The French call it mirepoix, the Italians– soffrito, and Filipinos exclaim: “Pang Tinola!” comprised of ginger, garlic, and onion. This trio of ingredients provides an exceptional taste to the broth, especially when a whole chicken is cooked in a slow simmer to exude its natural juices.
My grandmother touts this soup as an immune system booster. She has served this soup to a sick member of the family and nursing mothers–the Malunggay leaves and green papaya have great nutritional benefits. I prefer to make this soup on cold rainy evenings, or when I’m nursing a cold. It’s perfect with just a bowl of Jasmine rice. Enjoy!
6 pieces of chicken thighs or mix of different cuts
2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil
1 cup of green papaya, cubed
4 fronds of Malunggay leaves (Moringa)
1 Bok Choy lettuce
I ginger knob, about 2 inches length, julienned
6 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped
1/2 of medium size onion, diced
2 tablespoons of fish sauce
7 cups of hot water
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2-3 Serrano peppers, whole
- Clean the chicken pieces under running water, removing debris and remaining plumage. Set aside.
- Place an iron cast stewing pot under medium-high heat. Add the 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Sauté the garlic until golden brown, then add the ginger and diced onions until cooked, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken pieces and continue to sauté together for 3 minutes on each side. Add the fish sauce and continue to brown the chicken.
- Add the hot water and turn the heat to medium and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes.
- Remove any precipitate from fat as the broth continues to simmer. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the green papaya once the chicken cooks through. Let is cook for about 2 minutes before adding the Serrano pepper.
- Cut the Bok Choy into bite size pieces and let it cook until leaves are wilted. Add the Malunggay leaves last. Let it cook for an additional 2 minutes.
- Serve piping hot in a bowl soup. Season with freshly ground pepper.