Chicken Ginger Stew (Tinolang Manok)

    55 min

    A classic Filipino chicken recipe. Chicken is cooked with garlic, ginger, fish sauce, chayote squash, pak choi and spinach. Serve with freshly cooked rice or whatever you fancy.

    72 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    • 1 (3.75cm) piece fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
    • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
    • 1.35kg chicken legs and thighs, rinsed and patted dry
    • 800ml chicken stock
    • 1 chayote squash, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • 1 head pak choi, chopped
    • 225g spinach

    Prep:30min  ›  Cook:25min  ›  Ready in:55min 

    1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat; cook and stir the onion and garlic in the hot oil until fragrant. Quickly stir the ginger and fish sauce into the onion and garlic mixture before adding the chicken; cook together for 5 minutes. Pour the chicken stock over the mixture and cook another 5 minutes. Add the chayote to the mixture and simmer until the chicken is no longer pink in the centre, about 10 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper. Add the pak choi and spinach; cook until the spinach is just wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve hot.


    Chayote squash can be found in Caribbean speciality stores or online.

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    Reviews in English (52)


    This was lovely. I actually used Kale instead of Chinese cabbage because didn't have any. It had a mild flavour. I personally will add a bit more ginger the next time because I love the taste of it. However, my parents loved it and said it didn't need anything else in it. I will be making it often because the only fat in it comes from the cooking oil and chicken. Thanks for posting.  -  20 Mar 2013


    I made this for a filipina friend of mine & she commented that it tasted good but the spinach was not something she grew up using. It was too strong a taste. Try pepper/sili leaves. She also makes this with/without the squash. It's not crucial if you just want soup now. What makes this dish distinct is the ginger , onion, & fish sauce(patis). I buy it in the asian market. Without this trifecta, you DO NOT have Tinola. Soy is not a substitution at all. Soy is a plant based product. Patis is animal based and although both are salty, soy is not multilayered in taste like patis. Maybe this is why some of you find it lacking depth when you use soy as a substitution. It's like saying a veggie burger tastes like dry aged prime rib steak. The secret of this broth is Patis. There are no substitutions unfortunately. I've had this made for me, where you dump it all into a pot to stew for a couple of hours & it tastes great. I don't even brown it. You can even substitute beef(don't brown it) for chicken, so my filipina friend tells me. I've had it & it tastes great. Btw I don't use chicken broth. I use water & season to taste(with more patis if necessary, never with more salt which is one dimensional) when the meat's done. You are essentially making a stock from scratch. It keeps the broth rich, the meat tender but the soup delicate. It's supposed to be delicate tasting but NOT bland. On a historical note, patis is the closest modern substitution for the ancient roman ingredient "garum".  -  09 Jul 2011  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    This is a great recipe. I use three chayote squashes and usually a box + a can of chicken broth (or sometimes I use 3 cans instead). I haven't used spinach before but baby bok choy or regular bok choy both make this delicious. I use a bit extra on the ginger and 1 large onion to make sure it's fragrant. No need for salt if you're using regular chicken broth. Easy, quick and wholesome! I love cooking from whole foods.  -  28 Mar 2011  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)