Fish Tinola is a Filipino soup dish that contains fish mackerel cooked in a broth containing ginger, lemongrass, moringa leaves, and eggplant. It is known for its clear ginger-flavored broth which is traditionally served & eaten with white rice.
The word “tinola” comes from a Tagalog word meaning “soup” which is made from a clear broth containing vegetables and meat. The broth contains an important ingredient- ginger, which gives a distinct aroma with a warm & mild spiciness flavor making it a perfect dish during cold & rainy weather.
Tinola is a popular staple food that is considered one of the most favorite dishes in Filipino households. One thing I learned as a Filipino is that tinola is a favorite food among senior citizens and families. That is because it is known to be healthy and nutritious since it is purely a broth with vegetables, and it’s low in fat.
There are many kinds of tinola dish which includes chicken, beef, or seafood like fish. But in this post, I have made a delicious recipe for Fish tinola, also known as tinolang isda. It is a delicious and healthy soup since it is rich in vegetables which is perfect to serve with white rice.
To make Tinolang Isda, these are the ingredients you will need:
Fish: I am using a Tanigue steak which is a Spanish Mackerel steak. It is a popular type of fish among Filipinos since it is meaty and has fewer bones.
Vegetables: To make my soup healthy, I am adding vegetables like malunggay (moringa leaves), and eggplant.
Herbs: To enhance the flavor & aroma of the soup, I use lemongrass, garlic, ginger, and onion. The ginger is the main ingredient for this dish since it has a strong aroma to the broth.
Other Ingredients: The rest I use tomatoes to color the dish; fish sauce to add the fishy flavor of the broth; water to make a broth, and vegetable oil to saute the onion.
Step by Step Instruction
- Step 1- Warm the cooking pot to medium heat and add vegetable oil.
- Step 2- Once the oil is hot, that is when I add the chopped red onion and ginger. Stir till it turns translucent.
- Step 3- Next, add the sliced tomatoes and then give it a quick stir.
- Step 4- After that, I poured water into the pot and waited till it started to boil.
- Step 5: Once it started to boil, I added the lemongrass and fish sauce.
- Step 6: Next, I added the tanigue (Spanish Mackerel) steak. Adjust to low heat and let it simmer for 5-10 minutes.
- Step 7 & 8: Add the eggplant and malunggay (moringa) leaves. Gently stir to mix. Before turning off the heat, I add a tablespoon of fish sauce and a pinch of salt & black pepper for taste.
- Final Step- Serve it with white rice. Enjoy!
What to serve with this recipe
In Filipino cuisine, we serve fish tinola with rice along with other side dishes. which I as a Cebuano, call “Sud-an” which in bisaya word it means “viand or dishes served with rice”. In Tagalog, we call it “ulam” .
Tinolang Manok– A Filipino chicken tinola soup which contain green papaya, and spinach
Fish Sinigang– It is a type of fish soup recipe which is mildly sour because of lemon or tamarind.
Tips and Hints
- Use fish that is meaty and has fewer bones since it is convenient to eat without dealing with small bones.
- Use fish like Salmon, Spanish Mackerel (Tanigue), Grouper (Lapu-Lapu), or Red Snapper steak (Maya-Maya) since they all contain fewer bones and more meat.
- When making soup dishes, it is best to use fresh fish since they don’t have a strong unpleasant odor.
- You can add other vegetables like green papaya, spinach, or bok choy.
- Add green chilies to make the tinolang isda a bit spicy.
📋 Recipe Card
Fish Tinola (Tinolang Isda)
Fish Tinola is a Filipino soup recipe which contain spanish mackerel steak cooked in a broth flavored with ginger, lemongrass, moringa leaves, and eggplant. It is renowned for its clear, ginger-infused broth and is typically enjoyed alongside white rice.
- 2 Spanish Mackerel or Tanigue steaks
- 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger sliced thinly
- 1 medium-sized onion sliced
- 1 medium-sized eggplant sliced into rounds
- 1.5 cups of moringa leaves (malunggay)
- 1 medium-sized tomato sliced
- 1 stalk of lemon grass pounded
- 1 tablespoons of fish sauce patis
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 4 cups of water
- 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- Salt and Black Pepper
Heat the cooking pot over medium heat and add vegetable oil.
Once the oil is hot, add the chopped red onion and ginger. Stir until translucent.
Add the sliced tomatoes and give it a quick stir.
Pour water into the pot and wait for it to come to a boil.
Once boiling, add the lemongrass and fish sauce.
Add the Spanish Mackerel steak. Adjust to low heat and let it simmer for 5-10 minutes.
Add the eggplant and moringa leaves. Gently stir to combine.
Just before turning off the heat, add a tablespoon of fish sauce, and a pinch of salt and black pepper to taste.
Serve it with white rice. Enjoy!
- This is best to serve with white rice
- Alternatively, you can use Salmon, grouper (lapu-lapu) or red snapper (maya-maya) steak.
- You can add other vegetables like green papaya, spinach or bok choy.
Serving: 4gCalories: 266kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 17.3gFat: 15.4gSaturated Fat: 3.2gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 397mgPotassium: 605mgFiber: 5.1gSugar: 5.7gVitamin A: 12186IUVitamin C: 248.7mgCalcium: 391mgIron: 7mg