Healthy, light and savory – this is an easy classic Filipino chicken tinola recipe that will have you go back for seconds and thirds! Ready in 35 minutes.
Chicken Tinola (Tinolang Manok)
This is a guest post by my good friend Marivic Pinedo who is sharing with you her favorite childhood Filipino dish today!
Growing up in a Filipino household, it was normal to wake up and go to bed with salty-sour aromas swirling through the air. With its marriage of ginger, onion, and fish sauce, chicken tinola is one of the dishes that lead my nose out of my bedroom and into the kitchen.
Fast-forward to my 20s and living far from home. I was tiring of the quick and cheap bean and rice burrito from my lunch spot down the street. I’d buy groceries, but cooking for one proved wasteful. Then I started dating, and with another mouth to feed I used it as an opportunity to flex my cooking muscles and fill our space with the smells of home. I picked up the phone, called my mom, and asked her how to cook chicken tinola. I remember cradling the phone between my ear and shoulder while scribbling down all the ingredients, times and cooking requirements.
Chicken tinola has a simple broth base of ginger, onion, and fish sauce. It is traditionally cooked with papaya as the main vegetable, but over the years, when papaya wasn’t always available, I began to substitute it with a combination of zucchini, bok choy, and crook neck yellow squash. Served over white rice with lots of broth, it makes a wonderful hearty dinner you can get lost in.
After that phone call with my mom and over a decade later, Chicken tinola has become part of the regular dinner rotation. From that moment it became my husband’s favorite Filipino dish, and with this recipe, I hope it becomes one of yours too!
Did you like this Chicken Tinola Recipe? Are there changes you made that you would like to share? Share your tips and recommendations in the comments section below!
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 small white onion, finely sliced into half moon
- 2 thumb size ginger, peeled and finely sliced into sticks (julienned)
- 1½ pound chicken thighs
- ½ cup fish sauce
- 2 small zucchinnis, chopped into bite size chunks
- 2 small yellow squash, chopped into bite size chunks
- 2 baby bok choy, sliced in half lengthwise
- In a large pot over medium heat, add oil, onions and ginger and sautee for 3-5 minutes, until onions are translucent. Make sure onion and ginger cover the bottom of the pot.
- Place chicken thighs on top and add fish sauce - do not stir.
- Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add enough water to just cover the chicken and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes, or until chicken’s internal temperature reaches 170-175 degrees.
- Add chopped zucchni and yellow squash. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, until zucchini is tender.
- Add sliced bok choy, cover and cook for 3-5, until tender.
- The chicken is ready to eat once the internal temperature reaches 180º.
- Serve chicken and vegetables over a scoop of white rice and pour about a cup of the broth.