Chicken Tinola has always been a Filipino favorite because of its delicious taste and comforting effects. In addition, it is also easy to prepare and friendly to the budget. Due to the popularity of this Filipino chicken soup dish, people have been trying to make different versions and variations of it to suit their preferences and make use of ingredients at hand.
Tinolang Manok sa Upo is a simple version of chicken tinola that makes use of Opo squash (locally known as Upo) as an alternative to either green papaya or chayote. The preparation is simple and straightforward. This means that this recipe is perfect for beginners.
Upo or Opo squash is available in different sizes. This recipe makes use of young upo, which is around 10 to 12 inches in length. I prefer using this compared to matured upo because the seeds are still soft and we can enjoy the vegetable even with seeds-on.
There is no right or wrong ways to cut the upo. Slice it the way you like. I had mine sliced into large chunks, which is what I would typically do for papaya and chayote. If you don’t plan to cook the upo within 10 minute after cutting, I suggest to soak it first in water to prevent the core from turning brown due to oxidation.
Tinolang Manok sa Upo is always best with greens. Malunggay leaves and hot pepper leaves are recommended for this recipe. Spinach is also a good alternative. You can also add a piece or two of long green peppers (siling pansigang).
Try this Tinolang Manok sa Upo Recipe. Let me know what you think.
- 1½ lbs. chicken, cut into serving pieces
- 1 Knorr Chicken cube
- 1 small opo squash (upo), peeled and sliced into huge chunks
- ¾ cups hot pepper leaves
- ¾ cups malunggay leaves
- 2 thumbs ginger, sliced into thin strips
- 2 long green chili pepper (siling pansigang)
- 1 medium yellow onion, minced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 8 cups rice washing (water used to rinse rice)
- 3 tablespoons cooking oil
- Heat oil in a cooking pot.
- Once the oil gets hot, saute garlic and onion.
- Add chicken pieces. Continue to cook until all side of the chicken turns light brown.
- Add ginger. Stir and cook for 1 minute.
- Pour rice washing into the pot. Let boil. Note: You can also use water, if rice washing is not available.
- Add Knorr chicken cube. Stir. Cover and continue to cook in medium heat for 25 to 30 minutes. Add more water if needed.
- Put the upo and siling pansigang into the pot. Cover and cook for 5 to 7 minutes.
- Add hot pepper leaves and malunggay leaves. Stir.
- Season with ground black pepper and fish sauce.
- Transfer to a serving bowl. Serve!
- Share and enjoy!