How to Make Fantastic Filipino Inspired Ribs

Edano, Jason, Ribs BBQ, 2021

You may have heard the phrase,  “You can adobo anything!” and, from what I have seen, this seems to be true. You can adobo chicken breast, chicken thighs, pork, beef, squid, vegetables, and I bet you could adobo your shoes and you would still be left with something that is deliciously salty, sour, and sweet. Luckily for you we decided to adobo some BBQ ribs that will be a fantastic addition to any barbecue!

Coconut Adobo Ribs

Author: Jason Edano                                          Total Time: 3 hr 30 mins     


  • 20 min prep
  • 1 – 24hr marinade 
  • 2 hr baking in the oven 
  • 10 min finish on grill                              


  • 1 rack baby back ribs 
  • 1 onion
  • 4 Thai chillis
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1 can coconut milk 
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar 
  • 1 tablespoon sugar


  1. On the underside of your ribs you will notice a tough clear skin. Work your knife under it until you can start pulling the skin off completely.
  2. Slice onion, garlic, chili. 
  3. Mix Vinegar, coconut milk, sugar,  soy sauce, garlic, and Thai chili. Pour over ribs and marinate. Best overnight, but an hour at the least. 
  4. Preheat your oven to 350F and take your ribs out of the marinade and wrap in foil.
  5. Place ribs on a baking sheet and bake ribs at 350F for 2 hours.
  6. While ribs are baking pour your marinade into a sauce pot and reduce by half. 
  7. Finish your ribs on the grill at around 350F, and baste with your leftover marinade flipping once or twice. In this stage you are mainly adding some color, and a little bit of char for flavor. Be careful because the BBQ ribs are really tender at this point and may fall off of the bone

    This is a great recipe to do a day in advance to get the maximum flavor from the marinade. You can even bake it in the oven a day ahead and just finish it on the grill the next day for a quick BBQ ribs. These are definitely doable in a day if you marinate in the morning, bake in the afternoon, and finish the BBQ ribs on the grill in the evening. These ribs may be time consuming but they are worth the effort! 


    • I like to top this with some freshly sliced green onion, or some crispy fried shallots. For crispy fried shallots, slice a shallot as thinly as you can and add to a pot of cold vegetable oil. Turn the heat on to about medium high and remove the shallots once they turn brown and season with salt immediately. 
    • When cutting the Thai chili peppers wear gloves, or use dish soap to wash your hands immediately after. Dish soap is better at removing the chili’s oils better than hand soap.

    Edano, Jason, Ribs with Green Onion and Fried Shallot, 2021

    What is Adobo? 

    Adobo is a Filipino dish that usually consists of cooking something in soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, onion, and bay leaves. The exact ratios and ingredients often vary from province to province, and family to family. For example, my Dad’s family recipe doesn’t use soy sauce, they add liver, and it is not very saucey. 

    If you’re looking to experiment with this BBQ ribs recipe, I would recommend trying out different adobo recipes. You can look around the internet, or ask friends or families for other adobo recipes. If you want to try my family’s recipe for adobo, you can take out the coconut milk, use 1 cup of soy sauce, and 1 ½ cup of vinegar. 

    Edano, Jason, Ribs BBQ, 2021

    Adobo is a classic dish from the Philippines and along with lumpia and pancit, is one of the more popular Filipino dishes, and for good reason. If you liked this recipe visit your local Filipino restaurant and try their adobo along with their other dishes! For more recipes check out our “How to Cook” section. 

    Related Articles


    Olivia deGregory

    Written by Jason Edano