Tinolang manok (chicken tinola) is one of the traditional dishes in the Philippines. It is very well known among many Filipinos. It was even mentioned in one of our National Hero’s novel, Noli Me Tangere. My husband recalls that Dr. Jose Rizal described how tinola was cook it in the novel. To which my reaction was... Oh! Good to know. :)
Anyway, chicken tinola is but a chicken soup – a tasty one at that. It is chicken fried in sautéed garlic, onions and ginger. I had a few modifications for my tinola recipe. Instead of pawpaw, I used a different vegetable. And, I added lemongrass, too.
Here is my Chicken Tinola. YUMMM!!
-Chicken, 1 whole cut in parts
-Garlic, 5-7 cloves chopped and minced
-Onions, 2 pcs chopped
-Ginger, 1 nub bruised and chopped
-Whole peppercorns, ½ tbsp
-Sayote (chayote or chokes), 1 whole, cut in lengths (alternative to papaya or pawpaw)
-Lemongrass (optional but desired)
-Fish sauce, up to ¼ cup
-Water, 1.25-1.5 litres
-Chili leaves, several pieces
-Cooking oil, 2tbsp
-Ginger powder (optional)
1. Heat oil in a deep pot.
2. Saute the garlic under medium to high heat.
3. When the garlic turns golden, put in the onions.
4. When the onions sweat, put in the ginger. Stir well.
5. When the ginger chars, put in the chicken.
6. Fry the chicken well in the spice mixture.
7. Season the chicken with ½ of the ¼ cup fish sauce you prepared.
If you don’t measure the fish sauce (or other ingredients), it is totally fine. You can play it by taste. I put the fish sauce now to help enhance the flavour of the chicken.
8. When the chicken (all of them) turn golden, add the water.
9. Lower the heat and add the whole peppercorns, vegetable and the lemongrass.
In the Philippines, we normally put pawpaw (papaya) in our tinola. It is a common fruit (vegetable) back home; and therefore, cheap. In the part of the world where we live, this commodity is a bit expensive. That being said, we had to find a way to cook tinola using an alternative. Over the years, we’ve learned that a good substitute to pawpaw is the chayote. Few of our friends know this. And perhaps, we may be the ones who introduced it to them. It works perfectly well for this dish. You should try it.
10. Cover and let it simmer.
During this time, you are making the chicken broth hot with the spicy ginger. Don’t rush. It won’t take long, anyway. The idea is to let all the ingredients work together. After about 10-15 minutes, the pawpaw or chayote may be cooked.
11. Season the dish with fish sauce. Add ginger powder if you want a stronger soup.
Be mindful at this point not to put too much. Balance the dish according to your preference.
12. Turn the heat off and top the dish with the chili leaves. Do not stir until serving time.
13. Serve while hot with rice.
I hope you enjoyed this one.
About the Author: Beingwell loves simple home cooking recipes. She enjoys sharing her quick easy meals, including Filipino cooking recipes in this blog.