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Sweet Chicken Asado

This sweet Chinese-style Chicken Asado has just the right balance of sweetness and saltiness. Made from the juicy tender and flavorful chicken thigh that can be enjoyed with rice or as a filling to steamed buns.

Chicken Asado

What is Asado?

The name “Asado” would suggest Spanish origins but this Filipino dish is actually Chinese-influenced as you can see in the ingredients used. Not surprising, since the Philippines was under Spanish rule for 300 years a long long time ago, but longer than that, Filipinos were already trading with China. So I would say it is a mixture of both cultures as most of the Filipino dishes are.

The word Asado —from the Spanish word “Asar” that means to roast or grill, in general it refers to anything that is roasted, grilled or barbecued.

This Chicken Asado is actually a variation of the more popular pork version. that is closely related to Char Siu— a type of Chinese barbecued pork. And similarly, it is also used as filling to Filipino steamed buns, siopao Asado.

About the ingredients

In this recipe, I used chicken thigh because it is juicier and brings more flavor as it has enough amount of fats. However, like the common variation, pork can be used instead of chicken. I would suggest using pork shoulder that is ideal for braising and slow cooking. Beef can also be an alternative.

If you are to serve it as a viand, cook it bone-in. But if you plan to use it as a filling for steamed or baked buns, then remove the bones or buy the chicken thigh fillet.

Traditional Filipino Asado dishes do not use Hoisin sauce. But if you have it might as well use it. It adds a nice gloss and thicker sauce. If not, you can simply add 2-3 pieces of star anise or five-spice powder to the boiling liquid. You may also need a sauce thickener like cornstarch slurry added towards the end of cooking.

Siopao Filling

Other similar dishes to try:

recipe for teriyaki chicken
Crispy skin yet tender-juicy meat drizzled with sweet-savory sauce,- this Chicken Teriyaki Recipe is indeed a delicious mix of contradictions that you will love. 

Braised pork belly in sweet-savory soy-vinegar sauce.
Delicious braised pork belly with savory-sweet soy-vinegar sauce with a distinguishing taste of tausi cooked until tender.
Hamondo Recipe
Get this easy recipe for Pork Hamonado that has a perfect balance of sweet and savory and with meat so tender, it melts in your mouth.

Chinese-style Asado Chicken

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Chicken Asado Recipe

Sweet Chicken Asado

Filipino chicken asado is a dish that is both sweet and salty, using soy sauce, brown sugar and other spices. This version was slowly cooked to get that tender melt-in-your mouth goodness.
Print Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian,Filipino
Keyword: asado,chicken asado
Servings: 4
Calories: 882kcal
Author: Bebs
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 cloves garlic– minced
  • 1 medium onion– chopped finely
  • 1 pound chicken thigh fillet
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3-4 pieces bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons Hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  • In a pot, saute garlic and onion in hot oil until aromatic and lightly browned.
  • Add chicken, skin side down, and sear both sides until cooked and a lightly browned. Remove from oil and cut into small cubes.
  • Pour in soy sauce into the pot and add brown sugar and bay leaves. Cook until sugar has slightly caramelized, then add water. Once it starts to boil, turn down the heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until the meat becomes tender–add more water if needed.
  • Once the liquids is reduced to a thick sauce and the meat is fork-tender. Add Hoisin sauce and season with pepper. Stir.
  • Transfer into a serving dish and serve with steaming hot rice.

RECIPE NOTES

This recipe is good enough for 4 servings as a main dish. 
If to use as a filling for steamed buns, it should be good for 10 buns.
Nutrition Facts
Sweet Chicken Asado
Amount Per Serving
Calories 882 Calories from Fat 342
% Daily Value*
Fat 38g58%
Saturated Fat 4g20%
Cholesterol 254mg85%
Sodium 3514mg146%
Potassium 1743mg50%
Carbohydrates 40g13%
Fiber 3g12%
Sugar 28g31%
Protein 91g182%
Vitamin A 305IU6%
Vitamin C 15.3mg19%
Calcium 116mg12%
Iron 4.3mg24%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe? Tell us how it went. Tag us at @foxyfolksy or leave a comment and rating below.

This recipe was originally published in July 2015. Updated in July 2020 to include new photos, more tips, and a recipe video.

Bebs

Bebs here! I love to cook and try new things and DIY projects! And although I think of myself as a homebody, I like seeing other places from time to time.
If you are looking for a recipe and it ain't here, make a request and I will try my best to make it for you!

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  1. I tried your Enseymada recipe last week to bring the enseymada for our prayer meeting, and everyone loved it and craving for more. I only made 1 recipe so only one piece per individual. Although I don’t have a mixer and just mixed it by hand still it comes out successful. Thank you for sharing. God bless the works of your hands.

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