04 Aug2006


I don’t like adobong atay and balun-balunan. My mom used to make adobong atay as a kid and I just couldn’t get over the sandy / grainy texture. I can eat liver if necessary, particularly a well made calf’s liver, but I am not a great fan of chicken livers except in pate… Isn’t it odd how an ingredient can be so unappreciated in one form but hungrily devoured in another? At any rate, I was taking care of several items on my “to do” list this morning, when suddenly this incredibly strong smell of simmering adobo wafted into my home office. I quickly got up and stuck my head into the kitchen to see if we were having adobo for lunch. Hmmm, turns out the cook was cooking up a batch of adobong atay and balun-balunan (or baticolon for Cebuanos) for the crew’s lunch.

It looked great, smelled great but I just couldn’t get too into it. I asked why she aabaticon2didn’t have much sauce in the dish and she replied they liked this dish dry rather than saucy in their home town. I thought that was interesting as I find an excessive liking for saucy dishes among pinoys that helps to extend the flavor of the dish as the sauce is mixed in with plain rice. At any rate, for those with a liking for this dish, it is really simple to make. Start with clean chicken livers and gizzards, marinate them for about 30 minutes in soy sauce, smashed garlic cracked black pepper, laurel leaves and vinegar. Then heat up a pan, add some vegetable oil and sauté the meat until the sauce evaporates. Serve with rice.



  1. virgilio says:

    11:15 a.m. here in Vienna and am hungry, having skipped breakfast. The sight of your liver adobo makes me hungrier. I add chicken liver when cooking pork/chicken adobo. Super!

    Aug 4, 2006 | 5:20 pm


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  3. goodtimer says:

    I once tasted sopas (macaroni in soup) made with chicken atay and balun-balunan and it I liked the taste although I’m not fond of balun-balunan as I find it leathery, it was good in the sopas (cut into tiny pieces) swimming in broth, milk and butter.

    Aug 4, 2006 | 5:29 pm

  4. chrissy says:

    I can’t stand both! (except pate if it doesn’t taste too livery) Shouldn’t it be baticolon? Cebuanos have a habit of not pronouncing the letter L

    Aug 4, 2006 | 5:48 pm

  5. millet says:

    i think it’s not chicken kidneys but gizzards, although it’s usually hearts that go with the chicken livers. come to think of it, i don’t think i’ve seen chicken kidneys, ever. my kids love this adobo, and i make sure that there’s plenty of sauce because i mash a couple of livers into the sauce to make it thicker. hot rice, acharang ampalaya, and slices of sweet mangoes…ayos!

    Aug 4, 2006 | 6:23 pm

  6. Marketman says:

    millet, you are probably right, gizzards they are…

    Aug 4, 2006 | 6:31 pm

  7. Doddie from Korea says:

    Chrissy is right. I lived in both Dumaguete and Bacolod and the gizzards are called “BATICOLON” (am fluent in Cebuano and Ilonggo). I love inihaw chicken innards, especially heart, liver, gizzards, intestines, lungs, etc. I even the unlaid eggs inside the chicken (they’re good in lugaw).

    Aug 4, 2006 | 7:39 pm

  8. Wilson Cariaga says:

    me too I hate liver. . . well if it is not duck or goose or pate, I dunno but (sorry. . .) it makes me throw up. . . so when our ulam is liver, it’s fasting for me. . .

    Aug 4, 2006 | 10:45 pm

  9. sha says:

    been a while i have not eaten liver
    been too kosher at work hehe
    but glad u mentioned the word batikon coz i have forgotten that word

    this is popular in athens market not bec the greeks love them but the filipinos…

    still in sardignia

    Aug 4, 2006 | 11:58 pm

  10. maddie says:

    When my cook made this adobo dish, I asked her to recook it inasal style, well done. It tasted really great!

    Aug 5, 2006 | 2:17 am

  11. NYCMama says:

    Can’t stand liver either, unless it’s pate. As a kid, I was slightly anemic and so my mom said I had to eat liver. I did not, and said I would rather be anemic! I’ve tried making adobo, using liver spread instead of actual livers. Came out good too.

    Aug 5, 2006 | 3:04 am

  12. Sylvia says:

    Mmmmm…I’ve always loved this dish. Haven’t had it in a long time because hubby can’t stand liver. I, on the other hand, like liver cooked any way – adobo, liverwurst, pate, or even cheap canned liver spread.

    Aug 5, 2006 | 5:19 am

  13. izang says:

    as with goodtimer, my sister taught me to cook sopas with atay and balunbalunan…though i am not too fond of these, i find it gives a very rich taste to the broth…

    Aug 5, 2006 | 9:36 am

  14. Danney League says:

    adobong chicken gizzard, liver and more are really a tasty dish. i like it better than pork liver cut thinly and make it into bistek tagalog with onions and soy sauce. ay naku pag-uwi ko sa Pilipinas sa October magpapaluto ako ng adobong balunbalunan, atay and more pero mas masarap pag medyo tuyo ang luto ng adobo para mas malasa. i am getting hungry while writing this message. i also love adobong gatang baboy at manok. yummy!!!

    Aug 5, 2006 | 10:54 am

  15. iya says:

    balun-balunan = gizzards diba? not kidney? =\

    confused na ako.

    Aug 5, 2006 | 12:47 pm

  16. iya says:

    ay sorry. may nagpoint-out na pala. hehe

    Aug 5, 2006 | 12:48 pm

  17. Marketman says:

    iya et al, I have corrected the original post to reflect gizzards instead of kidneys and baticolon in place of the baticon…many thanks for the suggestions… enjoy your gizzards!

    Aug 6, 2006 | 9:36 pm

  18. Gigi says:

    I learned to love chicken liver — Got into it when I was introduced to chicken liver wrapped in bacon and this chicken liver pica-pica at Penguin with gravy … parang pigs on a blanket chova. Can’t remember exactly. Bacon and gravy were great come-ons for me. I love it that I have no “liver” issue. I have a harder time with ampalaya to be honest.

    I have a co-worker who used to buy the BEST chicken liver dishes — sarciado(cooked in tomatoes) and adobo near Don Bosco church. The cook was an old dude and he paired the dish with garlic rice with hotdog bits. He’s taken off to who knows where. Was so fond of the chicken liver — hardly a tinge of “pait” and was succulent and “springy” in texture and creamy in mouthfeel. It was heaven.

    Thanks for this, MM. :)

    Aug 7, 2006 | 11:01 am

  19. romey says:

    i love this dish! soooo good.
    i have no problems with liver……i recently got introduced to foie gras…soooooooo delish!

    Aug 30, 2006 | 3:29 am

  20. Tukayo says:

    I once ate at a local carinderia and their balunbalunan was really very tender and did not shrink. I asked the owner and he said he had them soaked and boiled in vinegar. I didn’t asked how long cause I figured it was that easy. Well, mine was tender but it shrunk.

    Sep 9, 2007 | 10:03 pm

  21. pia says:

    In cooking adobong atay…what is the ratio for the vinegar and soy sauce? Is it 1:1?

    Sep 10, 2007 | 4:47 pm

  22. mherz says:

    i love it this dish coz is it the one of my favorite food…….when i was talking to my bf about this recipe .he says interesting and he love it too……

    Mar 14, 2009 | 12:35 pm


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