671 Guam Recipes: Estufao Mannok | Lifestyle

With all the rain we’ve been having, we thought we’d share a soup recipe from our friends at the 671 Guam Recipes.

This week we might be stirring the pot a little with Joaquin Cepeda Sablan’s recipe for Estufao Mannok (chicken), courtesy of Cel Montague, creator of the Facebook group 671 Guam Recipes.

“A lot of people get confused with adobo and estufao,” said Montague, who has partnered with the PDN to offer the group’s classic island recipes to our readers. “Estufao is CHamoru and cooked this way (without soy sauce) in the old old days. Adobo is Filipino. A lot of CHamorus are calling estufao by the Filipino name, ‘adobo,’ made with soy sauce.

“They cannot call estufao by the Filipino name — but they do. This is controversial — we might get pushback for this one from the local CHamorus who still insist it is adobo and that our estufao was made with soy sauce.”

When Sablan posted his recipe in September 2021 to the group, he asked, “Does anyone make estufao or kådun pika without soy sauce?”

“My mom taught me to make it without and I love it,” he added. “My uncle on my dad’s side makes kådun pika with gizzard no soy sauce too. Wondering if it’s just a family thing or if soy sauce was added after World War II.”

Montague added, “I believe soy sauce was introduced later as he states. My mother also made it without soy sauce.”

Below is Sablan’s recipe; please note that the measurements provided are guidelines.

Estufao Mannok


  • 8 chicken thighs (bone in, skin on), or whichever chicken parts you prefer
  • 1 cup vinegar (I started using Filipino cane vinegar recently which is less harsh, but I’ve used white and apple cider as well)
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves (smashed, I use more because my mom told me garlic helps get rid of the pau mata’ smell of chicken)
  • Salt
  • Garlic salt
  • black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
  • Vegetable oil


In a large bowl, season chicken with garlic salt, salt and pepper. Sorry, I don’t have exact measurements, as I just sprinkle what I think is enough but not too much. I’m thinking all three spices would be about 1 tablespoon total. If you’re not sure, start with a little and you can always add later according to your taste.

Toss chicken around to get the dry spices spread out. Add in onions, garlic and vinegar, and toss everything again. Let the chicken marinate for about 20 to 30 minutes. I guess you can marinate longer, but I feel that 20 minutes is good enough.

In a large pot or Dutch oven, coat the entire base with vegetable oil. Spread sugar evenly over the oil and set heat to high. When the sugar starts to brown and bubble, add chicken and toss around with a large spoon — be careful as there will be oil splatters.

Lower heat to medium high and keep tossing chicken until the outsides are evenly browned. Add in the marinade (vinegar, onions and garlic) and return heat to high to get it boiling.

Add about a cup of water to the empty bowl to get any remaining onions and garlic. Add that to the pot and lower heat to medium. Leave uncovered and continue to cook until the liquid evaporates and thickens and the chicken cooks through — about 30 minutes . You don’t want it too soupy but also not too dry so keep an eye on it. I usually turn it off when the liquid reduces and the chicken is half submerged.

Depending on my mood, I get about five pieces of donne’ and lommok (pound) it in salt and add it to the cooked meat to make my version of kådun pika. I’ve also added a can of coconut milk.

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