Recipe: Chicken Tinola (Chicken and Ginger Soup)

Everyone have their own versions of Chicken Soup. Over the years, I was able to build a collection of recipes. However, nothing is more comforting than my grandmother’s Tinola. A soup loaded with ginger, garlic, onions and greens.
My eldest daughter has fever since last night and is home right now.  Well, make that 2 sick daughters because my other one just arrived home from school with a high temperature. I was about to try my new recipes for stuffed peppers and pan seared salmon but have to change the menu. Times like this calls for the healing powers of our all time favorite Chicken Tinola (Chicken with Ginger Soup).


When I was growing up, this simple Filipino traditional chicken dish when served with rice is my perfect comfort food.  My grandmother used to make a big batch every time someone in the family has a bad cold or flu.  The warm clear soup loaded with ginger and spinach,  not to mention the healing powers of slow cooked chicken is perfect for this winter weather blues.


2 1/2 to 3 lbs Chicken pieces (I used bone in thigh and breasts)
2  Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. garlic minced
1 medium sized white onion sliced into half moons
2 inch chunk of fresh ginger sliced
10 cups water
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/8 cup Fish Sauce (if you have fish allergy, feel free to use 2-3 Tbs Sea Salt )
1 lb fresh baby spinach

1. In a big dutch oven, saute garlic, onions and ginger for about 3 minutes.
2. Add the chicken pieces skin side down and sear for 4-5 minutes.  Flip and sear the other side for 3 minutes.
3. Pour in water and stir. Make sure to scrape the inside bottom and sides of the dutch oven.
4. Bring to boil and simmer for at least 40 minutes. The longer the better.
5. Remove excess oil on top of the soup.  If you have time, you can let it cool and skim the fat on top.
6. Season with fish sauce (or sea salt) and ground black pepper.
7. Add the spinach, cover with the lid and turn off heat.
8. After 5 minutes, stir and serve.

You can enjoy it as is or with steamed white rice like most Filipinos do.

Stay healthy!







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