 tsp cold water to make a paste, ladle 2-3 spoonfuls of the sauce into a saucepan and bring to says a simmer, then stir in the cornflour paste and cook for 1-2 mins to thicken. Stir back into the slow cooker and cook on High for 10 mins more. Serve with rice and stir-fried veg.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Michelle Howie's picture
Michelle Howie
18th Jun, 2019
This was a lovely take on sweet and sour. I did not use a slow cooker, but cooked in a pan for an hour and made sure it reduced. I did use a little salt n pepper but it did not need much.
14th Sep, 2017
we really enjoyed this. i also added some chopped carrot and a tin of pineapple chunks. it was quite vinegary but ok for our tastes
10th Feb, 2017
I loved this and so much better than a sweet and sour. I played around with the ratio of soy and sugar and vinegar for our tastes. I have made this in the oven too and it reduces really nicely!
16th Jun, 2016
Made this a couple of months ago and whole family enjoyed it. Different from your usual sweet and sour flavour but better. I have just defrosted and served up the remaining portions I had from last time and once again clean plates all round. If you make it in a sear and stew slow cooker like the Tefal one, you can prepare and cook in one pot. Really, really nice dish.
4th Apr, 2016
Really enjoyed this, although it is very different to a standard sweet & sour. Will definitely make again. Yes, it is quite vinegary, but all the better for it!
3rd Feb, 2016
Really enjoyed this dish the chicken was lovely and tender, dead easy to prepare then let the slow cooker works its magic. Will be making this again soon.
2nd Feb, 2016
This was OK but nothing special. We agreed that it was too vinegary so I would reduce this next time. I had to add a lot of sugar to overcome the taste.
19th Apr, 2020
Do you think this would work using a whole chicken in a slow cooker?
Esther_Deputyfoodeditor's picture
22nd Apr, 2020
Hey, Esther from the food team here! I wouldn't recommend cooking at it as a whole chicken (The cooking times would dramatically change) but you could certainly joint the chicken and use the chicken thighs in the recipe! Thanks for your question.
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