Every now and then we need to take a step back, breathe in, exhale and just savor a good Chicken Tinola Soup with Sotanghon Noodles. The past weekend was a flurry of baking, cooking, putting up the Christmas tree and all.
In our household, 3 out of 4 family members love dark meat on chicken. But I try to please everyone so when I cook chicken I put a whole bird inside the large stock pot so that everyone is happy at meal times. Now that our sons don’t live at home and are not always here at meals, I am never sure what to do with the chicken breasts.
Last night, without hesitating, I put everything in the pot and made this favorite chicken soup stew. It didn’t take long for the broth to start bubbling so I lowered it to a slow simmer. I stirred the pot and the swirling, clear soup emitted savory aromas of ginger, garlic with hints of ‘patis’ (fish sauce). The longer I simmered this soup meal, the better it got. The chicken meat started to fall off the bone in shreds and uneven slivers. Soon I added the chayote chunks and the silky strings of sotanghon (cellophane noodles). The warmth of the soup coming from the stove soon enveloped the entire kitchen.
For each of us this holiday season, there will be a million and one real and unimagined demands on our time and energy. And that’s okay. But amidst the busy schedules, let’s allow ourselves the necessary rest and relaxation that is often elusive these days and difficult to find. One of the best ways to reward ourselves is to make simple, heartwarming soups and stews like this chicken tinola with clear, sotanghon noodles. Let’s give ourselves the rest we need to revitalize, to recharge and more importantly, to relish the joys of Christmas.
Chicken Tinola with Sotanghon Noodles
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 whole onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic peeled,minced
- 1 knob fresh ginger about 2 inches, sliced in thin strips
- 2 Tablespoons patis (fish sauce)
- 4 cups organic chicken broth
- 4 cups rice water (hugas bigas)
- 1 pound chicken breast, bone-in, skin-on
- 1 to 2 whole sayote (chayote) peeled, seeded, sliced in 2-inch squares
- 1 to 2 whole tomatoes sliced
- 1 pack (8 ounces) sotanghon (cellophane noodles) . about a cup after soaking for 20 minutes
- 2 cups fresh spinach stems trimmed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper powder
- for serving boiled rice
- In a medium-sized bowl filled with water, pre-soak the sotanghon noodles for 20 minutes to soften. Do not soak longer than this amount of time or noodles get mushy.In a large pot, over medium high heat, add vegetable oil. Add the onions, garlic, ginger and tomatoes. Saute till vegetables are soft.
- Add the fish sauce and blend well with rest of the ingredients. Add the chicken breast pieces. Then add the chicken broth and rice wash.
- Cover and let the chicken broth come to a full boil, then lower to a medium simmer. Keep simmering for 55 minutes or till chicken is cooked thoroughly. Remove chicken from stockpot. Shred the chicken meat from the bone. Return the shredded chicken to the simmering broth in the stockpot.
- Add the sayote or chayote chunks. Continue cooking till sayote is soft in about 8 to 10 minutes.
- Drain and discard water from pre-soaked sotanghon.Add the sotanghon noodles to the simmering chicken tinola.
- Add the fresh spinach.The spinach will soften in 1 to 2 minutes. Serve warm with jasmine white rice.
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Notes on Nutrition: The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.
Did you like this recipe?I have more Filipino Instant Pot recipes in my newest cookbook Instant Filipino Recipes: My Mother’s Traditional Philippine Cooking in A Multicooker Pot by Elizabeth Ann Besa-Quirino. I also have more classic recipes inspired by my mother’s cooking in my popular cookbook: My Mother’s Philippine Recipes. If you’re learning how to cook Filipino food or a fan of Philippine cuisine, buy my cookbooks and books on Amazon.com sold worldwide in paperback and Kindle format.
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