A different variation of our favorite Chicken Tinola using semi-ripe papaya and ampalaya leaves or bitter gourd leaves.
Months ago, I accidentally discovered the wonders of using semi-ripe papaya for tinola. I was hesitant to use it at first. But it is all we had that day and we can’t delay cooking tinola any longer (you know when cravings strike). My first taste of the broth was a lovely surprise. It was sweet but not too much. Just a hint. And the savouriness that we all love from the dish was unmarred.
Meanwhile, I’ve never had ampalaya leaves with tinola before; that was until my last vacation in Cagayan, the husband’s hometown. It was my mother-in-law who introduced me to it and I instantly liked it. Essentially, it is what Ilocanos use apart from malunggay leaves. I have only used ampalaya leaves when cooking Monggo but never in a tinola.
Watch how to make Chicken Tinola
Chicken Tinola with Semi-ripe Papaya and Ampalaya Leaves
- 1 onion sliced
- 1 whole garlic peeled and sliced
- 1 thumb size ginger sliced then pressed
- 1 kilogram chicken chopped into serving pieces
- fish sauce to taste
- 4 cups water add more if needed
- 1 small semi-ripe papaya peeled then sliced
- bunch of ampalaya leaves washed and stalks removed
- salt and pepper to taste
- oil for cooking
- In a pot with oil over medium heat, saute onion, garlic, and ginger.
- Add chicken. Stir until it's no longer pink, around 10 minutes. Season with fish sauce. Let it simmer for 1 to 2 minutes until fragrant.
- Add water. Let chicken cook for 20 to 25 minutes until fork tender. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Add sliced papaya. Cook for another 10 minutes with a lid or until papaya is almost done. Add ampalaya leaves. Simmer for 10 seconds then turn off the heat. Best serve hot with a bowl of rice.
- Use at least 10 to 25 percent ripe papaya. More than that will make the soup really sweet.
- Be cautious with the amount of ampalaya leaves you use. Too much of it will make the soup bitter.
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