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Tinola: A Favorite Philippine Cuisine

Tinola: A Favorite Philippine Cuisine

Worried about having guests for dinner? Thinking of what delicious food to serve that would also be economical to serve? Thinking of having food delivered or eating out? Hold one’s horses! Here’s a favorite Philippine cuisine that is super tangy and super cost-effective—yet is a common native dish in classy restaurants. And here’s the best part, the bonus. This Philippine cuisine can be served with some hot supplements to really work out sweat in its devourer.

Introducing the Philippine cuisine “Tinola.” It is not only delicious and inexpensive; it is also a healthy balanced food for your guests and family. This Philippine cuisine can be cooked with various main ingredients: chicken, milkfish, shellfish, or even edible, cultured frogs. But in most cases chicken is used in this native dish, especially the native chicken. So for a kilo of chicken, one needs an average size ginger, onions, native “sili” (chili) leaves, a small green papaya, eight garlic pieces, about four cups of water, and some 4 spoons of fish sauce (“patis”) to taste.

Cooking this Philippine cuisine is quick and easy. Just sauté chicken in right amount of cooking oil with sliced ginger, garlic and onions. Make sure the spices (especially the ginger) turn light brown first before joining in the chicken pieces—and the fish sauce. After a minute of sautéing, pour in water and sliced papaya and boil until everything is tender. Finally, put in the “sili” leaves, simmer for another minute, and there we have it. Now here’s to give it some delectable kick: serve hot with a separate fish sauce with ground raw “sili” in a small saucer.

A really old style of cooking this native dish is using a live chicken. After slaughtering, the chicken’s blood is mixed with raw rice and put in the pot when everything is tender.

Now, if native chicken is used, the cooking gets yummier flavors. But more time will be devoted to tenderize the chicken flesh. Native chicken are often tough (so get younger ones). But they’re also known for bringing out pungent chicken flavor.

So we use the same procedure with sautéing and all, but when water is poured with the papaya, more time is needed to simmer everything. Hold the “sili” leaves awhile. When the flesh gets tender enough (How do you know it’s tender? Sample it) the leaves go in next. Simmer a minute and serve.

Tinola has been a Filipino solution to affordable but classy and tasty native dish. This Philippine cuisine easily impresses guests of any nationality with regards to taste, aroma, appeal, and balance.


  1. Loverboy181

    My wife makes Tinola for us now. I commented it’s like a chunky chicken soup before blending, but lacks some taste.
    But it would not be Tinola if you changed the recipe. Well that is the beauty of cooking (she doesn’t do much of it), you experiment and maybe come up with something new and tastier.
    So try this in your Tinola.
    Capsicum, Sweet Potato,Celery, Corriander, Black Pepper, Chilli.
    Mix and match until you find a blend you enjoy.
    Another is rice. Of course Asian’s love it with rice but try mixing in a few steamed vegetables when you serve it in the individual bowls.
    Carrot, Broccoli and Cauliflower are my favorites.
    So there you have it. Well away from the native Tinola…We call it Ozola and when our daughter gives it the tick of approval I know its made the grade.

  2. Blessilda O. Villareal

    Tinola is really good. I suggest that when tinola is almost done, turn off the stove and place the “Sili” leaves, or “basil” leaves. Cover the pan immediately. The remaining heat and steam is enough to cook the leaves. Just a tip to prevent overcooking. Enjoy our delicious Philippine “Chicken Soup”.

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