Chicken Tinola Recipe from the Philippines - Authentic and Flavorful

Chicken Tinola from the Philippines

Chicken Tinola Recipe from the Philippines - Authentic and Flavorful
Region / culture: Philippines | Preparation time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 45 minutes | Servings: 4


Chicken Tinola from the Philippines
Chicken Tinola from the Philippines

Chicken Tinola is a popular Filipino dish known for its light and refreshing flavor. This soup-based dish is made with chicken, ginger, papaya, and chili pepper leaves, creating a comforting and nutritious meal.


Chicken Tinola has been a staple in Filipino households for generations. It is often served as a comforting meal during rainy days or when someone is feeling under the weather. The dish is believed to have originated from the northern regions of the Philippines and has since become a beloved dish throughout the country.


How to prepare

  1. Fry the garlic in hot cooking oil until it turns brown.
  2. Add the ginger and chopped onions.
  3. Cook until they become soft.
  4. Drop in pieces of chicken.
  5. Season with fish sauce.
  6. Cover and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
  7. Add the rice water and simmer until the chicken becomes tender.
  8. Add the sliced papaya and cook until the papaya becomes tender.
  9. Just before removing from the fire, season with salt and pepper.
  10. Add the leaves.
  11. Serve hot.


  • You can add malunggay leaves or spinach instead of chili pepper leaves for a different flavor profile.
  • Some variations include adding green beans or sayote (chayote) to the dish.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To enhance the flavor of the dish, use homemade chicken broth instead of water.

- For a richer taste, you can add a chicken bouillon cube to the broth.

- Make sure to simmer the chicken until it is tender to ensure a flavorful and tender meat.

- Adjust the amount of chili pepper leaves according to your preference for spiciness.

Serving Suggestions

Serve Chicken Tinola with steamed rice for a complete meal.

Cooking Techniques

Simmering the chicken in the broth allows the flavors to meld together and creates a flavorful broth.

Ingredient Substitutions

You can use chicken breast or thighs instead of a whole stewing chicken.

- If green papaya is not available, you can use chayote as a substitute.

Make Ahead Tips

Chicken Tinola can be made ahead of time and reheated before serving. The flavors will continue to develop as it sits.

Presentation Ideas

Garnish the Chicken Tinola with fresh chili pepper slices for a pop of color.

Pairing Recommendations

Serve Chicken Tinola with a side of steamed rice and a side of pickled green papaya for a complete meal.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in a pot over low heat until warmed through.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

250 per serving


10g per serving


8g per serving


25g per serving

Vitamins and minerals

Chicken Tinola is rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Iron.


Allergens: Fish sauce


Chicken Tinola is a nutritious dish that is high in protein and vitamins. It is a great source of essential nutrients and is relatively low in calories.


Chicken Tinola is a comforting and nutritious Filipino dish that is perfect for any occasion. With its simple ingredients and delicious flavors, it is sure to become a favorite in your household.

How did I get this recipe?

I can still remember the exact moment I stumbled upon this recipe for Chicken Tinola. It was a warm summer day, with the sun beating down on me as I walked through the bustling streets of Manila. I had always been drawn to the vibrant colors and exotic flavors of Filipino cuisine, and I was eager to learn more about the local dishes.

As I wandered through the market, the intoxicating aroma of garlic and ginger wafted through the air, leading me towards a small stall nestled in the corner. There, a kind old woman was busy chopping vegetables and simmering a pot of fragrant broth. Intrigued, I approached her and struck up a conversation.

She told me that she was making Chicken Tinola, a traditional Filipino soup known for its comforting and nourishing qualities. As she shared the recipe with me, I was captivated by the simplicity and elegance of the dish. It was made with just a handful of ingredients – chicken, ginger, garlic, green papaya, and chili leaves – yet the flavors were robust and complex.

I watched intently as the old woman prepared the soup, noting each step and technique with care. She explained that the key to a good Chicken Tinola was to use fresh, high-quality ingredients and to simmer the broth slowly to allow the flavors to meld together. She also emphasized the importance of using a whole chicken, as the bones and skin would infuse the soup with rich, savory goodness.

After several hours of simmering, the soup was ready. I eagerly ladled myself a bowl and took my first taste. The broth was clear and fragrant, with a subtle heat from the ginger and chili leaves. The tender chicken and crisp green papaya added a satisfying texture, while the garlic added a depth of flavor that lingered on my palate. It was a revelation – simple yet sublime, hearty yet light.

From that day on, Chicken Tinola became a staple in my cooking repertoire. I would make it for my family and friends, sharing the recipe with anyone who would listen. Over the years, I refined and perfected the dish, adding my own personal touches and variations to make it truly my own.

I learned to source the freshest ingredients from local markets and farms, choosing organic chicken and heirloom vegetables whenever possible. I experimented with different herbs and spices, infusing the broth with lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, and star anise to add a Southeast Asian twist. I even tried substituting the green papaya with other vegetables like chayote and squash, creating new and exciting flavor combinations.

As I continued to cook and share my Chicken Tinola recipe, I found that it had a magical quality that brought people together. It was a dish that transcended cultural boundaries, uniting strangers and loved ones alike around the communal table. Whether served at a family gathering or a neighborhood potluck, the soup never failed to elicit smiles and nods of approval.

Through the years, my love for Chicken Tinola only grew stronger. It was more than just a recipe – it was a connection to the rich culinary heritage of the Philippines, a reminder of the warmth and generosity of the people I had met on my travels. Each time I made the soup, I felt a sense of gratitude and reverence for the old woman who had shared her knowledge and passion with me that fateful day.

And so, whenever I prepare a steaming pot of Chicken Tinola, I do so with a heart full of memories and a spirit of gratitude. For in that humble soup lies a world of flavors, stories, and traditions that have enriched my life in ways I could never have imagined. And for that, I am forever thankful.


| Chicken Recipes | Chile Leaf Recipes | Filipino Meat Dishes | Filipino Recipes | Green Papaya Recipes | World Recipes |

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