Chicken Tinola

Tinola will be at the top the list of ulam na may sabaw. It is chicken broth soup with upo (bottle gourd), pechay (Chinese cabbage) and ginger.


  • Whole chicken, cut into portions
  • Upo (bottle gourd), 1 medium cut into chunks
  • Pechay (Chinese cabbage, bok choi is great alternative), stalks and leaves separated
  • Mild long green chilis
  • Ginger, peeled and sliced
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Cooking oil
  • Patis (fish sauce)
  • Salt to taste

If you can get free-range chicken, the broth will be many times tastier. We used what's called pollo de corral here in Spain which will be more or less the equivalent of the 'native' chicken in the Philippines. The common characteristic will be darker meat and harder bones. It takes a bit more to cook but the texture and taste are superb! If you use the regular chicken, less pressure cooking time is required. Better to buy whole chicken and have the butcher portion it into chunks.

Typically, green papaya is added but in this case we can't source it. In our earlier Chicken Tinola episode, we used zayote. This time we used upo (bottle gourd). Peel it, remove the seeds in the middle and cut it into chunks. This gives the broth a hint of vegetable sweetness.

Pechay, is almost like bok choi but it is darker green in color and has more texture. Again, this is a substitute for the typical talbos ng sili (young chili leaves) or malunggay leaves

Sauté the ginger first in oil then garlic and onions. Throw in the chicken and sauté for couple of minutes before pressure cooking.

Serve hot! The perfect comfort food specially for the rainy days.

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