Chicken,  Delicious,  Ethnic,  Filipino,  Meat,  Rice,  Sides,  Snack,  Soup

Tinola – Filipino Chicken Soup

Tinola - A Filipino Chicken SoupI was introduced to Tinola years ago while visiting with my in-laws. From what I learned at the time, tinola was typically made when ‘Uncle Tony’ came over to visit my father-n-law. Tinola was Uncle Tony’s favorite dish, and after tasting it, I could not have agreed more with Uncle Tony. This soup brought my father-n-law and Uncle Tony together. A bowl of comforting soup brought up stories from when they were growing up in the Philippines; from what I know. This soup reminds me of an traditional chicken soup, but jazzed up with some really killer ingredients.

Today was one of those days in Milwaukee where it was just a gloomy day filled with rain and cold temperatures, and coming off a recent weekend at a water park, this was one dish I was looking forward to making. A dish so comforting that it warmed the soul.


  • Whole chicken, cleaned and cut up
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 inches of fresh ginger, skin removed, smashed and thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, rough chopped
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce (patis)
  • 1 cup of rice water (soak rice in water for an hour, drain and reserve water)
  • 6 cups of chicken stock, warmed
  • 1/4 of frozen spinach, thawed, and drained or 2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
  • Pinch of pepper
  • Cooked white rice (optional)
  • chili flakes (garnish, optional)
  • thinly sliced green onion (garnish, optional)

Begin by bringing a large soup pot to a medium-high heat. Once heated, add in the olive oil. Add in your ginger, garlic, and onion and stir fry for a few minutes, being careful not to burn anything. During this time, add the stock and rice water to a pot, and begin to warm it up. Next, add in your chicken pieces, skin side down to the onion, ginger, and garlic mixture. Brown the chicken, for about 7-10 minutes, then add in the fish sauce.  Next, add in your stock, spinach, and rice water, bringing it all together, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and walk away. Come back in about 45 minutes to an hour.

To a large soup bowl, add a large spoonful of cooked white rice. Ladle in your the broth, get some chicken pieces in there (drum stick, thigh, wing, or breast), add a bit of black pepper, chili flakes, and green onion.

Trust me on this, it is a sure winner on any day of the week, but when you are looking for comfort on a rainy, cold day, this one is a must. I hope you enjoy.


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