Tinolang Manok


This chicken dish, which is cooked with sliced papaya or chayote (whichever is available), ginger, and chili/pepper leaves is what I always look forward to on rainy days or when recuperating from a cold or flu.  Tinolang manok is also an everyday dish because it is  easy to prepare and its ingredients are often readily available in any Filipino kitchen.  When cooking this dish, I prefer to use fresh pepper or chili leaves.  If these are not available, frozen chili leaves or spinach may be used.

What makes this dish different from other chicken soup is the warm aroma and spiciness of the ginger-infused broth that is sweet and savory.  It can be eaten as a side dish or a main dish.

I can’t wait. Let’s get cooking!


  • 5-6 slices of chicken thighs and breast
  • 2 chayote (peeled and cut )
  • 1 pack of frozen/ 1 bunch of chili or pepper leaves
  • 1 small onion
  • 2  tbsp fish sauce
  • 4 cups water
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 thumbs of ginger (sliced thinly)


  1. Saute garlic, onion, and ginger in a medium sized pot.
  2. Add chicken and cook until slightly brown, stirring occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the pot.
  3. Add water and fish sauce. As soon as water boils, lower the heat.
  4. Simmer chicken for 20 – 25 minutes until thoroughly cooked.
  5. Add fresh or defrosted chili or pepper leaves and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Serve hot.

Tip: Spinach may be used to substitute chili/pepper leaves.

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