‘Tinola ain’t tasteless but tinola haters are.’
There was a heated debate on Twitter over the weekend. And before your mind runs down to the usual hot topics like vaccines, quarantine, and that dump of dolomite at Manila Bay, it is best to know that the online argument is all about the Filipino dish tinolang manok.
It all started when a netizen tweeted, “Tinola a.k.a. manok na may tubig (Tinola a.k.a chicken with water),” which sparked a divide in Twitter among tinola fans and haters. The issue is on a high that tinola topped Twitter’s trending poll last March 20, 2021, and gained numerous and humorous reactions you would definitely expect from the Twitter World.
Giving his two cents on the issue is Erwan Heussaff saying, “I really feel sorry for that guy. He’s probably never tried a really good tinola.”
To help everyone make the best tinola, Erwan shared his recipe on Instagram with a few tricks to take it to the next level. One of his tips is using chicken broth rather than just water, which will intensify the flavor of the soup. He also advised to use green papaya instead of sayote because we all know the papaya is way better (sorry, sayote). Also, adding lemongrass can make a huge difference.
The way tinola is served depends on where you are. In some places, bitter gourd is added to the soup. Other recipes call for coconut water instead of chicken broth or water to create a new flavor profile.
But what we should learn from Erwan’s take on the classic rainy day comfort food is that we should never blame a thing for what it is, better yet, think of a way to make it great. During a time of crisis, when among the things that holds us together is food, it just makes no sense to devote time and effort on hating it.
“In times of uncertainty and frustration, over our current situation in the Philippines, focus your energy on what you can change and control. A bowl of soup never hurts either,” Erwan says.
See Erwan’s take on the tinola here: