If you have leftover adobo, you make adobo flakes. It's how Glenda Barretto, the restauranteur behind Via Mare, invented it in the 70's. She made the toasted flakes for her father, who liked his food crunchy, by shredding leftover adobo and frying it until dry.
Adobo flakes are known as kagikit in Mindanao. Made with meat or fish, the shredded and dried flakes are used as a topping for pastil: a popular breakfast of steamed rice wrapped in banana leaf.
Most home cooks still make adobo flakes when they need to clean out the fridge. But what if you wanted to make adobo flakes on purpose?
This recipe makes a simple chicken adobo destined for adobo flakes. Boneless thighs save you the trouble of picking out bones while flaking the meat. How you shred your chicken is up to you, whether it's long, meaty strands; short, almost ground-up floss; or something in between. Serve these crispy flakes with garlic rice for breakfast, over lugaw for texture, or with banana leaf-wrapped rice for homemade pastil.
- 500g boneless chicken thigh
- 1 head garlic, cloves separated and crushed
- 1 tsp whole peppercorns
- 3 bay leaves
- ¼ cup white vinegar
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp dark soy sauce, optional
- 1–3 tsp sugar, to taste
- 2 cups warm water
- 1 chicken broth cube
- 3 tbsp neutral oil, for frying
- poached eggs, for serving
- pickled red onions, for serving
Marinate chicken: Combine all marinade ingredients in a bowl. Mix everything together with clean hands, making sure that all your chicken pieces are evenly coated. Cover and refrigerate overnight to marinate.
Cook adobo: The next day, heat a pan over medium-high heat. Sear chicken pieces on one side until browned and slightly caramelized. Remove chicken. Deglaze pan with warm water and add the chicken broth cube. Stir until cube is dissolved. Add remaining marinade and chicken pieces. Let cook until meat is tender—the exact cooking time will depend on the size of your chicken. Season to taste, then serve. Let leftovers cool completely before refrigerating.
Make adobo flakes: Shred leftover chicken adobo along the grain using two forks or your hands. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat, then fry shredded chicken, working in batches if necessary, until dry and golden brown. Be careful not to burn the flakes. Transfer fried flakes to a heatproof plate or tray lined with paper towels.
Serve: Scoop one serving adobo flakes over rice. Place poached egg over the flakes, and pickled red onions on the side. Serve warm.