Tinola Chicken Recipe
Tinolang Manok (Chicken Tinola) or simply called "Tinola" is a chicken ginger stew soup with papaya and chili pepper leaves. This dish is called "tinola" in Tagalog and Cebuano, and "la uya" or "nilayaan" in Ilocano, where "la uya", "luya", or "laya" literally means "ginger". Traditionally, garlic, onion, and ginger are sautéed, respectively, followed by the chicken, and then seasoned with fish sauce, where ginger is the key ingredient. During the sauté process, make it sure that the flavor of onion, ginger and fish sauce will blend well with the chicken. To achieve this, it is recommended to sauté the mixture, say, about 3-5 minutes or more to get the best results. Chicken broth or rice water or plain water is added to it followed by papaya and chili leaves.
Tinolang Manok is one of the authentic Filipino dishes in the Philippines. In fact, Tinolang Manok was mentioned in Chapter 3 of Noli Me Tangere. Noli Me Tángere, which means "Touch Me Not", is a novel written in 1884 by Philippine's national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, to expose the injustices of the Spanish colonial regime and tyrannical priests which later on became the "battle cry" of Philippine revolution against the ruling of Spain. The story in Noli Me Tangere goes that… Capitan Tiago prepared a Tinolang Manok for dinner. Due to an unexpected situation and unexplained reason, Padre Damaso got the papaya vegetable and chicken neck, while Ibarra had the gizzard and chicken breast, which is one of the best parts of the savory dish. After a sip of hot Tinola soup, Padre Damaso irritably dropped the spoon and set aside the plate because he was so envious and indignant with Ibarra.
The history and influence of Tinolang Manok dates back during the Song Dynasty in China. It was another food item that was developed due to cultural contact with China via trade routes between 960 and 1279. The Chinese traders are good herbalist and they know well the curative factor and health benefits of ginger. As a matter of fact, they trade their silks, porcelain, and ceramics in exchange of herbs and crops. It was also during those times that the fish sauce was introduced.
Tinolang Manok continue to evolve up to the modern times and came up with variations. Instead of using papaya, others use the chayote which also belong to the family of squash; instead of using pepper leaves, others use the malunggay leaves; and extreme, instead of using chicken, others use pork or seafood.
Chicken Tinola Ingredients
- 2 lbs chicken; cut in serving pieces
- 4 cloves garlic; crushed
- 1 onion; sliced
- 1 root ginger; sliced
- 1 green papaya; sliced
- 1/2 cup malunggay leaves
- Chicken broth
Chicken Tinola Cooking Instructions
- Sauté garlic, onion, and ginger. When onion becomes translucent, add the chicken.
- Sauté until chicken becomes light brown, then season with fish sauce.
- Simmer for few minutes or until chicken absorbs the flavor of the mixture.
- Pour chicken broth and boil until chicken is tender.
- Add the papaya and when tender, drop the malunggay leaves.
- Serve and enjoy!
- Always dry chicken well with paper towels before placing into hot frying pan so it won't stick.
- If you prefer, you can add 1 chicken bouillon cubes to add more flavor to your soup.
- If rice water is not readily available, you can simply use plain water or chicken broth.
- You can substitute chayote for papaya and malunggay leaves for chilli pepper leaves.
- You can also use pork or seafood of your choice as substitute for chicken.