Chicken Binakol

Soup week: Day 5. For chicken as the main ingredient, lets go back to the Philippines and end it with a very interesting soup called Chicken Binakol.

Chicken Binakol is a chicken soup dish similar to Tinola but instead of using rice wash or normal water this chicken soup dish is cooked in coconut water. There are two variations of this dish: the Batangas version; wherein they usually use a very flavourful and lean chicken meat from Philippine Native Chicken and cooked slowly for long period in a bamboo tube, and the Visayan version; wherein it is cooked with lemongrass and simmered in a coconut shell.

We’re gonna try the Visayan version; a very uniquely flavoured soup due to the use of coconut water and meat where it adds sweetness to the dish. The lemongrass and ginger gives it a fresh taste while the sea salt or fish sauce gives it some saltiness. The final result is phenomenal. The variations in taste are complementing with each other resulting to a very savoury dish.

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Chicken Binakol

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 11 reviews
  • Author: Raymund
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 3 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Filipino


  • 800g chicken thighs
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1/2 thumb sized ginger, sliced
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, white end part
  • 2 large young coconuts
  • sea salt or fish sauce
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • handful of chilli or capsicum leaves
  • oil


  1. Brush chicken thighs with salt and pepper.
  2. Prepare your coconuts by boring a hole on top then pouring the coconut water in a separate container. Cut coconuts in half then scrape out the meat using a spoon. Set it aside.
  3. In a pot, add oil then brown chicken pieces on all sides. Remove chicken from pot then set aside.
  4. In the same pot, sauté garlic, onion and ginger then add the coconut water, lemongrass and chicken (if the coconut meat is a bit hard you can add it at this stage, otherwise add it at the end) then bring it to a boil. Simmer in low heat for 25 minutes (if using native chicken you have to simmer it for at least an hour or longer until chicken is tender).
  5. Add chilli leaves (this is where you add the coconut meat if it’s soft) then simmer for 2 more minutes.
  6. Season with sea salt / fish sauce according to taste. Serve it on a bowl or coconut shells.



25 Responses

  1. I’ve never tried any food cooked with coconut water. Binakol is an interesting name

    • Lawrence says:

      hi there. the name is derived from a Philippine dialect whicw means BEATEN. the original version is you cook the chicken with the above -mentioned ingredients inside a bamboob tube and bury it under the soil and the fire is set on top directly over it with the soil in between the bamboo tube and the fire. it is a widely used cooking method during world war 2 in such a way that fleeing Filipinos in the jungle can cook food without revealing themselves through aromatic cooking from the relentless pursuit of Japanese soldiers. in order to retrieve the cooked chicken. the bamboo tube is beaten into something hard to partake the meal, thus the name Binakol, whicw means Beaten

  2. I love how you served it, so unique, yet simple.

  3. Kristy says:

    The flavors in this soup sound fantastic. I love the coconut with the fish sauce – it sounds like a good blend of sweet and savory. And what a fun way to serve this up!

  4. Joanne says:

    These are so cool, and I love the serving vessel!

  5. Caroline says:

    This is so gorgeous! Love your presentation. Sounds great!

  6. What an interesting dish! The chicken must be so tasty and flavorful cooked in the coconut juice. Lovely presentation!

  7. Felicia says:

    What a creative dish! It’s both pretty and flavorful — how much lemongrass did you use? I’d love to try this sometime!

  8. anita triana says:

    Thanks what a great idea, I’ll try it, it’s definitely must be good, I can not wait to cook it.

  9. PolaM says:

    must be delicious!

  10. meri says:

    This is so interesting- I’ve never seen a bamboo tube before!

  11. You always surprise me with something new Raymund.. I’ve never seen this before at all. Very nice

  12. I, too, have never heard of this soup before but it looks and sounds just incredible!

  13. What a cool, crazy presentation! I love it.

  14. That looks amazing ! The flavour of the coconut water and flesh would add such a unique taste to the dish.

  15. soup served in coconut shell?? very nice..

  16. Eri says:

    I love the fact that it’s simmering in a coconut shell, how impressive!

  17. Henry says:

    Nakakatakam ung presentation, pang high-class hotel ang dating.

  18. Nina says:

    interesting! would definitely try this soon! 🙂

  19. foodjaunts says:

    Oh I love this soup but the husband hates coconut so I don’t get to eat it as often as I like. I love your coconut bowl!

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