Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tinolang Manok (Chicken in Ginger Broth)

Traditional Tinolang Manok
Tinola is a ginger-based soup dish served as an appetizer or main course.  Traditionally, it is cooked with chicken, wedges of green papaya and chili pepper leaves or Bird's eye chili pepper leaves in broth flavored with ginger, onion and fish sauce. Chicken, pork, fish and shellfish such as mussels and clams are commonly prepared using tinola as the cooking method. Other substitutes for the ingredients are chayote, potato, cabbage and moringa or malunggay leaves. The dish was invented in the late 19th century. It was also referenced in José Rizal's first novel, Noli Me Tangere.

I consider chicken tinola as a comfort food.  Even as a grown-up, I remember my mom cooking tinola for me when I'm not feeling well.  Last week, my husband and I got some green papaya from an Asian store in Orlando and so I cooked my beloved Chicken Tinola. 

Ingredients :
  • 1 lb. chicken breast, cut into serving pieces (or any choice cuts: thighs, drumsticks, wings)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh ginger root, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • salt to taste
  • 4-5 cups water (substitute: rice water from second rinse) 
  • 1 medium-sized green papaya, cut into 1-inch thickwedges (substitutes: chayote, potatoes)
  • 2 teaspoons whole peppercorns
  • 1 cup chili leaves (substitutes: spinach, malunggay leaves, cabbage)
  1. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Sauté ginger until fragrant. Add onions, stir-fry until softened and translucent.
  2. Add chicken cuts. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes until chicken colors slightly. Season with fish sauce and salt.
  3. Pour in water (or rice water, if using). Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until chicken is half-done. Add in papaya (or chayote or potatoes, if using). Continue simmering until chicken and vegetable are tender. Add peppercorns.  Season to taste. Add chili leaves (or malunggay or substitute.) Stir and remove from heat.
  4. Let stand for a few minutes to let the green vegetables cook. Serve hot.

  • Enrich your tinola by adding potatoes, chayote, green beans, carrots and cabbage to the basic vegetables used. My husband loves it when it is packed with vegetables.
  • If chili leaves are not available, use spinach leaves or moringa or malunggay leaves.

My enriched chicken tinola


  1. The food is absolutely amazing. I hope I could taste and cook that in actual, maybe if I have much time since I am so busy working. Anyways, thanks for sharing your article. God Bless and have a good day. Visit my site too.

  2. This is really good and delicious. This is a cooking style that suited to your taste. Thanks for sharing. Have a great day.