Chicken Tinola is a Filipino stew or soup dish. Made of chicken pieces and Green papaya wedges or chayote in a gingery broth (or other vegetables like green beans). Malunggay (moringa leaves) or chili leaves are added at the end, making it the traditional Filipino soup dish. This is often served during cold weather and is the perfect antidote for someone who is having a dull moment.
This chicken soup recipe is very common in every Filipino household because of its easiness and simplicity of ingredients. It is similar to any chicken soup that feels good for the soul. It's steamy, warm, and full of flavor which came from the gentle simmering of chicken pieces, ginger, garlic, onions, and vegetables.
Ingredients you will need
The ingredients for this recipe are very minimal, very healthy, and mostly available in any grocery store except for two, the malunggay or moringa leaves or chili leaves. But these leaves can be easily substituted by using parsley or spinach which is equally delicious and nutritious, and taste authentic! Not unless you're looking for a very traditional chicken tinola, and your living abroad, malunggay leaves and chili leaves are usually found in any Asian grocery store, and sometimes they're tucked in at the frozen section.
- Chicken, Either you want to use 1 whole chicken and fraction it yourself or use chicken pieces of your choice.
- Papaya, I treat it as a vegetable when it is green and eat it as a fruit if they're soft and ripe.
- Chayote, has a watery flesh with impressive health benefits.
- Ginger - The number that gives a soothing effect and a soulful aroma as soon as you start savoring the soup
- Lemongrass - Aside from its main chemical components such as antimicrobial and antifungal it provides the subtle citrus taste and aroma of lemongrass that perfectly complement ginger and garlic1.
- Garlic - Renowned as both pervasive seasoning and a potent medicinal resource that is only beginning to be tapped.
- Onion - Both a vegetable and seasoning. Sharp tasting when eatin' raw. However, they're sweet and mellow when browned. Rich in Phytonutrients called polyphenols2.
- Parsley - Added as a vegetable not just for garnishing. Parsley has antioxidant properties that make it effective against joint pains while it's essential oils qualify as a chemo-protective food3.
How to make chicken tinola
There is no way you'll find a living chicken and Malunggay or chili leaves to cook for dinner unless you live in some parts of Asia or in the Philippines. To get the burnt, smokey flavor of chicken, we use the blow torch. But the gas stove burner stove top also works. Once you're done scorching the chicken, cut to serving pieces.
Cut the papaya and chayote into chunky pieces but the same sizes so that they will cook at the same time.
A detailed recipe instruction down the recipe inbox.
- Using a torch to slightly burn the whole chicken provides another layer of flavor giving you a more unique umami flavor. Make sure that it is all dry before turning on the torch.
- Using chicken pieces such as the chicken thigh or chicken breast, Sear the chicken pieces until nicely brown before adding the aromatics. Browning the chicken provides a more profound and delicious flavor.
Filipino Tinolang Manok (Chicken Tinola)
- Medium stockpot, Torch (optional)
- Tablespoon Canola oil
- 1 ½ Ounces Fresh ginger, 2 thumb size
- 1 Small Cooking onion
- 3 Cloves Garlic
- 1 Stem Lemongrass, Cut into 2 inches long and pound using the back of your knife.
- 3.5 Pounds whole Chicken or Chicken pieces
- 2 Teaspoon Fish sauce(optional)
- 1 Small Green Papaya (optional)
- 3 Chayote (optional)
- 1 Bunch Parsley
- 6 Cups Water
- ½ Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Teaspoon Freshly ground black pepper
Lime slices to serve
- >Wash and peel the ginger then crush using the back of your knife.>Peel and thinly slice the onion.>Peel and mince the garlic.>Cut the lemongrass into two inches long and pound using the back of your knife.>Coarsley chop the parsley including the stems
Method one, using a whole chicken and blow torch.
- Turn on the blow torch against the chicken until slightly blacked then fraction into serving pieces.
- Add the oil to a medium stockpot and turn the heat to medium-high heat. Add the ginger and onion and cook until it smells fragrant for about 2 minutes. Add the lemongrass, garlic, and chicken pieces and saute for another 3 minutes. Add water into the pot and turn the heat high to boil. Put the lid on slightly ajar and lower the heat to medium-low, continue simmering for another 30 minutes.
- When the chicken pieces are nicely tender but not falling apart, add the chunky papaya and or chayote, and fish sauce. Turn the heat to medium-high and let it simmer for another 8-10 minutes or when the vegetables are soft with a little bite at the middles (aldente). Turn off the heat and add parsley, salt, and pepper to taste. Serve while hot with a squeeze of lime juice and rice on the side.
Method two using chicken pieces
- Add oil in the pot over medium-high heat until hot. Add the chicken pieces and sear to brown all the sides. Transfer the browned chicken to a plate.
- Using the same pot, add the ginger and onions and cook for 2 minutes until it smells fragrant. Add the lemongrass, garlic, and the browned chicken, and continue sauteing for another 2 minutes. Add water and bring to boil. Lower the heat to medium-low, put the lid on slightly ajar, and let it simmer for 30 minutes. Add the chunky papaya and or chayote if both using and fish sauce. Bring back to simmer and continue cooking for another 8 to 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Add salt and pepper to taste. Turn off the heat and add parsley.
- Serve while still hot with a squeeze of lime juice and rice on the side.
Reference: 1,2 and 3 ➢ Nancy J. Hajeski, Complete guide to Herbs and Spices