Sunday, June 28, 2015

Slow Cooker Ginger Chicken Stew (Filipino Tinola)

This is one of the Filipinos' favorite comfort food.  The chicken is cooked in ginger, garlic and onions.  Vegetables that are traditionally used in the Philippines are sturdy ones such as chayote or green papaya wedges and leafy ones like hot pepper leaves or malunggay.  When I cook this, I use instead locally available vegetables such as cabbage, spinach and plain white potatoes.  I also occasionally add banana peppers.  Feel free to use the traditional chayote and hot pepper leaves if you have access to them.  For myself, I find the vegetables I substitute satisfactory in terms of texture and taste.   

The key to the success of this dish is to saute the ginger, garlic and onions whether cooking in the stove top or slow cooker.  The mixture gives the broth of the dish its characteristic subtle heat from the ginger and its delicious comforting taste that will make you slurp the soup to warm your heart. 

Here is the slow cooker version of the Filipino Tinola. 

Slow Cooker Ginger Chicken Stew (Filipino Tinola)


  • 8 pieces chicken legs or thighs
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 inch ginger, peeled and chopped coarsely
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 3 potatoes, cut into one inch pieces
  • 1/2 cabbage, quartered
  • 10 oz spinach, fresh or frozen
  • 1 banana pepper, optional
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp each salt and pepper (you can add more after the chicken is cooked according to taste)
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce and more for dipping
1.   Heat the oil in a saute pan or directly in the slow cooker bowl if the slow cooker has a saute mode.  Add the ginger, garlic and onion until they are softened.

2.  Transfer the sauteed ginger, garlic and onion into the slow cooker bowl if using a saute pan and add the water. 

3.  Then add the chicken, potatoes, cabbage, spinach and banana pepper if using.  Season with salt, pepper and fish sauce. 

4.  Slow cook for 3 hours at high setting or 6 hours at low setting.  I used an Aroma brand rice cooker/slow cooker where I cooked the chicken dish for 2 hours at slow cooker setting.

5.  You can serve this with rice and fish sauce on the side for dipping.


  1. When do you add in the banana pepper?

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. I updated the instruction. You add it in step 3. Thanks.

    3. I updated the instruction. You add it in step 3. Thanks.