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Tinola na May Papaya - Food with Mae-14

Tinola na may Papaya

Chicken and Ginger Soup with Green Papaya

When I see London being gloomy, I’m like… immediately soup! I was craving some tinola and I bought some papaya recently. So it’s the best day to make some Tinola I would say. 

My cooking skills are learnt from my late papa “Pepe”. I wouldn’t be who I am today without him. My fondest memory of my late papa is him making me some Tinola or Arroz Caldo (Chicken & Ginger Porridge) . Every time I was unwell he knew what would make me feel better and these comforting Filipino foods did just that. It was his go to dishes to comfort me and soothe my illness.

I used to be really skinny, underweight for my age as a teenager and I didn’t eat much so my papa used to cook the food he sees me eating and enjoying again and again. I wasn’t fussy per say but I loved eating hot dog, rice and ketchup. It was my favourite food to eat. I remember I would eat whatever was made for us but I would only eat just enough to fill my belly. As far as I remember I didn’t feel I have a bad relationship with food. I just didn’t feel like eating more. I dunno.

As I grew older and moved to the UK from the Philippines. I started to enjoy food and eating. It’s when I became more adventurous and tried different types of food. Someone jokingly said that “I found the fridge!” haha!

Tinola is known as a comforting food and has healing properties. For many Filipinos they will cook Tinola to comfort themselves if they feel homesick, unwell or if they are missing someone. In the Philippines, we usually add chili leaves of malunggay instead of spinach. It’s easier to get spinach here than buying a chili plant and taking all of its leaves. Poor plant! But the taste is even better with chili leaves.

Today I made Tinola for my family especially when they are unwell or when it’s cold & gloomy in London. They love it too! I’m glad that I can make this for my family and they enjoy it as much as I do. Hopefully my children will continue to do this for themselves when they leave the nest and when they have their own family.

Tinola na May Papaya - Food with Mae-14


2-3 chicken legs
1.5 litres water
100g ginger
1 small onions
4 garlic cloves
1 large green (unripe) papaya
2 tablespoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1-2 teaspoons fish sauce, optional
Cooking oil


2-3 tablespoons fish sauce
chopped chillies



In a large pot, heat some oil. Add chopped ginger, chopped onions, minced garlic and cook for 2 minutes on medium heat until they let out some fragrance. Add water  into the pot and season with salt, fish sauce and black pepper. Then, add the chicken, bring it to a boil.


Once it’s boiling add the peeled, deseeded & chopped papaya and simmer for 30 minutes. Taste your Tinola and see if you need to add more salt or fish sauce. Add more to your taste.


You’re Tinola is now ready! Serve your Tinola while it’s hot with some jasmine rice and spicy fish sauce on the side.

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