Since the pandemic, I have been cooking chicken adobo more often. It is so easy to make and Mr Sweetie just absolutely loves my chicken adobo. Sadly, I get a mild case of acid once in a while whenever I eat anything vinegary or citrusy.
Since do not want to deprive him of what is becoming one of his favorite Filipino dishes, I tried to see if I could make a version of this dish without vinegar. I was so happy to come across a chicken dish that sounded like chicken adobo’s long-lost Asian cousin. I call this dish “Sweet Soy Ginger Chicken.” This has been adapted from Budget Byte’s Sticky Ginger Soy Glazed Chicken. It is so good that it became my go-to dish whenever I need up whip up a quick dinner.
I had to modify this dish to accommodate Mr Sweetie’s request to have more sauce that he can pour into the hot rice, just like chicken adobo, and with tons more garlic. In the end I put as much garlic as I can muster to peel, added water and increased the sugar from 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup. Yes, this dish is on the sweet side but please see my notes below if you prefer to use less sugar.
SWEET SOY GINGER GARLIC CHICKEN
YOU WILL NEED
- Cooking pot
- Wok or large skillet
- Chopping board
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 3 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 head garlic
- 1 (2 inch) fresh ginger, sliced and crushed or 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- Fresh ground black pepper
- 1 Tbsp cooking oil
- 1/3 cup water
- 4 bone-in chicken thighs
- 1 Tbsp cooking oil
- Green onions, sliced
- Red chili peppers, sliced
- Peel the whole head of garlic. Coarsely chop and set aside.
- Peel the ginger, cut into bite size pieces and smash.
- In a small bowl stir together the brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and freshly ground black pepper.
- Place the chicken thighs in a dish or a gallon size zip lock bag. Pour the marinade over the chicken until coated. Cover and marinate for at least 30 minutes to overnight in the fridge.
- To cook: Pour chicken and marinade in a pot. Cook until the sauce gently boils. Simmer over medium low heat for about 10-15 minutes.
- Turn off heat.
- Heat a wok or large skillet over medium flame. Add 1 tablespoon cooking oil until hot. Using a slotted spoon, removed the chicken and garlic from the pot (while leaving the sauce in the pot). Fry the chicken pieces and garlic until browned and cooked through. Make sure to not burn the garlic.
- Slowly and carefully pour the marinade into the chicken. (It will sizzle so please be careful!)
- Serve the chicken with rice. Pour the sauce on the chicken and hot rice. Garnish with green onions, cilantro and/or sliced chili peppers. Enjoy!
- This is a sweet and savory dish. I use 1/3 cup of sugar. If you want to use less sugar, the secret is to taste the marinade (before putting in the raw chicken!). Start with 2 tablespoons of sugar and keep on adding to the marinade until you achieve the preferred sweetness.
- You may grate the ginger instead and add a tablespoon of it into the sauce instead of using large pieces of smashed ginger. Mr Sweetie does not care to bite into ginger pieces but I love ginger. As a compromise, I add smashed ginger pieces to be removed before we eat. We still get the flavor of ginger without having to eat the actual ginger.
- This dish is so good with spicy chili pepper. If you like spicy, add the red chili peppers!