chicken / poultry Filipino

Chicken Asado/ Asadong Manok (Tomato and Lime Soured Chicken Stew)

Thursday, May 28, 2015Enz F

Here is a special tomato sauce-based dish by the folks from the province of Pampanga, Philippines – the Chicken Asado or Asadong Manok. Oftentimes confused with another popular dish, Afritada (also a Filipino chicken stew that uses tomato sauce as the base), Chicken asado is cooked with simpler and lesser ingredients such as chicken (or any protein meat), chunks of potatoes and some strips of bell pepper. Though we could not discount the stark similarities among the two dishes, Afritada earns its distinction with the addition of grean peas, carrots and sausages, among others, in its recipe. Unlike the usual asado which is dark and sweet, asado Pampanga-style takes the savory and sourish side with the mingling of tomato and soy sauce, and the use of lime juice as a marinating agent. It also exudes a bright yellowish red sauce with the addition of annatto or paprika powder.

Chicken asado depicts a marriage between Spanish and Chinese cuisine.
Chicken asado depicts a marriage between two of the most important cultural influences that helped in the honing and formation of the Philippine cuisine that we have come to know today – the Spanish and Chinese influences. The word “asado” suggests a Spanish origin which refers to the cooking method of grilling though there was actually no grilling involved in the preparation of Pinoy asado since the meat are rather lightly fried or seared before slow cooking or stewing took place, adapting the more popular Filipino method of “braising”. Braising helps the meat from disintegrating while simmering for a longer time. The Chinese root, on the other hand, is clearly evident in the use of soy sauce as a saltening ingredient.

Understanding Filipino cuisine is getting acquainted with the numerous gastronomic influences from the different cultures of the world.
What I love most about Filipino cuisine, my own cuisine, is the possibility of getting familiar with the diverse and rich gastronomy brought by the numerous influences from the different cultures of the world which is even enhanced, reinvented and made almost infinite by different Philippine regional variations. The richness of Philippine cookery is truly more of a reflection of the country’s history rather than nation as a whole. As the cliché goes, Philippine food was prepared by Malay settlers, spiced up by the Chinese, stewed by the Spanish and hamburgerized by the Americans. Filipino cuisine just sums it all.
Chicken Asado/ Asadong Manok (Tomato and Lime Soured Chicken Stew)
Number of Servings: 6

  • 2 lbs. chicken (breast and thigh parts), sliced into adobo cuts
  • 3 tbsps. calamansi lime juice
  • 6 tbsps. soy sauce
  • ½ tbsp. annatto or sweet paprika powder
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pc. small red onion, finely chopped
  • 3 pcs. small tomatoes, finely chopped
  • ½ cup tomato sauce
  • 1-2 cups water
  • 2 pcs. bay leaves
  • ½ tbsps. whole peppercorns
  • 1 pc. green bell pepper, julienned
  • 3 pcs. potatoes, sliced into chunks
  • salt to taste
  • ¼ cup cooking oil
  • 3 tbsps. butter

  1. Rub the chicken with salt and thoroughly wash with water. Pat dry with paper towel.
  2. Place the chicken parts in a large bowl. Combine the calamansi juice, soy sauce and sweet paprika or annatto powder. Pour the mixture on the chicken and toss until the chicken parts are coated. Set them aside to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Heat the cooking oil over medium heat on a medium-sized sauce pan. Drain the chicken and set aside the marinade sauce. Lightly fry the chicken for about 2 to 3 minutes on each side or just enough until the meat turns pale brown. Place the chicken on paper towel to drain the excess oil.
  4. On the same pan, reduce the cooking oil to one tablespoon and then add the butter to melt. 
  5. Sauté the garlic and onion until fragrant and translucent. Add the tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes. The tomatoes should be saucy and thick at this point.
  6. Add the tomato sauce, marinade sauce, bay leaves and peppercorns. Bring the mixture into simmer and then reduce the heat to low. Toss in the lightly fried chicken and then add 1 cup of water. Slow cook the chicken for about 30 minutes. Pour more water if the sauce begins to dry.
  7. Add the potatoes and cook for 10 minutes. Put in the bell pepper and cook for another 5 minutes. The sauce must be thick at this stage.
  8. Remove from heat and transfer on a platter. Serve with plenty of steamed rice. Enjoy!

  1. Turn the dish into sweet asado by adding at least one tablespoon of brown sugar.
  2. This dish can also be prepared with any or a combination of the chicken, pork of beef.

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