My Version of Tinolang Manok

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I came upon an article by the pilgrim on tinolang manok where she mentioned substitute ingredients especially for green papayas. Here is my version. Got it from a colleague of mine about a couple of years ago who cooked it with potatoes as there are neither green papayas nor chayote here in Beijing. (Hmmm, I remember buying chayote once…)

The taste is definitely unlike nilaga but the yummy taste and texture of potatoes give it a distinct flavor. Also, like most tinola recipes I found online, he also saute the chicken instead of boiling it the way my mom does it. (Hers must be Batangueno style?) I have yet to try spinach as substitute for chili leaves.

1/2 kilo chicken, chopped into desired portions
3-4 tbsp. of crushed ginger
2 tbsp crushed garlic
1 small onion, sliced
1 bowl of potatoes, cut into chunks
patis (fish sauce)

Saute ginger and garlic until golden brown. Add chicken, season with patis and saute for about 3 minutes. Add the onions and saute for another minute.

Add about 3-5 cups of water and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the potatoes and bring to a boil. Season with salt and simmer until the chicken and potatoes are cooked. Serve hot with steamed rice.

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I am not a professional cook. My only claim to having a culinary background is a short stint as my dad’s teen ‘sous chef’ in his carinderia ages ago. Dad ran small eateries since I was a young kid - serving standard ‘turo-turo’ food ranging from the likes of menudo, adobo, pritong isda, dinuguan, binagoongan, bopis, munggo, pinakbet and giniling to merienda fares like goto, ginataan, pancit bihon, halu-halo and saging con yelo.

My father, a farmer in his hometown before working his way to becoming an accountant, definitely influenced my cooking in a lot of ways than I thought. My siblings and I were raised in a backyard full of fruit trees and vegetable garden. We spent weekends and the summer breaks running around with ducks, chickens, goats and pigs. I had wonderful memories of gathering eggs, butchering chickens, selling vegetables and the sweet aroma of preserved fruits. But my love for art led me to a degree in Architecture. Just few months after getting my license, I went abroad and lived independently at age 23. Definitely no maid, no cook, and a totally different food culture. Along the way I met lots of friends and spent what seemed a lifetime learning new tricks and recipes.

Now living in Auckland, I am a work-from-home mum who juggles time between work, fun and family - in pursuit of work-life balance. No matter how busy I am, I love the idea of cooking for my family. My blog chronicles home cooking greatly influenced by life outside my home country from Southeast Asia to Beijing and Auckland. And most of the time, being busy also means easy (sometimes quick), affordable meals.

4 thoughts on “My Version of Tinolang Manok

  1. Got good news – there are green papayas here in beijing. darling husband just bought some this weekend at huadu market. will definitely be cooking tinola this week. haven’t found chili leaves yet though

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