If you’re a Filipino, I would bet that you’ve been hearing this dish ever since you were a child right? It’s like you grew up alongside this dish. And most likely, it brings back really bittersweet memories from the much simpler times with your family.
That’s how popular this Chicken Tinola is. From days you get home exhausted from school or from work, to the days where you celebrate a much-awaited special occasion, I am sure that this oh-so-tasty and savory dish will not disappoint and will put a smile on your face.
In this recipe article, We are going to help you learn how to cook the best chicken tinola and bring back your childhood memories with this dish! Or if not, there is always room for new and great moments we can cherish for the days to come.
So impress your loved ones, with this impressive dish. Read on below to get some tips and trivia about our beloved Chicken Tinola.
What is Chicken Tinola?
Chicken Tinola is a soup dish which originated here in the Philippines. It is composed of chicken meat parts partnered traditionally with chayote (sayote) or green papaya and some chili leaves or moringa (malunggay) leaves–all swimming in a tasty ginger-based broth.
There are other variations of the chicken tinola which uses lemongrass which serves as an added health benefit from eating the dish.
Tinola Health Benefits
The good thing about Tinola is it packs ingredients which are really beneficial for one’s health.
If there’s one thing worth mentioning here, it is the presence of malunggay in this dish. Malunggay is a superfood–it is high in nutritional content, meaning it packs a load of vitamins and minerals. It balances the cholesterol levels and normalizes blood sugar levels.
Green papaya is also known for having antioxidants and folate, which helps improve the cardiovascular system. If there’s one thing to mention about the tinola, it is definitely a comfort food.
How to Cook Chicken Tinola?
After everything you read earlier, you would think that cooking chicken tinola is a hard task. But do not get overwhelmed, even beginners can try cooking tinola and will most likely be successful. All you have to do is to make the preparations for the ingredients, and then cook them.
For the preparations, all you need is a kitchen knife and a chopping board, and you’re going to slice away the ingredients in small serving sizes. For the chicken, the preferred parts in this recipe are thigh parts and leg parts. It contains bones and meat. And these bones actually help in bringing out the full flavor of the chicken once we simmer it. But do not fret, if you opt to use boneless chicken parts, it is also an acceptable choice. The tinola will still be flavorful.
Cooking the ingredients is a straightforward process. It’s just a matter of tossing in the ingredients into a large cooking pot, one after the other. When simmering the chicken, do try to make it as long as possible, because it will bring out a lot of flavor from the chicken when it’s done.
Notes on Ingredients
Rice water (or rice washing) is the starchy liquid which you get when you soak rice into the water before cooking the rice. It is a helpful ingredient when cooking tinola.
But alternatives such as packs of tinola mix for the broth are also okay.
Both malunggay and chili leaves are popular add-on ingredients to our chicken tinola. You may use whatever is available to you.
For a quick reference about this recipe, see the recipe table below:
Chicken Tinola (Tinolang Manok) Recipe
- Cooking Pot
- 1 kg chicken (thigh or legs), cut into serving pieces
- 4 cups rice water
- 1 pc green papaya, cut into small wedges
- 1 pc onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 pcs thumb-sized ginger, cut into strips
- 3 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 cup malunggay leaves, or chili leaves
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 tbsp cooking oil
- In a cooking pot, pour-in and heat the cooking oil in low to medium heat.
- Add-in the chopped onions, minced garlic, and ginger strips. Saute for 2 minutes or until tender and aromatic.
- Add-in the chicken pieces, and fish sauce. Cook for 5 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Pour-in the rice water and boil. Once the water is boiling, cover the cooking pot and apply low heat. Simmer for 20 to 40 minutes or until the chicken is tender and is fully cooked inside.
- Add-in the green papaya wedges. Cook for another 5 minutes or until soft.
- Add-in the malunggay leaves, and salt and pepper as needed. Cook and stir for 1 minute.
- Transfer to a serving bowl. Serve and enjoy!
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