Iloilo Food Adventures

spreading the love for the heritage food and culture of Iloilo, Philippines


meat dish

Tinuom recipe

In the past, tinu-om was only cooked at home.  But more than 30 years ago, one small town eatery (carinderia) popularized this dish and made it available to the public–Leah’s Tinuom in Cabatuan, Iloilo.   Owned by Manang Sabel, it’s called Leah’s after one of her six daughters, all sent to college by this humble Ilonggo dish.

At present, tinuom is associated with native chicken slices sealed inside a banana pouch then steamed or even boiled to bring out the rich flavor.  Tinuom, however, is not just chicken.  It can be mushrooms, fish, and many others.

Below is the recipe shared by Manang Sabel herself from the interview done by two of my former students–Severo Caspe, Jr. and Christine Celeste Zaulda some years ago.  This is their report:




*Bombay/Sibuyas (Onion)

*Kamatis (Tomato)

*Tanglad (Lemon Grass)

*Vetsin/MSG-monosodium glutamate

*joy’s note: traditional tinuom did not use vetsin at all.  I prefer mine done the old way 🙂

*Asin (Salt)

*Tubig (water)

*Native Chicken – must be 7-14 months old.

*Banana Leaves

*Bamboo string or any string for tying up the tinu-om parcel

*2 bowls for preparation

After enumerating the ingredients, she then told us how to do the Tinu-om nga manok. There are 5 easy steps:

  1.  In one bowl, place the chicken and season it with onion, tomato, vetsin and the salt and then add some water. The 7-14 month old chickens will have to boil for about 30 minutes for it to be ready for serving. Older chickens will take almost an hour. The picture on the side shows lola Sabel cutting up the chicken parts. One order of tinu-om would have 3-4 pieces.

lola sabel

      2.  In another bowl prepare the banana leaves to be used for the wrap. Lola Sabel advices that one use Saba banana leaves rather than other kinds of banana leaf. It affects the flavor, aroma and outcome of the Tinu-om.

banana leaves

3.   Eventually, pour the marinated chicken into the bowl lined with banana leaf, gather the edges, bring to the center and tie it with a bamboo string or any piece of string. Make sure that it won’t leak.

mixed ingredients

tying it up


4.   After tying it up, place it in a casserole full of water and then place it on fire. You may steam it but Lola Sabel strongly suggests that you place it within the water casserole for a better result when it comes to taste. Then wait.

tinu-om na manok


Just as Lola Sabel said, the recipe doesn’t have anything. It is not a secret. There is no secret ingredient. “Sa pagtimpla lang guid na ya, amuna siguro indi nila kami magaya sa pagluto sang Tinu-om.” (It’s in the right combination and proportion of the ingredients.  Maybe that’s why they can’t cook Tinu-om the way we do.)


Ilonggo Chicken Inasal — Bacolod-style

Note:  Good day everyone.  We are on an Inasal roll! Two days ago, I reposted Ilonggo style chicken Inasal.  This time, here’s about the Bacolod-style , complete with recipe.
Having spent my childhood in Bacolod, my food memories include meals of homemade chicken inasal or dinner dates with my father at Bacolod Chicken House,

The clear difference between the dominant inasal flavor in Iloilo (as epitomized by the phenomenal Mang Inasal) is that of being really sweet unlike the Bacolod-style which has a merry mix of sweet and sour.  There had to be the calamansi (Philippine lemon) or maybe coconut vinegar and the sprite or 7-up.
For a little history, let me quote Avril Gamboa who wrote about her Bacolod inasal memories way back in 2003. Continue reading “Ilonggo Chicken Inasal — Bacolod-style”

Chicken Inasal__Iloilo style vs. Bacolod style

Note:  Hi friends. Continue reading and get to know your inasal preference.  There’s also a recipe at the bottom. This is one of my early posts eight years ago at my old blog,   I am reblogging it here.  Enjoy!

I promised a reader I’d post a recipe of an Ilonggo icon —INASAL NGA MANOK  or chicken barbeque.  But having lived in Bacolod for more than ten years (was born there, so am Negrense as well) before finally settling in Iloilo, I have come to discover a difference between the timplada (flavor/taste) between the two inasal. Continue reading “Chicken Inasal__Iloilo style vs. Bacolod style”

Blog at

Up ↑