FFE Magazine

Have a warm bowl of Chicken Tinola

small3Tinola is a soup- based dish served as appetizer but prepared by majority of Filipinos as a main dish. Its dominant ingredient is ginger and is always served with rice. Tinola is said to have been developed during the 19th century, it’s been that long!


Interestingly, the Tinola was picked by Jose Rizal in his novel the Noli Me Tangere to highlight the arrogance of one of the antagonist in the story, Padre Damaso the Spanish friar, who complained when the unsavoury parts of the chicken such as the neck were served to him for dinner.


Aside from the chicken, vegetables are also added to the Tinola. The most common ones are papaya, malunggay or moringa, and chayote. Do you know that there is also a variety of Tinola which uses pork and tahong or mussels instead of chicken?


In this recipe, I will teach you how to cook Chicken Tinola and try making it in your home!






1 whole chicken, cut into serving pieces



1 green papaya, cut in cubes

1 ginger root, sliced into strips

4 cloves garlic, crushed

1 medium red onion, sliced

4 cups of rice water

1/2 cup moringa (malunggay) leaves

Fish sauce (patis)

Salt and pepper, to season




Sauté garlic, ginger and onion in a casserole


Add chicken until cooked or slightly brown


Stir fry with fish sauce to taste


Add rice water. Bring it to a boil for 30-45 minutes or until chicken is tender.


Add papaya and season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes.


Add the malunggay leaves and let it simmer for 1 minute.


Serve it hot with rice and that’s it! Enjoy Tinola!




small4Tita Kathy’s tip:


If you cannot find any malunggay leaves in your local grocery, replace them with siling labuyo (chilli pepper) leaves (you can find these in Thai shops if there are no Filipino shops in your area) or any other leafy vegetable.


Simmer the Tinola longer for the soup to be more flavourful and the chicken to be more tender! Until next time!





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