Saturday, August 12, 2006

"Tinolang Manok" (Chicken in Ginger-Flavored Soup)

I woke up late this morning. Anyway, it’s Saturday… I’m entitled to sleep until I want to! (“,) I went to the market around 11 am. Actually, it’s a “talipapa”, a small version of a wet market. It’s a block away from our house. Nothing much to buy anymore coz it’s late already. I settled for chicken! Well, that’s the only thing that’s left, no choice! The easiest dish I can think of, to cook the chicken with, is “Tinola”. I grabbed a few chilis, ginger and chayote. Then, I went home. With a little time to prepare lunch… I started cooking in a hurry! Just a few minutes before 12 nn, almost finish with my cooking, I remembered there’s so many moringa leaves (dahon ng malunggay) in our backyard, picked some. Topped my dish with it just before putting off the heat…. yummy! Though, I like this little green leaves so much, after eating, it always makes my tummy hurts! I can’t seem to digest it properly! Harhar!

Ginger root is used extensively as a spice in most cuisines of the world. Though called a root, it is actually the rhizome of the monocotyledonous perennial plant Zingiber officinale. The active constituent of ginger is zingerone. It is a stimulant and aids in the utilization of other herbs. Ginger inhibits inflammation, breaks down protein, stimulates liver function, and is a tonic for the heart. It is effective for nausea, breaking fevers and for motion sickness. It is anti-microbial and an anti-oxidant and is helpful for hot flashes, indigestion, bowel problems, morning sickness and wounds.

  • 1 whole chicken, about a kilo, cut into small serving pieces
  • A tsp of rock salt
  • 2-½ tbsps cooking oil
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 25 grams of ginger root
  • 2 medium (70 g) red onion, thinly sliced (saute’-cut)
  • 2 tbsps of fish sauce
  • A dash of ground white pepper (optional)
  • 6 cups rice wash
  • 1 chicken cube
  • 1 large (400 g) chayote (sayote), cut into large chunks
  • 2 pcs finger chilis
  • A cup or more of moringa leaves (dahon ng malunggay), young leaves only
Here’s how:

In a bowl, combine the first-two ingredients. Mix well. Set aside. Remove skin of garlic. Scrub skin of ginger under running water until dirt is removed. Slice the ginger. Using a mortar and pestle, pound together garlic and ginger until finely crushed.

Using a large non-stick wok, over medium-high heat, put oil. Heat thoroughly but not smoking. Sauté together the garlic and ginger until toasted. Add onion, cook until limp. Put the marinated chicken. Mix. Cover. Cook for 5 minutes.

Increase fire to high. Put the fish sauce and white pepper. Cook until very fragrant or until it dries up. Stirring very often. Add rice wash and chicken cube. Mix. Cover. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Increase heat to high. Add the chayote and chilis. Cook for another 5-6 minutes or until half-cook only. Turn off heat. Place moringa leaves. Cover. Let it stand for a few minutes.

Serve hot.

You can substitute green papaya if chayote is not available.

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