Fish Tinola

Tinola is a popular cooking method in the Philippines where meats like chicken or seafood is boiled in water infused with ginger, garlic, onions, fish sauce and sometimes green chillies. Most popular variations are chicken and mussels usually served with rice. For this post we will be doing it with a lesser known variation which is fish, a very delicate dish by nature but rich flavours can be obtained by using whole fish with heads and bones. If you are not into heads and bones then I suggest you to use this recipe as I won’t be using them and use dashi stock instead to give it a richer flavour.

Fish Tinola
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 3
  • 600g fleshy white fish fillets, sliced (i.e. grouper, snapper)
  • bunch of green leafy vegetables (i.e. bok choy, shanghai)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups dashi stock or seafood stock
  • ½ thumb sized ginger, thinly sliced
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced
  • 3 green finger chillies
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • fish sauce or sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  1. In a pot combine together water, dashi stock, tomatoes, ginger, finger chillies and onion. Bring to a boil.
  2. Add fish and cook for 5-10 minutes depending on the thickness of fish.
  3. Add green vegetables and cook for 2 more minutes.
  4. Season with fish sauce and freshly ground black pepper then serve.



No Responses

  1. This sounds deliciously simple and tasty.

  2. Very healthy and delicious. I just made hot pot tonight with lots of fresh fish. Love how light it is. So is it mango season where you live too? Can you really eat 10 mangoes in a sitting? I want to as they are so delicious.

    • rsmacaalay says:

      Yeah its mango season but its expensive in New Zealand. Philippine Mangoes cost $5 each back home that price might be for 2 kilos. And yes I acn easily eat a dozen 🙂

  3. mjskit says:

    What an interesting way to good fish. It’s interesting that chicken can be cooked in the same way as well. Definitely a healthier way to prepare and with all of the ingredients added to the water, I’m sure this is delicious!

  4. Love the look of this fish!

  5. Beautiful, healthy and delicious looking!

  6. Nami | Just One Cookbook says:

    My daughter has been sick with fever for 4 days now and now I look at this dish, and feel it’s perfect for her. So light and easy on her body. I need to make this tomorrow with dashi (and minus chilis).

  7. Karen says:

    I know fish head really add to the flavor but I prefer a recipe like yours.

  8. foodjaunts says:

    You can never go wrong with tinola. Especially with lots of rice to soak up all the deliciousness.

  9. Nice and light. I’ve never had tinola but after a weekend of very rich food, I’d love this for dinner tonight.

  10. Charles says:

    Ooh, I didn’t realise this cooking method had such a name – it’s so nice to learn new things :D. I really enjoy stuff like this because it’s so nice and light, yet full of flavour – I always have a problem with the fish though… seems to fall apart into non-discernible bits. Maybe I’m cutting it wrong… or cooking it slightly too long? 🙁

    • rsmacaalay says:

      You might be cooking it a bit longer or the fish is not intended for soups or curries. There are fishes that are firm which can withstand cooking methods like such, in our fishmonger there are the cooking methods listed below the price which is really handy.

  11. Very simple dish ,, but healthy and delicious. I love it.
    Thanks for posting the recipe here.

Leave a Reply, your comments are my inspiration

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: