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Chicken Tinola (Tinolang Manok)

If you love ginger then this Chicken Tinola is for you. A simple everyday Filipino soup that is very healthy and flavorful.  This Tinola recipe is made with chicken, ginger, garlic, onion, fish sauce, chayote, red chili leaves, and with lemongrass.

Chicken Tinola Recipe

Chicken Tinola or just Tinola is 100% Pinoy dish. You will not find anything like it from our neighboring Asian countries or even around the globe. I would say that next to Adobo, Tinola is the most favorite dish in every Filipino household commonly served for lunch or dinner…with rice of course.

What is Tinola

Put simply, Tinola is a Filipino dish with chicken pieces cooked in ginger-flavored broth. It also usually has chayote or green papaya and green leaves like chili leaves or malunggay (moringa).

The addition of lemongrass is optional, but it enhances the ginger flavor of the soup and gives the dish a refreshing aroma.

It is no wonder that every time I feel that I am about to get sick or when it is getting too cold for me, I would crave for this dish. It is some kind of comfort food I guess…keeps you warm and healthy from all the good stuff in it.

Tinola Ingredients

The basic ingredients for Tinola are:

  • chicken pieces
  • ginger
  • garlic
  • onions
  • fish sauce
  • chayote (sayote) or unripe papaya
  • chili leaves or moringa (malunggay)

Tinola Ingredients

How to cook Tinola

  1. Saute ginger, garlic, onions in hot oil until aromatic.
  2. Add the chicken pieces and fish sauce and render until fats and juices come out.
  3. Pour in water and bring to boil. Cook until meat is tender.
  4. Add the sayote or green papaya and cook until soft.
  5. Lastly, add the chili or malunggay leaves.

How to cook Tinola

I was actually surprised (and feeling proud) that Armin liked Tinola the first time he tried it. He likes ginger, really like a lot! Which is good because I like it too!!! Sometimes he would actually request for it himself and, of course, I would happily oblige. But I have to put in some extra ginger or there will be war! It is like a contest on who gets to find more ginger strips from the soup bowl…or the fastest!

I was also surprised that he likes ‘sayote’ or chayote squash which is a typical ingredient of Tinola along with chili/pepper leaves. Unripe papaya is also commonly used instead of chayote squash.

I, personally, prefer chili leaves over malunggay for Tinola. They impart different tastes and I like the added leafy and mild peppery flavor of the chili leaves and sometimes it gives out a hint of spiciness.

I actually planted (a lot of) chili peppers just so I can have access to the leaves for cooking Tinola. That is fine as we like chili peppers too so its all good, almost nothing goes to waste from the plant then..hehe.

Chicken Tinola Recipe with lemongrass

Other Filipino Soups to warm you!


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Tinola with ginger, sayote, chili leaves and lemongrass
5 from 2 votes

Chicken Tinola (Tinolang Manok)

Tinola is a Filipino dish with chicken pieces cooked in ginger-flavored broth. It also usually has chayote or green papaya and green leaves like chili leaves or malunggay (moringa). Perfect during the rainy and cold season to keep you fit and warm.
Print Rate
Course: Main Course,Soup
Cuisine: Asian,Filipino
Keyword: chicken tinola,tinola,tinolang manok
Servings: 6
Calories: 436kcal
Author: Bebs
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 3 thumb ginger root - - cut into strips
  • 2 big cloves garlic - - minced
  • 1 medium onion - - coarsely chopped
  • 2 pounds chicken - - cut into serving pieces
  • 4-5 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 stalks lemongrass - - optional
  • 1 chayote or green pap - - cut into wedges
  • 1 cup chili or malunggay leaves


  • In a pot over medium heat, saute ginger, garlic, and onion in oil until tender.
  • Add in the chicken pieces and fish sauce. Cover and let simmer for 5 minutes. Juices and some fat will usually come out from the chicken.
  • Add water and lemongrass. Bring to boil. Once it starts to boil, lower heat and cover pot. Let it simmer for 20 minutes or until chicken is tender.
  • Add the chayote or green papaya and let it cook for 5 minutes or until it becomes soft.
  • Add more fish sauce or salt if needed.
  • Lastly, mix in the chili or malunggay and simmer for another minute.
  • Transfer to bowls and serve while hot with rice.



In case you do not have fish sauce, you can use salt. 
Nutrition Facts
Chicken Tinola (Tinolang Manok)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 436 Calories from Fat 288
% Daily Value*
Fat 32g49%
Saturated Fat 7g35%
Cholesterol 113mg38%
Sodium 1062mg44%
Potassium 428mg12%
Carbohydrates 6g2%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 29g58%
Vitamin A 210IU4%
Vitamin C 8.5mg10%
Calcium 45mg5%
Iron 1.7mg9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe? Tell us how it went. Tag us at @foxyfolksy or leave a comment and rating below.

This Tinola recipe was originally published in August 2015. Updated to include new photos and changed the recipe from 4 servings to 6 with the inclusion of lemongrass in the ingredients that makes the dish more flavorful. 




Bebs here! I love to cook and try new things and DIY projects! And although I think of myself as a homebody, I like seeing other places from time to time.
If you are looking for a recipe and it ain't here, make a request and I will try my best to make it for you!

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  1. 5 stars
    Hi I like your recipe easy to follow and understand, I want to make pandesal ( I don’t cook or. bake) did look website for recipe OMG my husband can’t believe it he said you can bake !!! Pandesal was so good , perfect soft fluffy then I did cook Chicken Tinola so good so inspire me to cook or bake more because all your recipes TY so much do you have recipe books I can buy I would like to buy please

    1. Hi Minkou, glad you liked the recipes. I will let you know when I have a recipe book out. But if you sign-up to my newsletter you will receive a link to download a free eCookbook…

  2. 5 stars
    Another great Filipino comfort food. I like your recipe because it keeps it simple. Braising the chicken pieces on the sauteed ginger, onion, garlic and fish sauce is what makes the chicken aromatic and the broth flavorful. Most Filipinos eat this with a fish sauce and chili dipping. I think that is the best way of eating it. However in our family, each one of us makes our own dipping sauce. My Dad makes a paste of Coleman English mustard and dabs the chicken, I make a coarse sea salt and sesame oil mix and drip the chicken with the oil and put a grain or two of the salt, my wife dips it in prepared ginger oil, and my brother just put fish sauce and tabasco. I guess it is to each his own when it comes to savoring the food you’re eating.

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