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Chicken Tinola

Chicken Tinola

A bright and delicious chicken soup flavored with garlic, ginger, and fish sauce makes a delicious meal or appetizer. Using chicken legs and thighs keeps the cost down, and the dark meat adds depth of flavor. The total cost of the recipe is $4.36 or about $0.73 per serving.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Servings 6


  • 1 tbsp corn or canola oil ($0.04)
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped ($0.11)
  • 3 cloves garlic minced ($0.08)
  • 1 1/2 inch piece ginger cut into thin strips ($0.12)
  • 8-12 pieces chicken legs and thighs about 3 pounds ($1.41)
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce ($0.37)
  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes ($0.04) (optional)
  • 1 small to medium green papaya peeled, seeded, and cut into wedges ($1.04)
  • 1 bunch spinach (stems trimmed) ($0.50)


  • Heat oil in deep pot over medium heat.
  • Add onion and ginger to oil and sautee for two to three minutes.
  • Add garlic to pan and sautee for one more minute.
  • Add chicken to pan, and brown on both sides for five to seven minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add water, fish sauce, and bouillon cube and stir.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • If foam forms on top, skim it off with a spoon.
  • Reduce heat and cover pot.
  • Simmer for 30 - 35 minutes until chicken is cooked through.
  • Add papaya to pot and cook for about 5 minutes, or until crisp tender.
  • Add spinach to pot and submerge it into soup broth to allow it to wilt.
  • Serve