Chicken Tinola

Janny’s Chicken Tinola
submitted by Andrea Stunz

From a lot of the online Tinola recipes I’ve looked at, this one doesn’t appear to be a classic Filipino Tinola soup recipe. Most of them do not call for soy sauce and vinegar or lemon grass but this is how my Filipino friend in Singapore taught me to make it so this is the one you get.  Maybe not authentic but certainly delicious and how one Filipino and one Texan family eats it for sure.

I get my chicken from The Chicken Man, the basic ingredients at the grocery store and the produce at a local wet market. This time was the Tekka Market in Little India.

I’m a horrible food photographer but this is what my husband put on his plate. I like more of the chicken and juice on mine.

1/4 cup olive oil
4-5 chopped garlic cloves
1 thumb sized piece of chopped ginger
1-2 stalks lemon grass cut into about 3” pieces
3 diced medium tomatoes
1 medium onion
3-4 large boneless skinless chicken breasts or small chicken pieces with bones and skin if you prefer
About ½ cup vinegar (start with a little, you can always add more but it’s hard to take away if you get too much.)
About ½ cup soy sauce
1 medium-sized green papaya (unripe)
1 chicken bouillon cube (Maggi chicken broth)
Salt and pepper to taste
Large bunch (like a lot!) of Malunggay leaves if you can find them. I found them at Tekka Market but you have to get them first thing in the morning or they’re all gone. Take the leaves off of the stems and only use the leaves.

Heat up olive oil with salt and pepper. Add chopped garlic, ginger and onion until light brown. Add tomatoes and lemon grass and cook down a little bit. Add chicken pieces or cubes and cook until chicken is cooked through. Then add in vinegar and soy sauce to taste. Throw in the bouillon cube and dissolve. Add a little water if you want it to be more soupy but not too much to drown out the flavour. Add the papaya and cook until tender. Add Malunggay leaves at the very end and salt and pepper if needed. Serve with rice.

Here’s a recipe using the fish sauce that includes a video of a guy making it. I can only understand about 10 of the words he says but it’s good to see how he puts it together. Except on his #4 step, when he writes “rice washing” I think he means “rice water”.

And another one.

Malunggay Leaves – quite impressive in the nutrient department!


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