a bowl filled with meat and vegetables on top of a table.

Discover the Secrets of Cooking Tinolang Isda: A Taste of the Philippines

Are you craving a taste of the Philippines but need help knowing where to start? Don’t worry; I’ve got you covered! In this article, we’ll delve into the beautiful world of Tinolang Isda, a classic Filipino fish soup that is comforting and delicious. This dish will surely transport your taste buds to the islands, and you’ll soon understand why it’s a favorite among Filipinos.

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What is Tinolang Isda?

Tinolang Isda is a classic Filipino “Tinola” fish soup known for its comforting, tangy, and savory flavors. It is typically made with fresh fish like Yellow Fin Tuna and various vegetables and spices. This dish is a go-to meal for many Filipinos on chilly days or when they’re feeling under the weather.

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Tips for Perfect Tinolang Isda

  • For a more authentic experience, use native Filipino vinegar and fish sauce (patis) to season your Tinolang Isda.
  • Don’t hesitate to substitute Yellow Fin Tuna with other fish, such as Red Snapper, Tilapia, or Grouper, based on your preference or availability.
  • Feel free to add vegetables like eggplant or okra for additional texture and variety to your Tinolang Isda.
  • Be cautious not to overcook the fish, which can become dry and tough. Keep an eye on the pot and adjust the cooking time as needed.

The Role of Ginger in Tinolang Isda

Ginger plays a significant role in Tinolang Isda by providing the dish with its distinct, warm, and slightly spicy flavor. In addition, it helps to create a rich and aromatic broth that beautifully complements the other ingredients, such as Yellow Fin Tuna, vegetables, and Red Cane Vinegar.
Ginger is traditionally used in many Filipino dishes, particularly soups, and stews, as it adds depth and complexity to the overall flavor profile. In Tinolang Isda, ginger also serves as a natural tenderizer for the fish, ensuring it remains succulent and flavorful throughout the cooking process.

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Creative Twists on Tinolang Isda

Looking to put a unique spin on this classic Filipino dish? Here are a few ideas to inspire your culinary creativity:

  • Add a touch of coconut milk to your Tinolang Isda for a creamy, indulgent twist. Pour in about a cup of coconut milk during the last few minutes of cooking.
  • Spice things up by adding more green chili or even incorporating some red chili flakes for an extra kick of heat.
  • Add a tablespoon or two of miso paste to the broth for an umami flavor. This addition will give your Tinolang Isda a unique, savory depth.
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Now that you’ve learned how to cook Tinolang Isda, you’re ready to impress your friends and family with your newfound culinary skills! This heartwarming, flavorful Filipino fish soup is sure to become a favorite in your home, and it’s the perfect dish for those who crave a taste of the Philippines. So gather your ingredients and start your Tinolang Isda culinary adventure today!


Tinolang Isda (Fish in Ginger Broth)

5 from 1 vote
Course: Main, SoupsCuisine: FilipinoDifficulty: Easy


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Tinolang Isda is a classic Filipino fish soup known for its comforting, tangy, and savory flavors. It is typically made with fresh fish like Yellow Fin Tuna and various vegetables and spices.

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  • 1 kilogram 1 kilogram Yellow Fin Tuna

  • 1 cup 236.59 ml Red Cane Vinegar

  • 2 tbsp 36 g Sea Salt

  • 10 cups 2365.88 ml Water

  • 2 2 Green Chili

  • 1 bundle 1 Pechay Tagalog (Filipino Bok Choy)

  • 1 bundle 1 Moringa Leaves

  • 1 bundle 1 Chili Leaves

  • 1 large 1 White Onion

  • 3 thumbsize 3 Ginger

  • 3 3 Tomatoes

  • 2 Stalk 2 Lemongrass


  • Prepare Your Ingredients
  • Start by cleaning the Yellow Fin Tuna and removing any scales and innards. Next, cut the fish into serving-size pieces and rinse well. Set aside.
  • Slice the green chili lengthwise, keeping the seeds intact if you like a touch of heat in your Tinolang Isda.
  • Roughly chop the Pechay Tagalog, Moringa leaves, and Chili leaves, adding vibrant color and freshness to your dish.
  • Peel and thinly slice the white onion and ginger. Finally, dice the tomatoes, as they will form the fragrant and flavorful base of your Tinolang Isda.
  • Cook Your Tinolang Isda
  • Combine the water, ginger, onion, and tomatoes in a large pot, bringing it to a boil.
  • Add the lemongrass to the pot, boiling for a few minutes to release its flavors and create a rich, aromatic broth.
  • Carefully place the Yellow Fin Tuna pieces into the pot, cooking for 5-7 minutes or until the fish is cooked.
  • Season with Salt.
  • Toss in the chopped pechay tagalog and green chili. Simmer for 1 minute. Add chili leaves and moringa leaves, and let it simmer for 2-3 minutes, just enough to wilt the vegetables and blend the flavors.
  • Taste your Tinolang Isda and adjust the seasoning with more Himalayan Pink Salt, if necessary.
  • Serve your Tinolang Isda hot, accompanied by steamed white rice. Enjoy!

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Tinolang Isda?

Tinolang Isda is a Filipino fish soup known for its savory and comforting flavors, typically prepared with Yellow Fin Tuna.

How should Tinolang Isda be served?

Serve Tinolang Isda hot, ideally with steamed white rice.

What’s the role of ginger in Tinolang Isda?

Ginger provides a warm, spicy flavor to Tinolang Isda and helps create a rich, aromatic broth. It also acts as a natural tenderizer for the fish.

What are some creative twists for Tinolang Isda?

Add coconut milk for a creamy twist, or a tablespoon of miso paste for an umami depth.

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