Filipino Tinola

"I can't believe there's no recipe for Tinola on this site. it's a staple of Filipino cuisine, and it's basically a ginger chicken stewish soup. I've modified my mom's recipe to include only chicken breasts, as the original includes all sorts of chicken parts that I don't eat. As Filipino recipes are meant to be taste-tested at every step and tweaked to one's liking, these should only be general guidelines to help you perfect your own Tinola recipe."
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Ready In:




  • Saute garlic, onion and ginger in oil for 30 seconds over med heat.
  • Add chicken and saute until chicken meat turns white. Add fish sauce.
  • Cover and simmer until chicken is almost completely cooked (7-10 min.). At this point, there will be a fair amount of broth, since all the juices from the chicken are coming out.
  • Add water (I usually add 3/4 cup and that gives me a pretty good, concentrated flavor. my mom adds a little more than a cup, and the flavor is much mellower and sometimes I add more fish sauce at the table. really, you should just experiment).
  • Add chayote and simmer for 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  • Serve over rice.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Pinaygourmet 345142
    When I found this recipe I went shopping for ingredients right away. Luckily I found frozen chili pepper leaves (dahon ng sili) at the Filipino store. Oh my god! Every spoonful of this wonderful tinola cured me of my homesickness. It felt like I was home again. Thank you so much, you have no idea how good this dish made me feel.
  2. emilyice
    yum. i added about 7 cups of water and 3 tablespoons of fish sauce. 3 tablespoons of fish sauce was a bit too much. added "magic sarap" (a powder seasoning) that is popular here in the philippines. the magic sarap powder helped the flavor immensely. masarap (tagalog for delicious).
  3. jApZerlearns2c00k41
    Thanks a lot for this recipe!!! Now, I learn to cook this soothing dish... the broth is just awesome... will definitely cook again!
    what a quick and simple recipe for one of my favorite comfort foods!
  5. babytoothdoc
    Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe! Our nanny used to make this for us and now I can make it too!


I'm a meat-and-potatoes kind of girl at heart, and I've only recently started forcing myself to eat vegetables -- I suppose that's what happens when you are raised to believe that a meal isn't really a meal unless you're eating meat! My passion for food started with my parents -- since food is such a focus of Filipino culture, anything was an excuse for cooking a large meal and inviting friends or family over. Cooking, on the other hand, is something I've only recently started enjoying -- I love having adventures in different parts of the world, and when I can't do that, I love having adventures in the kitchen. So I experiment a lot with new recipes and I'm always in search of the perfect version of something. I moved up to NYC a couple of years ago for work, and it's been heaven. The food in this city is fantastic, and I especially enjoy going out into Queens for ethnic dining. I work at a union full of burly guys who love to eat, so it's nice to be in like-minded company -- the granola vegans at my last non-profit job just didn't understand. I'm taking ceramics classes and I travel widely -- my next trip is to Egypt, Jordan and Jerusalem in the fall.
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