How To Cook Tinolang Manok ( Chicken Tinola Recipe )

Any time a home-style Filipino dish is mentioned, one name you won’t miss on the list is the Tinolang Manok. This is perfect and recommended food for lovers of exotic flavored foods.

There comes a time when a hearty bowl of soup is all you crave for; at such times, this flavorful recipe is all that you need. This dish can be served either as a main entrée alongside white rice or as an appetizer. The best part about this soup for me is that it is very easy to prepare. As simple as the dish is, its taste and nutritional value are excellent.

As far as traditional Filipino cuisine is concerned, this recipe is an irreplaceable part.


A Brief History Of Chicken Tinola

tinolang manok

Every culture possesses different versions of recipes and dishes, and Tinolang Manok happens to be the Philippines version of chicken soup.

Although the origin of this chicken tinola has not been clearly agreed upon, the first mention and referencing was about two hundred years ago, particularly in the late 1800s. But, it is said that it must have existed earlier.

Ever since, this recipe has been a favorite dish among Filipinos. It is simply prepared by cooking the chicken in ginger broth, together with ingredients such as chayote squash, green papaya; pepper leaves, fish sauce, and ginger for flavoring.

With all these wonderful additions, the end product is nothing short of a refreshing meal.

Over the years, variants of this dish have evolved, due to individual preference or availability of ingredients (even though the original idea is still maintained).

For instance, the chicken can be substituted with pork, fish, or seafood. Also, green papaya can be substituted with Calabash or Chayote.

Furthermore, in the place of pepper leaves, you can make use of other leafy vegetables such as spinach, pechay, mustard greens, moringa leaves, and so on. You may also choose to include additional ingredients like tomatoes and potatoes.


Selecting the Best Chicken Meat – Useful Tips

chicken tinola

One of the crucial aspects of preparing this aromatic dish is the selection of chicken meat. This boils down to many factors such as your preference and that of your family. When it comes down to your diet, how do you prioritize between being flavorful, healthy, or simply affordable? This will impact on your choice of Chicken meat part.

Chicken Thigh

This is an option for flavor lovers. One part of a chicken known to pack a great deal of flavor is the thigh. This is because of the good amount of fat packed in such parts.

On sauting the meat, the fat tends to melt in with the ingredients; and together with the contribution of the bone, the outcome is the bold and flavorful goodness of Tinolang Manok.

Chicken Breast

The chicken breast has been quite a favorite and popular option for Tinola lovers on a diet. It is obviously subtler in terms of having a meaty taste due to its leanness and the absence of enough fat. The upside to this is that it is healthier than other chicken cuts.

Chicken Wings

If you are considering a more affordable variant of the Tinolang manok recipe, this is your option.

This is not to say that because it is affordable, it is going to disappoint when it comes to taste and nutrition. But, these cuts allows for a great tasting wallet-friendly recipe.


Additional Tips

To get the best value out of your recipe, you want to keep a few things in mind.

1. Ensure your chicken is well dried before searing. You can achieve this with the use of paper towels as this helps to absorb the moisture from the chicken. This goes a long way to avoid any form of sticking to the pan and thus saving you a lot of time on dishwashing.

2. Make use of rice water instead of the usual plain water. This is a great way to level up the taste of your recipe. It is most likely that you are going to prepare rice alongside your recipe for Tinolang manok. All you should do is set aside the water for use when it’s time for preparing your soup.

3. You can mix different chicken cuts and you should. This helps to achieve a full-bodied and more balanced ingredients of tinolang manok. There are no limitations to mixing cuts, but it is recommended that you keep them bite-sized and small to make cooking easier.


Health Benefits of Tinolang Manok

More than just being an easy-to-make and delicious meal, Tinola recipe is also a very healthy meal. It holds a lot of health benefits, listed below are some:

It is rich in Protein

It is obvious that the high point of this dish is chicken which is, in turn, a rich source of protein is a very essential ingredient for the body’s growth process. It helps the body’s generation of new cells and repair of existing ones.

It is rich in Vitamins and Minerals

if you opt for Malungay, this dish is doubtless loaded with a lot of vitamins and minerals. Particularly included in this mix are vitamins such as A, B, and C; which goes a long way in balancing the cholesterol level of the body.

Also included are Potassium and calcium which is helpful in normalizing blood sugar levels.

It is loaded with Antioxidants

Thanks to the Papaya, you have yourself a dish chock-full of essential antioxidants. Antioxidants help the body fight against free radicals and deterioration of the body. The result is a strong and youthful body.

Ingredients such as onion and garlic are also packed with antioxidants properties that help to reduce colon and breast cancers.

Soothes the Tummy and Throat

Ginger is one food that is known for its ability to help with alleviating discomfort related to the digestive tract. They also do a great job of alleviating and fighting against inflammation caused associated with a sore throat.


tinolang manok

Tinolang Manok

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Filipino
Servings 4


  • 1 tbsp Olive oil (or canola oil)
  • 1 Small onion, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 3 cloves Garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 Thumb-sized fresh ginger
  • 2 lbs Mix chicken part
  • 2 tbsp Fish sauce
  • 5 cups Water
  • 1 Small green papaya, pared, seeded and cut into 2-inch wedges
  • 1 bunch Fresh spinach leaves, stems trimmed
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • In a pot over medium heat, heat oil. Add garlic, onions and ginger. Cook until softened.
  • Add chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 to 7 minutes or until chicken starts to change color and juices run clear.
  • Add fish sauce and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add water and bring to a boil, skimming scum that floats on top. Lower heat, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
  • Add papaya and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes or until tender yet crisp.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add spinach and push down into the broth. Cook until just wilted. Serve hot.


Keyword Tinolang Manok

Recipe Inspiration

Tinolang Manok Recipe


Final Words On How To Make Tinolang Manok

The Chicken Tinola is a favorite and staple amongst the Filipinos, any time, any day. This is no surprise owing to the ease it offers when cooking, the versatility of the different variants, its great taste, and the health benefits.

This is one dish you want to try out, should you find yourself in or around the Philippines. Whether you’re on the hunt for a wallet-friendly, flavorful or healthy meal, the Tinolang Manok got you covered.

If you have questions about the Tinolang Manok dish? Please feel free to ask your questions using the comment section below. If you have any experience with this recipe, I would appreciate your contribution.

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