Tinolang manok is a flavorful broth of soft and tender chicken pieces with green papaya and ginger. This is every Filipino mother’s secret recipe for common ailments.
Tinolang Manok or Chicken Tinola is the ultimate Filipino comfort food. It is chicken soup with ginger, chili leaves, and green papaya. My mother would usually prepare this dish during the rainy season and enjoy it with rice and fried fish.
Far more than just a favorite during the rainy days, it is the go-to dish if somebody’s sick in the family. The warm soup, infused with ginger extract and the nutrients from the vegetables and chicken really helps the body recover from the common cold or flu.
I vividly remember when I was young, I would feign sickness just so my mother would prepare it for me. Luckily for you with this recipe, you don’t have to do any feigning. 😊
How to cook Tinolang Manok
Tinola is a Filipino indigenous cooking method where chicken meat is first sautéed with garlic, ginger, and onion. I like the meat seared a little. It gives a light brown color as opposed to chicken that’s so white.
Then the chicken is cooked by boiling it with green papaya wedges. Do not use ripe papaya.
The soup is then seasoned with peppercorns and fish sauce. Chili leaves are added at the very end. It’s as simple as that!
You can cook any meat you want but traditionally, it is chicken. The Filipinos also cook small clams (Halaan) in the same exact manner.
As green papaya wedges are at times, hard to find, you can substitute chayote (sayote) for it. Another option is to use “upo” or bottle gourd.
Likewise, if you can’t find chili leaves, you can use spinach, “malunggay” or Moringa leaves. You can also use baby bokchoy or pechay leaves. In this recipe, we will be using spinach.
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 1/2 inch ginger sliced into thin strips
- 1 medium onion coarsely chopped
- 1 1/2 pounds chicken thighs/ wings/ legs chopped into bite-size portions
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 green papaya
- spinach or chili leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a medium-sized pot with medium heat, add canola oil, and sauté ginger, onion, and garlic. Cook until the onion becomes translucent and the garlic golden brown.
- Add the chicken and sear until lightly browned on all sides.
- Pour in the chicken broth. Now add the fish sauce. Cover the pot and allow to boil for 30 minutes.
- Once done, add the green papaya and ground peppercorn.
- Cover the pot and cook for 10 more minutes.
- Taste the soup and season with salt and pepper accordingly.
- Add the spinach and replace the cover. Wait for a few minutes and let the heat cook the leaves.