Tinolang Manok with Papaya and Malunggay:Whoever said that tinola is just chicken water probably needs to find a better cook. I was scrolling through Twitter a few days ago when I saw that one of the trending topics is “tinola”. “Oooh one of my favorite Filipino dishes!”, I said. As I looked through the tweets I realized that the reason why it’s trending is because some people actually hate tinola – even going so far as calling it “tasteless chickens water”. I dunno who’s cooking for them but I got a piece of advice – season, season, season!
I grew up loving tinolang manok, and it’s actually one of the few ways that you can get me to eat leafy vegetables like malunggay. It’s a plus if there’s a lot of green papaya too! The tinola I know is a fragrant chicken soup, with broth that’s a happy mix of salty, spicy, and mildly sweet. In the province, they use native chicken (or as we call it in Bukidnon – “manok nga bisaya”) when making tinola, and for some reason this makes the dish more savory and delicious!
It’s difficult to find native chicken in Manila but you can still make delicious tinolang manok with the regular commercial chicken available in supermarkets. Here’s how:
Tinolang Manok with Papaya and Malunggay Recipe
Malunggay leaves aka moringga (removed from stalks)
1 medium-sized green papaya (peeled and wedged)
1 large onion (chopped)
5-8 garlic cloves (minced)
1 medium-sized ginger (julienned)
½ kilo chicken (tinola cut)
2 tbsps patis (fish sauce)
4-5 cups of water
1 Knorr chicken broth cubes
2 tbsps canola oil (or Extra Virgin Olive oil)
How to Cook Tinola
Saute the garlic, onion, and ginger in oil
Add the chicken and saute until the meat is white on all sides.
Add water and simmer for 30-40 minutes, or until the chicken is tender and cooked.
Gently put the green papaya slices and stir. Cover for around 5 minutes or until the papaya is tender.
Finally, add the malunggay leaves and mix well. Let cook for about a minute.
Since chicken tinola uses a lot of malunggay, this is a good food for lactation. Some variations of tinola use hot pepper leaves (dahon ng sili) instead of malunggay. I’ve also tried tinola that use lemon grass (tanglad) to make the broth more fragrant and flavorful.