Chef Lea Cohen’s Popular Quail Adobo Recipe @MadridFusionMNL @ChefLeahCohen

Watch: Madrid Fusion Feature: Chef Leah Cohen Secrets 

Top Chef Leah Cohen, showed her take on the classic Filipino dish, adobo, during Madrid Fusion Manila. Chef Leah, who is half Filipino, owns Pig and Khao, a New York restaurant that brings a unique spin to Southeast Asian dishes. 

Her rendition of adobo included some unconventional ingredients like quail, Szechuan peppercorn, and limestone paste. 

Here’s the recipe to Chef Leah’s Crispy Quail Adobo…

Chef Cohen
The key to a great adobo is its sauce. Soy sauce and garlic are the core of adobo sauce.

For Chef Leah’s version, she uses Kikkoman soy sauce, because regular soy sauce is too salty. She then adds oil and coconut milk to make the sauce creamier.


Chef Cohen
Bay leaves are also put in the sauce mixture. Combine the ingredients together, and put in some black pepper, garlic to get the savory adobo flavor. 


Chef Cohen
Since this is a modern take on adobo, the meat is not braised in the sauce. Instead, the quail is fried. The quail is semi-boneless, to make it easier to eat.

Using rice flour, water, salt, and limestone paste, Chef Leah’s secret ingredient from Thailand, the batter is made. Limestone paste is a pink powder dissolved in water that makes whatever you’re frying extra crispy.


Chef Cohen
Chef Leah then dips half of the quail in the batter and fries it. After you drain the excess oil off the quail, garnish the dish with scallions, crispy garlic, cilantro, and Szechuan peppercorns, which add a numbing tingling sensation.

In her restaurant, Pig and Khao, Chef Lea also serves this dish with quail eggs. This modern adobo is served with rice because you simply can’t have adobo without it.


Chef Cohen
Quail Adobo is one of the popular dishes at Pig and Khao. We enjoyed the sweet and spicy flavors coming from the coconut vinegar and coconut milk. The fried garlic sprinkled on top even added a little more kick.

Another version of this dish is braising a pork belly and frying it up like lechon kawali, then coating it with the delicious sauce. A sous-vide egg is also served with this. It’s best to break open the yolk so the sauce will be even creamier.



Madrid Fusion Manila
April 7-9, 2016
SMX Convention Center, Pasay City

Phone: +632 880 0410
Mobile: 0917-528-1931


Madrid Fusion Manila 2016 Series:
– Spanish Tapas Night Kick-off to Madrid Fusion Manila 2016! @MadridFusionMnl
– Michelin-Starred Chef Ivan Cerdeño’s Secret Spanish White Pork Recipes @MadridFusionMNL
– DANI GARGIA’s 10 Course Little Prince-Inspired Michelin Star Dining Experience @MadridFusionMNL
– Vask Gallery x Quintonil x Jungsik #SixHandsManila @MadridFusionMNL
Top 10 Favorites @MadridFusionMNL’s “PANLASA” Theme Regional Lunch (Day 1)
Top 10 Favorites @MadridFusionMNL’s “ALMUSAL” Theme Regional Lunch (Day 2)
Top 10 Favorites @MadridFusionMNL’s “STREET FOOD” Theme Regional Lunch (Day 3)
Chef Lea Cohen’s Popular Quail Adobo Recipe @MadridFusionMNL @ChefLeahCohen


Live an Awesome Life,


Abi, Justin and Nico of Team Our Awesome Planet

Disclosure: We were invited by the Organizers of Madrid Fusion Manila and Backyard Grill. Read Our Awesome Planet Complete Disclosure Policy here.  


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