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Our Family's Traditional Tinolang (Chicken Ginger Soup)

This delicious soup is always the superstar at family gatherings. Everybody craves it, and it's always the first thing to disappear.

Tinolang Manok is a Tagalog term for chicken-ginger soup sautéed with onions and garlic, simmered with vegetables like the leaves of malunggay (moringa) and siling labuyo (Filipino bird's eye chili), and flavored with sliced green papaya. It is seasoned with pepper, salt, and fish sauce.

Our Tinolang Manok using native chicken is everybody's favorite. My auntie only prepares this on special occasions because, in Manila, this native chicken is rare. Cooking our Tinola requires advance planning.

We also call it our traditional Tinolang Manok because everything is old-fashioned—from finding and buying the chicken (because we need to buy them alive) to preparing it the old way (when it was natural for women to learn how to slaughter a chicken for a family meal). In our family, only Aunt Mele can prepare a chicken that way.

During family gatherings, this is the superstar of the dining table because everybody just craves it.

Native chicken is also more expensive, and we can't easily find it in the market or groceries. In our case (we're in Marikina), my cousins made a big-time effort to look for it. They even went as far as the Arrangue Market in Manila. Okay, I should not forget to mention that transporting it back home is agonizing because it's alive! My cousins have become "used" to that kind of sacrifice every year.


  • Green papaya, sliced
  • Chili leaves or pepper leaves (Dahon ng sili in Tagalog)
  • Malunggay leaves
  • Ginger, sliced thinly
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Fish sauce to taste
  • Chicken cubes (not required, depends on your taste)
  • Raw or uncooked rice, to be mixed with chicken blood and to be added in the broth while boiling
Tinolang Manok Ingredients

Tinolang Manok Ingredients


  1. In a sauce pan, heat oil. Saute garlic, onions, and ginger. Add chicken and cook 3 to 5 minutes until chicken turned white or half cooked.
  2. Pour in water or rice water (water collected from washing the rice). Bring to boil then simmer.
  3. Add the mixture of chicken blood and uncooked rice. Then add the green papaya.
  4. Continue simmering until the chicken and vegetables are tender.
  5. Season the soup with fish sauce, salt, and pepper (you can add the chicken cubes, not really required, but it depends on your taste).
  6. Add the pepper leaves and malunggay leaves.
  7. Cover and let simmer for 3 minutes or until the malunggay leaves and pepper leaves are cooked.
  8. Remove from heat and serve hot with fish sauce.

Cooking Tinola Using Earth Stove and Charcoal

We cook our Tinola the hard way because we have proven many times that the manner of cooking has something to do with the tenderness of the chicken and its distinctive taste.

We used the earth stove and charcoal, especially during the simmering part. Cooking tinola takes longer this way, and you need to be careful to maintain the fire by producing air manually using a fan (pamaypay in tagalog).

You may think we make our lives difficult just to serve this dish when we could easily go to big groceries and supermarkets to buy chicken and cook it on our gas range and double burner. But we are after the traditional taste that we love, and no matter how tired we are, nothing is better than the contentment that we see on the faces of our delighted family members when they eat this dish. Cooking Tiinola for us is more than cooking—it's also a labor of love.

Aunt Mele's Tinolang Native Chicken

© 2010 Maria Cecilia


Maria Cecilia (author) from Philippines on July 08, 2020:

Thanks for visiting too.

Maria Cecilia (author) from Philippines on January 06, 2011:

parang bachoy ang datin sa akin ng tinumis, iba rin ang batchoy ng mga tagalog sa taga iloilo di ba? sanay ako sa Native na tinolang manok, but the last time I went to Pampanga for a Teambuilding, ang pinatikim sa amin nilagang native na manok sa tanglad, masarap din siya, yun nga lang parang wala akong nakitang dugo na may rice,anyway nice meeting you emievil I thought snob ka honest... kaya natuwa ako nagcomment ka sa akin

emievil from Philippines on January 06, 2011:

Actually, taga Bocaue din father ko kaya pag nandun kami, request ko palagi eh either dinuguan or tinumis ( mas malabnaw ang dugo) or tinolang manok / native chicken :). ay oo nga pala, yup, ako yung may pamangkin na cute. nakatira na sila ngayon ng sister ko sa bocaue mismo, malapit sa mga kamag-anak namin. Okay na ako. Thanks.

Maria Cecilia (author) from Philippines on January 05, 2011:

Hi Emievil ang tinolang manok yata mas common sa mga tagalog region(Bulacan ang province ng mga ninuno ko)kaya di uso sa Mindanao, though you can cook it simply using ordinary chicken.. sa mga dogs ko naman yung Mario and Marie nila obviously came from my name (hihihi) Maria ako male version ko si Mario Peso, and Yung Marie ni PM, Pissie Marie. Peso kinuha ko Philippine currency , mahilig kasi ako magname ng dog na may kinalaman sa buhay ko, Peso came at the time na laging naiisip kong kailangan ko ng pera, only child kasi ako and nung dumating si Peso old na si mommy, kaya in a way bread winner ako, si Pisse Philippine currency din iyan, old currency ng Pinas, Piseta... 3rd dog ko si PM yung 2nd namatay last March real name niya Piseta Danica, Danica I derived from my ex's name (hihihi)so when Piseta Danica died and PM came, parang I just named my younger dog from her and myself... hahaha haba no... but thanks so much emievil from visiting.... without rechecking your profile, I think ikaw yung may cute na pamangkin, opp sorry to remind you that....medyo nagmark lang sa akin yung story mo kasi... I guess you are ok?

emievil from Philippines on January 05, 2011:

mmmm, tinolang manok. Love it with the chicken blood (although I seldom get to eat tinolang manok here kasi di yata uso dito sa Mindanao ganyang luto). Off - topic, pareho kayo name ng eldest sister ko, down to the spelling of the 'Maria' :). That's why I was drawn to your profile when I saw your name. Saw the names of your dogs in your profile - medyo curious lang ako saan mo nakuha mga pangalan nila?

Maria Cecilia (author) from Philippines on January 03, 2011:

ok you can call me Maricel

CarolineVABC from Castaic on January 03, 2011:

Oh I see...hahahaha...thanks-you made me feel better, Maria Cecilia!:-)

Maria Cecilia (author) from Philippines on January 02, 2011:

oo ako rin naman, di yata ako marunong magkatay ng manok no... hihihi... those were the days when all females were required to do it...

CarolineVABC from Castaic on January 02, 2011:

Hahaha-okay lang yun. I think my Mom uses chicken from the grocery store:-).

Maria Cecilia (author) from Philippines on January 02, 2011:

hahaah baka napilitan ka... goodluck....

CarolineVABC from Castaic on January 02, 2011:

Alrighty-I'll try it and with the cold/winter nights, this will probably be perfect to cook for my family!:-)

Maria Cecilia (author) from Philippines on January 02, 2011:

Caroline you can use ordinary chicken, those you can buy at the groceries....

CarolineVABC from Castaic on January 01, 2011:

I'm not really well-versed in cooking Filipino food, but I will try my best to emulate what you've done here:-).

Maria Cecilia (author) from Philippines on January 01, 2011:

Yes really yummy, you should try cooking it, it's like going back home....

CarolineVABC from Castaic on January 01, 2011:

Sounds yummy-thanks for sharing, Maria Cecilia!:-)

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