Aside from sinigang (tamarind based soup), tinolang manok is my favorite soup when I was growing up. It is traditionally consists of chicken cooked in broth flavored with ginger, onion and fish sauce. Green papaya and pepper leaves are then added afterwards.
My mom’s tinola is different from the traditional one. She uses semi-ripe papaya instead of a green one. I have tried both and I still prefer the semi-ripe one. The broth tastes better and adds certain sweetness to it. Others use malunggay leaves instead of pepper leaves but personally I prefer spinach for the simple reason that it is readily available here in Vancouver.
- 2 lbs skinless chicken thighs or any chicken pieces of your choice
- 1 thumb size ginger, peeled and julienned
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce or salt
- 12 cups water
- 1 semi-ripe papaya peeled, seeds removed and cut into cubes
- Bunch spinach or pepper leaves, stems removed, washed and drained
- 2 pieces Serrano peppers (optional)
- Sprinkle chicken pieces with salt. Set aside.
- In a stockpot, sauté ginger and onions over medium high heat for 2 minutes.
- Add chicken pieces and cook for 4 minutes or until the meats are no longer pink.
- Add fish sauce and stir to combine flavor.
- Add water, let boil, lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until the meats are cooked.
- Add papaya and cook for 5 minutes or until the papaya pieces are tender.
- Correct seasonings by adding fish sauce or salt. Add spinach or pepper leaves and serrano peppers, if using. Cover and remove from heat.
- Let stand for 5 minutes. Serve and enjoy!