Fall’s here y’all! The temps are going down, sweaters coming out and soon, those lbs start creeping up. But do not fear, the Filipino Soup Series is here! Soup or sabaw is a great meal option and an ideal way to prevent those unwanted holiday pounds. “Soup can be a wonderfully delicious way to achieve fullness and get disease-fighting antioxidants and phytochemicals. Vegetable and broth-based soups provide a big bang for their buck because of the high water content mixed with the carbs, fiber and protein from the ingredients. It’s a high-volume meal, so you’ll feel full longer as compared to a dense, low-volume food such as a protein bar, for example, according to Lisa Brown and Jennifer Medina of Brown & Medina Nutrition in New York”.
Our first post in the series focused on one of my favorite hearty bowls of goodness, Nilaga, a beef based soup, full of cabbage and sprinkled with patis. Today we will feature Lola’s sore throat antidote, Tinola, a chicken based soup, filled with chunks of sayote and spiced up with fresh ginger. The ingredient that makes this liquid concoction so delicious and nutritious is the sautéed ginger. Spicy, peppery and slightly sweet, this ancient wonder adds another level of fragrance and flavor. Ginger also has several health benefits; improves the absorption and assimilation of essential nutrients in the body, clears the ‘microcirculatory channels’ of the body, including clearing your sinuses which can flare up seasonally or during colder months, anti-inflammatory and it can reduce flatulence. Toots be gone! Sayote aka chayote, a squash-like-fruit packed with vitamin C, is the other superstar of this meal. They are high in fiber and low in calories. Tinolang Manok (chicken) is a nice, simple, healthy addition to your souping repertoire. Check out this fun YouTube video and this recipe we borrowed and adjusted from Pickled Plum.
TINOLANG MANOK (Tinola Soup with Chicken)
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 small white onion, finely sliced into half moon
- 2 thumb size ginger, peeled and finely sliced into sticks (julienned)
- 1½ pound chicken thighs
- ½ cup fish sauce
- 3 small chayote squash, chopped into bite size chunks
- 2 baby bok choy, sliced in half lengthwise (optional)
- green chili (optional)
- In a large pot over medium heat, add oil, onions and ginger and sautee for 3-5 minutes, until onions are translucent. Make sure onion and ginger cover the bottom of the pot.
- Place chicken thighs on top and add fish sauce – do not stir.
- Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add enough water to just cover the chicken and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes, or until chicken’s internal temperature reaches 170-175 degrees.
- Add chopped chayote squash. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, until zucchini is tender.
- Add sliced bok choy, cover and cook for 3-5, until tender.
- The chicken is ready to eat once the internal temperature reaches 180º.
- Serve chicken and vegetables with broth