Tinola, the Pinoy version of the chicken soup and like any other chicken soups it gives you that comforting effect even the ill feels relieved. Having said that soups like this will always be good for the cold and rainy days. So what’s the difference with this Filipino version of the chicken soup?
Tinola’s secret ingredient is ginger which completes the formula for a good soothing and comforting soup, alongside with chicken, green papaya or chayote, chilli leaves and a green leafy vegetable it gives you enough nutrients to fight those nasty cold and flu bugs.
Tinola is an authentic Filipino dish, in fact it was invented around 1800’s and even referenced in Jose Rizal’s book Noli Me Tangere in Chapter 3 where Capitan Tiago ordered the said dish after he missed eating it for a long time when he extended his stay in Europe. If you are planning to cook the original recipe and you don’t live in a tropical country like the Philippines then I wish you good luck searching for the original ingredients like chayote, green papaya, malunggay (moringa leaves) and finger chilli leaves is really hard, you might find some in Asian grocers but they are all frozen. Having said that Filipinos learned how to improvise and choose other ingredients to replace the original one as long as the ginger is there the essence of this soup remains.
- 1 kg free range chicken thighs and legs
- 1 – 1.5 litre chicken stock
- 2 medium sized chayote or 1 medium sized green papaya cubed
- 1 bunch spinach leaves, malunggay leaves or watercress
- 1 bunch finger chilli leaves or capsicum leaves
- 1 thumb sized ginger, thinly sliced
- 1 large red onion, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- fish sauce or sea salt
- ground black pepper
- In a pot heat oil and sauté garlic, onions and ginger. Cook until onions are soft.
- Add chicken and stir fry for 2 minutes in high heat browning all sides.
- Add chicken stock, bring to a boil and simmer for 45 minutes, if you are not using free range 20 minutes would be enough.
- Add chayote or green papaya and simmer for additional 15 minutes
- Add chilli leaves and spinach leaves/malunggay, cover and simmer for 1 more minute.
- Season with fish sauce and freshly ground pepper.
You can buy Jose Rizal’s Novel in Amazon, here are some links: