Chicken Ginger Stew or Tinolang Manok best describes every Pinoy Mom’s cooking – warm and full of love! A must during the rainy season, it would seem that this has been embedded in our DNAs as our bodies automatically crave for this bowlful of heaven. Gat Jose Rizal and our modern day gladiator Manny Pacquiao will attest how good this dish is.
Every Pinoy knows how to do it, and no matter how advanced things may get or how ground-breaking the food industry becomes, this dish will always be part of our culture/identity and our lives. Simple yet delicious.
So let me share with you one of the versions I have learned from La Union which uses Bagoong Isda (fish paste sauce) instead of fish sauce. Done correctly, the fish paste sauce will give the broth a deeper profile and the umami from the fermentation will surely give it a funky character. Also, I wanted to incorporate one practice that I believe is slowly drifting to oblivion as far as Filipino cooking is concerned – the use of “hugas bigas”. My dad taught me this “technique”, saying that it is a must if you want your broth to have more body. Now I use “hugas bigas” to virtually everything – even my coffee and tea.