Ella Bella’s Chicken Adobo Meatballs

Prep time:  About 5 to 7 minutes

Cooking time:  About 15 minutes

Calories per serving:   214 (based on 5 servings, 4 meatballs each)


Adobo is one of the trademarks of Philippine cuisine. Most folks who have tried it found it very satisfying. While getting groceries earlier this week, it just occurred to me that I have not chanced upon any meatball recipe that gives adobo the spotlight.


So here we are, giving adobo its much-deserved attention J I am proud to present my Chicken Adobo Meatballs!

Ingredient for the Meatballs:

1 lb (2.2 kgs) Ground Chicken

½ cup fresh carrots, sliced finely

3 cloves garlic, minced

Pinch of salt and black pepper

1 tbsp soy mixture (see below)

1 medium egg, slightly beaten

For the Adobo Sauce/Soy Mixture:
¾ cup light soy sauce

1/3 cup rice vinegar

3 tsps dark brown sugar

½ tsp garlic powder

2 bay leaves

¼ tsp ground white pepper

¼ tsp onion powder

¼ tsp red pepper flakes (optional, can also be adjusted according to taste)

1 tsp cornstarch plus 1 tbsp cold water


Prepare your sauce at least 2 hours ahead of time. This allows the flavors to meld. All you need to do is combine all the sauce ingredients (except for the cornstarch and cold water) and place the mixture in a lidded container. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. I allowed mine to chill in the fridge overnight.

To make the meatballs:

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the ground chicken with the garlic, carrots, salt, pepper and soy mixture. Mix well, preferably with your clean hands. Add the egg last and mix until all ingredients are well incorporated. The egg acts as your binder. Notice that I didn’t add any bread crumbs. I did not as it was not necessary.

Refrigerate the chicken mixture for at least an hour just for the spices to be absorbed by the chicken. Make sure to cover your bowl with cling wrap.

A few minutes before making the meatballs, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Next, line aluminum foil on a baking pan and spray with nonstick baking spray.

Make 1 to 1 ½ inch meatballs. Place each one on the baking pan. Bake for 12 minutes. Alternatively, you may also use a steamer to cook the meatballs. They should be cooked in the steamer in about 13 to 15 minutes.

While the meatballs are cooking, make the sauce. Dissolve a teaspoon of cornstarch in a tablespoon of cold water. In a sauce pan, let the soy sauce mixture simmer for about 5 minutes. Add in the cornstarch mixture and keep simmering for another 2 minutes. The sauce will be slightly thicker. Oh, and please discard the bay leaves!

Once the meatballs are done, dip them in the sauce, or pour the sauce over them. Eat them as a snack, or serve over warm rice of your choice.

If you would like to make the traditional adobo, you may visit, https://ellabellaskitchenadventures.wordpress.com/2013/03/31/ella-bellas-chicken-pork-adobo-inspired-by-my-mom/.

                                                                                                  Eat well and be well. – Ella Bella


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