It would be an understatement to say that tinola is a just a staple food among Filipinos. If anything, it's a superstar dish.

It is not only the favorite dish of your average Mang Juan dela Cruz, but it is the “power food” of choice for our Pambansang Kamao, Manny Pacquio in all his fight camps.  Speaking of national heroes, one of Tinola’s earliest mentions in history is in the first masterpiece written by Dr. Jose Rizal, "Noli Me Tangere".

Check out below how to prepare this superstar dish in your own kitchen!

Serving Size: 4 – 6 / Total Time: 1 hour


  • 1 kg of chicken (tinola cut w/ bones)
  • sayote, aka vegetable pear (3)
  • onion (1)
  • water (800 ml)
  • ginger (1 big thumb)
  • patis – fish sauce (2 tbsp)
  • canola cooking oil (2 tbsp)
  • pepper (1 tsp or more to taste)

Tinola, Filipino Power Food - Ingredients


  1. Chop up the onion.
  2. Peel the sayote and cut into wedges.
  3. Cut ginger into strips.
  4. Sauté the onions and ginger in large pot for 2 minutes or until slightly brown.
  5. Add chicken to pot and cook for 5 – 7 minutes.

Tinola, Filipino Power Food - Chicken Tinola Prep

6.  Add water and pepper. Stir and cook for 10 minutes on medium heat / until chicken is no longer pink.

Tinola, Filipino Power Food - Tinola Swimming Pool

To feed an army

7.  Add sayote and cook for another 10 minutes.

Tinola, Filipino Power Food - Finishing Touch

8.  It’s ready! Serve over white rice and depending on your liking, add patis or more pepper.

Tinola, Filipino Power Food - Final Product


  • If you can’t get sayote, papaya can be used instead
  • Try adding malungay aka moringa leaves for an extra kick
  • If you’re outside of the Philippines and can’t get a “tinola cut” of chicken, buy regular chicken and cut into small bite sized pieces. We recommend using chicken with bones for extra flavor.

We hope you enjoy this heavy hitting dish!

Check out how to make another power food – a famous Japanese MMA fighter’s favorite: Stamina Soup Recipe

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