I’m on a mission to get people to make and enjoy mussels at home. Mussels are sustainable, economical, and an effortless way to add drama and sophistication to any gathering. There’s no reason to save these for a special restaurant meal. These Vietnamese Mussels are read more
Tinola is Filipino comfort food and perfect for cooler weather. This hearty chicken soup features a gingery broth that is so warming and smells amazing! Each bowl contains a whole piece of chicken and tender chunks of green papaya; a scoop of steamed rice is a must for a complete meal. Fresh, flavorful, and deeply savory and ready in under an hour.
Chicken soup is universal and this version hits all the right notes. It’s familiar, yet different. I would categorize this as a soup-stew. Traditionally, the chicken is left on the bone, which gives the broth additional flavor. It’s really essential in providing that rich deep flavor. The strong, assertive flavor of ginger is not only flavorful, but is also a key player in fighting germs and warding away colds. And the green papaya which many people may enjoy in salads, becomes a whole new vegetable when cooked. The papaya gives heft and some substance to the soup. Liking what you’re hearing? Well let’s get to it.
Prep the Tinola Ingredients
This is an easy and straightforward soup recipe. First I start by prepping the chicken and veggies.
The chicken for this dish is usually cut into small chunks, which makes it easier to eat, and also makes more economical servings because you can get divvy up the chicken between more people. However, it’s not as easy to buy your chicken cut up this way here in the US. If you are able to find it, buy all means, go ahead and get it. But for simplicity’s sake, I’m using chicken legs. First, cut through the joints to separate the legs into thighs and drumsticks. Next, cut off any excess fat. I do leave the skin on because a little chicken fat is nice to have in a chicken soup. Plus there’s something about naked chicken parts in soup that I find disturbing 😉
Next you’re going to prepare the green papaya. Cut the papaya in half (you may only use part of the papaya depending on the size) and peel it. Then scoop out the seeds, making sure to also scrape any of the spongy fiber. Finally cut it into thick wedges.
The last step before cooking is to prepare your aromatics. Slice up some onion and smash some cloves of garlic. Tinola is one chicken soup that does not shy away from ginger. After peeling, the ginger gets smashed with a wooden spoon to help release its flavor. This is also a really fun way to get out some aggression…
Now that all the ingredients are prepped, it’s time to start cooking. First the chicken gets browned, then the aromatics are added, and then we create the broth.
The most important part is to make sure that the papaya is fully cooked through. It should not be al dente with a core in the middle. Papaya is a very firm vegetable so cooking it well will not turn it to mush. Once the papaya is cooked, take out the pieces of ginger and discard it. Then, throw in your spinach, taste and adjust seasoning as needed, and it’s ready for the table. This soup is made to be served with rice and Filipinos add it right to the bowl. So the soup will probably be a little more salty than a typical chicken soup. If you’re not serving this with rice (really?), then be a little more conservative with the seasoning.
Ladle the tinola into serving bowls, placing one piece of chicken in each bowl with plenty of papaya. One bite and you’ll never look at chicken soup the same.
This is a family favorite during sweater weather; I hope you love it too. Let me know in the comments, and don’t forget to tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen- we love hearing from you!
- 2 chicken leg quarters
- 1 Tablespoon neutral oil
- ½ small green papaya (approximately ¾ pounds)
- ½ large onion
- 1 large handful baby spinach (approximately 1 ounce)
- 1 piece of ginger about the size of your palm (about 5 ounces)
- 4 large cloves garlic
- 4 cups chicken stock, vegetable stock, or water
- 2 Tablespoons fish sauce
- ½ teaspoon salt (if needed)
- ⅛ teaspoon ground white pepper
- A couple pinches ground black pepper
- Cut the leg quarters at the joint so you have 2 drumsticks and 2 thighs. Trim any excess fat but do not peel the skin off. Set aside.
- Cut the papaya in half. Peel and seed the papaya, scraping out any of the spongy fibers under the seeds.
- Then cut the papaya lengthwise into 3 or 4 wedges. Cut across the papaya into thick wedges. Set aside.
- Peel the onion and slice into ½ inch pieces. Put the onion into a bowl.
- Cut the ginger into a couple of pieces.
- Peel the ginger and then cover with a kitchen towel and smack with a wooden spoon to smash it. Add the ginger to the onion.
- Smash the garlic and add it to the ginger bowl.
- Heat a large heavy bottom pan or dutch oven over medium high heat for several minutes. Add the oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Lower the heat to medium and add the chicken skin side down.
- Cook the chicken undisturbed for 2 minutes to brown the skin, and then flip the chicken and cook the other side for another two minutes.
- Add the onion, ginger, and garlic and stir for 1 minute to combine.
- Pour in the chicken broth and add the papaya.
- Stir in the fish sauce, white, and black pepper.
- Bring the soup to a simmer over high heat.
- Cover with a lid, lower heat to medium low, and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the papaya is translucent and tender.
- After the first 10 minutes of cooking, taste the broth. It should be a little saltier than soup since it will be served with rice. Add the salt if needed.
- Remove the pieces of ginger from the soup and discard.
- Add the spinach and cook for a minute until it is wilted.
- Serve the tinola with steamed rice on the side.
*If you’re using water instead of stock, add 1 teaspoon salt when you add the fish sauce. Then after cooking the chicken for 10 minutes, taste it and adjust seasoning as needed.
Keywords: soup, chicken, filipino, tinola, comfort food, fall, winter, green papaya
It’s hard to believe, but apparently we’re already in back to school mode. And that means easy dinners that will bring everyone to the table. These Teriyaki Meatballs really fit the bill. A juicy and tender mixture of pork and beef with a yummy teriyaki glaze-what’s not to love? Getting back into the early morning groove can be a struggle, but dinner doesn’t have to be…
First Make the Sauce for Teriyaki Meatballs
This is a super simple sauce, using dependable pantry staples like soy sauce, mirin, and sake. I like my teriyaki sauces to have a balance of sweet and savory. It’s not super sweet. You can adjust the sweetness later on if you find it not sweet enough. Just measure out the ingredients into a cup or bowl and mix well. Done, easy peasy. Then set it aside by the stove while you get the meatballs going.
Make the Teriyaki Meatballs
This is a very straightforward meatball recipe. Just mix everything in a bowl, shape, and cook. No need to over complicate things while we’re getting our bearings in a post summer vacation world. I like to use a combination of pork (for softness) and beef (for flavor), but you could use ground turkey or chicken too.
I use an ice cream scoop to portion out the meatballs but it’s not critical. Once you have them portioned, I like to roll them gently to smooth out the surface. Once the meatballs are shaped, it’s time to cook them. I like to use a nonstick skillet for these but a well seasoned cast iron would work well too.
The “secret” to these luscious meatballs is to sear them for a couple of minutes on the outside and then gently braise them in the sauce to finish cooking them. Searing first gives a nice color and crust to your meatballs. The braise helps to improve juiciness and tenderness, but it also gives the meatballs time to absorb some of the sauce, which packs in more flavor.
Garnish with sesame seeds and minced scallions and the Teriyaki Meatballs are ready to be devoured! We love them over some steamed rice to soak up the delicious sauce, with maybe a simple green vegetable like this broccoli dish to round it out. These would be excellent alongside Spicy Garlic Noodles too.
Make these this week and let me know what you think. Comment on the recipe below and tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen; we love hearing from you!
- 1 Tablespoons sugar
- 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
- ¼ cup mirin
- 1 Tablespoons sake
- 2 cloves garlic smashed
- 1 piece of ginger (the size of a quarter) peeled and smashed
- ½ pound ground beef
- ½ pound ground pork
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
- 2 scallions, chopped fine
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 Tablespoon peeled and minced ginger
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper
- 1 Tablespoon neutral oil
- Minced scallions
- Toasted sesame seeds
- Combine the soy sauce, mirin, sake, sugar, garlic, and ginger in a cup. Stir to dissolve sugar and set aside.
- Combine the ground pork, ground beef, egg, panko, scallions, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, salt and white pepper in a medium bowl. Mix well.
- Form into 1 ½ Tablespoon meatballs (I used a scoop and yielded 13) and place them onto a plate or baking sheet.
- Heat a large 12” skillet over medium high heat for several minutes.
- Add the oil and swirl to coat the skillet. Add the meatballs to the skillet and cook for 1-2 minutes until browned. Flip and cook for another 1-2 minutes to brown the other side.
- Add the sauce to the skillet. Cover the pan with a lid and lower heat to medium low. Cook for 7-9 minutes until the meatballs are cooked through (you can cut into one to check if you’re unsure).
- Transfer the meatballs to a serving dish. Raise the heat to medium high and reduce the sauce for 1-2 minutes until syrupy. Pour the sauce over the meatballs.
- Garnish teriyaki meatballs with scallion and sesame seeds, and serve immediately.
Keywords: meatballs, back to school, japanese, teriyaki