Thursday Pinoy Tidbits: Nilagang Manok

Nilagang Manok  (chicken soup) is the second dish of choice whenever someone in the family is sick. It’s also a favorite during the monsoon season. It’s much easier to prepare than the sinigang I posted earlier.

My children love this dish. My 5 year old boy is a picky eater but he eats the green leafy veggies that come with the soup.

Here’s what you need to make it:

1/2 kg of chicken (others also use pork or beef, but these take longer to cook)

1 tablespoon of peppercorns

1 tablespoon of ginger, sliced into strips

Salt, to taste

1/4 head of cabbage (you can also use about 3 bunches of native pechay or 1 whole medium sized Baguio pechay)

1 to 2 medium sized potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

Here’s how to cook the soup:

1. Boil the peppercorns and ginger in a pot of water.

2. Add the chicken.

3. When the chicken is nearly cooked, add the potatoes.

4. Add the cabbage or pechay when both the chicken and potatoes are cooked.

5. Add salt to taste.


Nilagang Manok with Potatoes and Baguio Pechay

I love this soup because it is so easy to make. It was one of the first dishes I learned to cook when I had my own family. Before this, all I knew to make were ramen, mee goreng, instant pancit canton and fried whatever. Well, I did also know how to boil, blanch and steam vegetables and fish. But anything that needed more than 3 or 4 ingredients were unknown to me. My lack of confidence in my then nonexistent cooking skills kept me away from the kitchen till I finally needed to learn to feed myself and my family. When I finally learned how to make this soup, and my family loved it, I was so proud of myself. I could finally claim that I knew how to cook (at least that one dish!). I was ready to take on the world of Pinoy cooking.

Here’s to a bowl of nice warm chicken soup. Enjoy!


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