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Featuring Ces Dela Cruz from Ces Kitchen

I am very pleased to introduce this vibrant, vivacious and vehement Filipino chef Ces Dela Cruz from Ces Kitchen in Amsterdam as our first feature guest on Spice Trip. Her Filipino roots make her food very Asian, homely and hearty but more than anything her love and passion for authentic food is legit. I met her few months back through Instagram and the acquaintance went ahead to a great friendship and it turned out that she is almost my neighbour (just 2.5kms cycling distance in the Netherlands is nothing, trust me).

On our first meeting, she was busy conducting a private cooking lesson for a young girl and teaching her Chicken Adobo (which I honestly knew to be an African dish, blame me for my ignorance). In my defense, I hardly had any idea about Filipino cuisine before meeting her.


Ces during the Annual Food Blogger Dinner 2018


This intrigued me to know more about Filipino cuisine and their love for food. I decided to learn her favorite recipe and the national dish of Philippines – Chicken Adobo

Chicken Adobo – National Dish of Philippines

You can find the entire recipe below. Hope you give it a try and let me and Ces know about it.

Print Recipe
Chicken Adobo - National Dish of Philippines Yum
Chicken Adobo is an authentic Filipino dish. I think that its ease in preparation and delicious taste might have contributed to that. In addition, people find this dish to be convenient because it does not spoil quickly. Not to be mistaken with Mexican adobo, this dish is uniquely prepared by stewing chicken in vinegar and soy sauce. Several sources who are experts in Asian food history say that the Filipinos were already cooking adobo even before Spanish colonization. The cooking method is termed as “inadobo” which is the very same method in this recipe. It is also said that cooking with vinegar preserves the meat. This method is also considered as one of the earliest food preservation practice.
Course Main Dish
Cuisine International
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine International
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
  1. Wash the chicken well and pat dry.
  2. In a wide, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add the chicken and sear the skin, turning as needed, until lightly browned and halfway tender. With a slotted spoon, remove the chicken and drain on paper towels set aside.
  3. In the same pan without adding any extra oil, add garlic, and bay leaves and cook for a couple of seconds. Add soy sauce and water, simmer for 3 minutes and put chicken thigh back in.
  4. Add vinegar and allow to boil, uncovered and without stirring, for about 3 to 5 minutes. This is very important to allow this slow cooking to get rid off the vinegar taste.
  5. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer it for about 20 to 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. If made a day in advance to eating it, the chicken has a better flavor and it absorbs all the vinegar and soy sauce and gets this great taste.
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Chicken Adobo - National Dish of Philippines

Chicken Adobo – National Dish of Philippines


Ces remembers this being a dish she has always had while growing up. In the Philippines it is a tradition for the entire family to eat atleast one or two meals together and almost all their meals always consist of rice. There are different ways of making the Chicken Adobo and it varies with the region. There are parts of Philippines who add coconut milk to their recipe but all in all this dish is the identity of the country and something with which Ces associates herself. Philippines was under the Spanish rule for around 333 years and that can be seen as an influence in their culture today. They use the Spanish way of calling out number – uno, dos, tres etc. instead of saying that in Tagalo (their main language).


A couple of weeks back Ces invited me along with few other food bloggers for this unique Filipino Food experience called a Boodle Fight where the participants of the dinner need to fight for food or rather fight for the food kept on the other side of the table (incase they don’t have it on their end). It is eaten with the hands (something which we all Asians are good at for sure) and is called the Kamayan (art of eating with your hands) spread on Banana Leaf. The entire spread consists of a main dish (in this case it was a crunchy Pork Lechon – another Filipino star dish) and various side dishes like Chicken Adobo, Fried Tilapia, Lumpia, Rice, Garlic Buttery Shrimps, Sauted veggies, Mango Salsa, assorted fruits like Mango, Watermelon. All this was chugged down with a Filipino beer called San Miguel.



This has totally made me curious about this country and would love to explore more about The Philippines through their food.

Till then, see you soon with the next feature.


Follow Ces Kitchen:

YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyew9MgRdDZPt61UazyRVhw

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/ceskitchen/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ceskitchenofficial/

Website – http://www.ceskitchen.com


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