During this year’s never ending winter I’ve turned often to soup as both comfort and cure. Last week it was tingalong manok, at Manny’s Bake Shop, one of my favorite Filipino restaurants in Queens. The gingery chicken soup always manages to clear my head and lift my spirits. And Manny’s tinalong manok is quite special indeed. For one thing it’s a ginormous serving that’s best shared, or enjoyed by one food writer trying to kick a cold.
Most other versions I’ve tried consist of little more than chicken and ginger and some tuber or another. At $9.95 Manny’s tinalong manok is deluxe. There’s plenty of spinach, a mild green chili, a good half chicken and some mysterious chunks of vegetable matter that bear a resemblance to green apple.
“That’s chayote, it’s goes good with the chicken soup,” a gal at a neighboring table offered. And so it did, as did the little bit of chicken marrow I sucked the thoughtfully cracked chicken leg bone. I could really use another bowl right about now.
Manny’s Bake Shop, 161-18 Union Turnpike, Flushing, 718-380-0802
Hi, Joe. Thanks for writing about this soup! But it’s tinolang manok (tinola chicken). ‘Tinalong manok’ sounds like ‘defeated chicken’ because the word ‘talo’ means ‘defeated.’ You’ve probably heard that really good Filipino cooking is found at home, not in restaurants. It’s still mostly true even in Manila where I’m based. When I want to eat good tinola, I go to my aunt’s house since I haven’t yet learned to make it myself. Been enjoying your blog recently. Good stuff here.
You are very welcome Sandra, glad you are digging my blog, now i want the homestyle version of this soup.
Oh, and the greens in tinola should ideally be freshly picked leaves from a siling labuyo (bird’s eye chili?) plant.
Wow, I didn’t actually think you’d have Filipino food on here. Was watching Bizarre Food America, the episode on Queens, when it was mentioned you had a blog. Tried to see how well you’ve documented everything by testing out a search for Filipino.
Anyway, it’s Tinola. And let me just pinpoint some of the things that makes this dish inaccurate. One, the greens aren’t supposed to be spinach, but Malunggay (I think you guys call it Moringa), or the leaves of the Filipino chili plant called Labuyo. The chunks of green gourd isn’t traditionally supposed to be chayote either. It’s supposed to be papaya, but unripe and still green, softened when cooked in the broth. Tinola usually doesn’t have the giant green pepper either–the green pepper is often present in various kinds of Sinigang, or Ginataan (anything cooked in coconut milk), or even Dinuguan (pork cooked in its own blood).
When soups are eaten in the Philippines, the rice is served on the plate. We break the mound of rice in half with a spoon, to release the hot steam, and we spoon the broth over the rice to soften it for eating. Not necessarily how everybody eats, of course, but more or less.