So, You Want To Learn The Secret To Purple Yam’s Chicken Adobo?

chef romy dorotan of purple yam via Facebook

Ever wonder how Purple Yam (1314 Cortelyou Road between Rugby and Argyle Roads) makes their incredible chicken adobo? Chef Romy Dorotan appeared on America’s Test Kitchen last year to reveal the secrets of the delicious dish, but for the chilly, comfort food demanding nights still ahead of us and neighbors who may not have caught the recipe the first time around, we also came across some footage of Romy and co at work on The Martha Stewart Show.

Romy explains the popular adobo is a sour dish that takes a lot of flavor from vinegar, and that many Filipino dishes are sour because of the need to preserve food. While he and his sous chef make fresh coconut milk straight from the fruit, don’t worry–you’re allowed to use canned.

Watch the segment (parts one and two), then try the recipe out yourself.



• 1 1/2 cups unseasoned rice or sugar cane vinegar
• 1/4 cup soy sauce
• 1 cup coconut milk
• 12 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
• 3 bay leaves
• 1/2 tablespoon whole black peppercorns, crushed
• One (3 to 3 1/2-pound) chicken, cut into 6 serving pieces
Sauteed Mustard Greens for Chicken Adobo
• Steamed jasmine rice, for serving (optional)
• 3 fresh red or green Bird’s-eye chiles (optional)


1. In a medium bowl, combine vinegar, soy sauce, coconut milk, garlic, bay leaves, chiles, and peppercorns. Add chicken; marinate, covered, in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

2. Arrange chicken in a clay pot or Dutch-oven. Pour marinade over chicken, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, until tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

3. Preheat broiler. Remove chicken from pot, and place on a baking sheet or broiler pan. Place under broiler until browned, 5 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, continue to cook the remaining liquid in the pot until it reaches a creamy consistency. Transfer chicken to a serving platter, and top with reduced sauce. Serve with mustard greens and rice, if desired.

Photo via Purple Yam