TINOLA 101: Choosing the Best Chicken Meat
July 14, 2020 | 2:30 pm
Every culture has its own version of chicken soup. In the Philippines, we call it Tinola. Its rich broth is made savory by the sautéed goodness of garlic, onions, papaya, chicken meat, ginger, and patis (fish sauce) giving it a bold, distinctive soothing taste that is very Pinoy.
In fact, our National Hero Jose Rizal even chose to reference Tinolang Manok, out of all Filipino dishes, in his first novel, Noli Me Tangere. This says a lot about Tinolang Manok’s role in Filipino Cuisine. It is an iconic Pinoy chicken dish that every Filipino should know how to perfect.
CHICKEN TINOLA’S HISTORY AND ORIGIN
The Tinolang Manok recipe is said to be invented in the late 1800s, that’s around two hundred years ago! But some believe the recipe was developed way earlier. Regardless of its origin, it has evolved into a dish that we can proudly call our own. The Tinolang Manok is a signature Pinoy ulam that stood through the test of time—a chicken dish we we still love and enjoy today.
THE EVOLUTION OF THE RECIPE
Tinolang Manok, like any other Filipino dish, is a fairly easy and affordable one-pot ulam recipe. It’s so simple that every household has given a different spin to it. Some add patola, sayote, malunggay, tanglad (lemongrass) and even dahon ng sili for a little spice surprise! Others take it to the next level and use different kinds of meat: pork, beef, even seafood! No matter the ingredients, every version of this classic Pinoy dish is a win. Check out this link to know more about different Tinola recipes:
Our National Hero Jose P. Rizal even shared his own personal Tinolang Manok recipe in his final penned work, Mi Ultimo Adios. It’s safe to say that Tinolang Manok was indeed his favorite Filipino dish.
MASTERING THE TINOLA RECIPE
To cook up a really delicious Tinolang Manok recipe for your family, there are a few things you have to keep in mind. First, make sure to dry your chicken before searing. Use paper towels to absorb moisture from your chicken before you proceed with the cooking process. Just tap until the chicken pieces are dry! This way, your chicken won’t stick to the pan. Saves you a lot of dishwashing time as well!
And for a thicker and richer broth, try using rice water. Plain water works fine but if you are ready to level up your Tinolang Manok recipe, rice water is definitely worth a try. It’s simple to make. Just gather the water you used to wash your rice, and set it aside. Use it once it’s time to make your Tinolang Manok broth. You can thank us later!
And last but not the least, remember that in cooking Tinolang Manok, the selection of chicken meat is crucial. You have to know your family’s preference when it comes to flavor and diet. Do you want a broth that’s packed with flavor? Is affordability the priority? Or are you leaning towards the healthier side? We got you covered! In cooking Tinolang Manok, it’s okay to be bold with the ingredients, but the trick is in the cut! Here are a few tips in selecting the best chicken meat for this ulam recipe! Let’s make your Tinolang Manok a dinner winner!
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