Monday, April 7, 2014

Chicken Ginger Spinach Soup (Tinola)

This is a very common dish in Filipino cuisine.  The simple combination of ginger, spinach, chicken and chicken broth make for a very satisfying comfort meal. 

Traditionally the chicken is lightly browned in the pan before adding it to the soup.  The chicken is usually cut through the bone to expose the marrow which adds a gamy flavor to the broth.  I excluded both of those procedures from this recipe, but kept the chicken bone-in for legs, thighs and wings.  I used boneless chicken breasts  cut into 2 inch cubes.  I also added the ingredients of onions and garlic to add flavor to the broth.

Servings: 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes


4 Cups Chicken Broth
2 Inch Ginger sliced
1/2 Cup Yellow Onion chopped
2 Garlic Cloves minced
6-8 Bone-in Chicken Pieces (legs, thighs, breast, wings)
1 Teaspoon Fish Sauce
1 Tablespoon Freshly Ground Pepper
1 Chayote Squash seed removed and cut into cubes
2 Baby Bok Choy - bottom stem discarded and broken into separate leaves
1 Bunch Spinach

In a large pot, bring 4 cups chicken broth and 2 cups water to a boil.  Add the ginger, onions, garlic and chicken to the pot.  Reduce the heat to a medium simmer and let cook for 8-10 minutes.

Add the fish sauce, freshly ground pepper and chayote to the pot.  Cover and let cook for an additional 5-8 minutes or until the chayote is fork tender and the chicken is fully cooked. 

Stir in the Bok Choy and let simmer for an additional 2 minutes.  Add the spinach to the surface of the soup.  Cover the pot and let cook for another 2 minutes or until the spinach leaves are wilted.   

Ladle the chicken, vegetables and soup into bowls.  Traditionally this soup is served with a side of steamed jasmine white rice accompanied with a fish sauce and lime juice mixture on the side for additional seasoning.   Enjoy.

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