Tinola (Chicken Papaya Soup)
Tinolain Tagalog or Cebuanoor la uyain Ilocanois a soup-based dish served as an appetizeror main entréein the Philippines. Traditionally, this dish is cooked with chicken, wedges of green papaya, and chili pepperleaves or Bird's eye chilileaves... In Hawaii, this has become a very common and favorite dish. For those who have never tried this, the green papaya may seem strange. When cooked, the green papaya tastes like tender squash and takes on the flavor of the soup that it is cooked in.
1 whole chicken, cut into around 12 serving portions
2 tsps ginger, julienned
1 medium onion, sliced
2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsps patis (fish sauce)
1 small green papaya, peeled and cut to chunks
1 bunch spinach, washed, separated and ends trimmed
6 to 7 cups water
salt and pepper
If you can't get green papayas, you can substitute with chayote squash or your favorite squash.
In a deep pot, heat oil. Saute onions, garlic and ginger until aromatic and tender.
Add chicken pieces. Saute until juice that seeps from chicken runs “clear”. Add patis (fish sauce). Continue to cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, around 3 to 5 minutes.
Pour in water. Allow to a gentle boil, skimming the scum that forms on top of broth. When all of scum is removed and broth is clear, cover and allow to simmer until chicken is cooked and tender, around 20 minutes.
Add papaya. Continue to simmer until vegetable is cooked. Season with pepper and additional salt to taste.
Add in spinach and immediately turn off heat. Cover pot and allow steam to cook spinach, around 2 to 3 minutes. Serve hot.