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Ginataang Manok (Filipino Chicken Stew With Coconut Milk)

Filipino-style chicken and coconut milk stew

Filipino-style chicken and coconut milk stew

Chicken With Coconut Milk: Filipino Recipe

Coconut trees are abundant in the Asia-Pacific regions—it's not surprising that the local cuisines make good use of coconut milk. The Philippines is no exception. And since chicken is cheap, ginataang manok, or chicken stew simmered in coconut milk, is a common dish.

Traditionally, Filipino cooks prepare their own coconut milk (known as gata in Tagalog); however, I took a shortcut and used canned coconut milk for this recipe. This makes it possible to prepare the dish much more quickly.

This recipe calls for chicken (or manok in Tagalog), but you substitute other protein sources, as well, such as pork.

Traditional versions of this stew call for acorn squash, but I used butternut squash, which I bought pre-packaged and pre-cubed at my local grocery store.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

10 min

40 min

50 min

4 servings


  • 1 pound chicken legs or thighs
  • 1 (13.5-ounce) can coconut milk
  • 1 (10- to 12-ounce) bag fresh or frozen cubed butternut squash
  • 2 teaspoons fresh or bottled garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, julienned
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 chili pepper, sliced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a pot, saute the garlic, onions, and ginger in oil for 1 minute over medium heat.
  2. Add the chicken and lightly brown it.
  3. Pour in the coconut milk, fish sauce, and chili pepper. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes until chicken is cooked. Add more water if a thinner consistency is desired.
  4. Add the squash and cook for about 5-7 more minutes or until the squash is tender.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


  • You can add other vegetables as well, such as green beans.
  • Substitute pork or any other meat or seafood.
  • For a milder, non-spicy stew, omit the chili pepper.