To set things correctly Tinola is a cooking method not a dish, while its used as the generic name for the usual Filipino Chicken soup dish, it is not restricted to that dish that is why the term is also used in dishes like Tinolang Tahong, Tinolang Halaan and this dish Tinolang Isda. This method of cooking basically starts always with the sautéing of garlic, onions and ginger, then a protein is added, the stock is poured and boiled before finishing it off with some leafy greens like bok choy and/or chilli leaves. It’s a very simple dish but that sautéing method gives it a lot of flavour and to give my recipe and extra edge over others I usually brown the protein first before cooking it in stock which gives it a richer taste.
- Generously salt fish with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set it aside.
- In a pot heat oil then pan fry the fish pieces until brown on both sides. Remove fish from the pot then set aside.
- Add garlic, onions and ginger then sauté until onions are soft.
- Add the fish back then pour the seafood stock. Bring to a boil then simmer for 12 minutes.
- Add the bok choy and spring onions, cover and simmer for 3 more minutes.
- Season with fish sauce and freshly ground pepper.