Fish Adobo

Adobo is the Filipino way of cooking food inadobo style. This means that any meat or vegetable is cooked in soy sauce, vinegar, and garlic. Along with these ingredients are pepper or whole pepper corn, and dried bay leaves. This is considered as the signature dish of the Philippines.

Fish Adobo, as the name suggest, is any fish cooked inadobo style. I am presenting this recipe using a fish that is common to the Philippines — galunggong (round scad). Personally I love galunggong. I grew up eating this fish presented in different dishes. I love crispy fried galunggong –especially the small one because they get perfectly crispy when fried for a while. I like to have them with “sukang maanghang” spiced vinegar.

Fish adobo is very easy to prepare. I prefer medium-sized fish for this recipe — so I am using medium round scad. It does not take long before the fish is ready to eat and it is best to have this with white rice — which is the staple food of the Philippines. Don’t worry if there are some leftovers, you can always make fried fish adobo out of them.

I understand that there are many ways to prepare fish adobo. I love to hear how you prepare yours. What is your fish adobo recipe and what type of fish do you use? The comments section is always available for you.

Try this Fish Adobo Recipe. Let me know what you think.

Fish Adobo

Fish Adobo Recipe


  • 2 lbs. round scad (galunggong), gutted and cleaned
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 4 dried bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon whole pepper corn
  • 5 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt

Cooking Procedure

  1. Rub sea salt all over the fish including the inner cavity.
  2. Arrange the fish in a cooking pot.
  3. Pour-in water and soy sauce. Bring to a boil.
  4. Put-in garlic, pepper corn, and bay leaves. Cook uncovered for 5 minutes.
  5. Pour-in vinegar. Cover and allow to re-boil. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes in low to medium heat or until the liquid reduces.
  6. Transfer to a serving plate.
  7. Serve with steamed white rice. Share and enjoy!

Number of servings (yield): 4


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  1. Bradley Farless says:

    I tried galunggong for the firs time when I was in the Philippines visiting my wife’s family.
    She said, “I don’t know if you’ll like this but it’s a food that we eat here a lot.”
    She walked way from the table for a few minutes and when she got back, I was working on my 4th fried galunggong. I love that dish.
    I need to find out if we can get that in the local fish markets here in NYC.

  2. Do you still have to season the fish with salt? I noticed you put 2 T sea salt in the ingredients but it was not in the procedures. Isn’t the soy sauce enough? Thanks!

    • Geri, good catch! It should be the first step — which is to rub salt on the fish. You don’t need to use all 2T sea salt. Try using 1 T of sea salt and adjust the amount of soy sauce when cooking the fish to attain your desired saltiness. Please note that sea salt is usually less salty compared to table salt or iodized salt. If you are not using this type of salt, please decrease the amount as your adobo will be very salty.

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