Fish Tinola

Fish Tinola

Tinola is a popular cooking method in the Philippines where meats like chicken or seafood is boiled in water infused with ginger, garlic, onions, fish sauce and sometimes green chillies. Most popular variations are chicken and mussels usually served with rice. For this post we will be doing it with a lesser known variation which is fish, a very delicate dish by nature but rich flavours can be obtained by using whole fish with heads and bones. If you are not into heads and bones then I suggest you to use this recipe as I won’t be using them and use dashi stock instead to give it a richer flavour.


600g fleshy white fish fillets, sliced (i.e. grouper, snapper)
bunch of green leafy vegetables (i.e. bok choy, shanghai)
2 cups water
2 cups dashi stock or seafood stock
1/2 thumb sized ginger, thinly sliced
2 tomatoes, sliced
3 green finger chillies
1 onion, sliced
fish sauce or sea salt
freshly ground black pepper


1. In a pot combine together water, dashi stock, tomatoes, ginger, finger chillies and onion. Bring to a boil.
2. Add fish and cook for 5-10 minutes depending on the thickness of fish.
3. Add green vegetables and cook for 2 more minutes.
4. Season with fish sauce and freshly ground black pepper then serve.

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14 thoughts on “Fish Tinola

    • Yeah its mango season but its expensive in New Zealand. Philippine Mangoes cost $5 each back home that price might be for 2 kilos. And yes I acn easily eat a dozen :)

  1. What an interesting way to good fish. It’s interesting that chicken can be cooked in the same way as well. Definitely a healthier way to prepare and with all of the ingredients added to the water, I’m sure this is delicious!

  2. My daughter has been sick with fever for 4 days now and now I look at this dish, and feel it’s perfect for her. So light and easy on her body. I need to make this tomorrow with dashi (and minus chilis).

  3. Ooh, I didn’t realise this cooking method had such a name – it’s so nice to learn new things :D. I really enjoy stuff like this because it’s so nice and light, yet full of flavour – I always have a problem with the fish though… seems to fall apart into non-discernible bits. Maybe I’m cutting it wrong… or cooking it slightly too long? :(

    • You might be cooking it a bit longer or the fish is not intended for soups or curries. There are fishes that are firm which can withstand cooking methods like such, in our fishmonger there are the cooking methods listed below the price which is really handy.

  4. Pingback: Fish Sinigang | My Blog

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