Asian American Mothers and Postpartum Food Traditions: A Recipe for Chicken Tinola
Most women who abide by traditional postpartum practices — whether they have roots in Asia, Latin America or indigenous cultures — follow a period of roughly four to six weeks after giving birth in which they are homebound and cared for by family members.
While researching the story and talking with moms, I realized that almost every culture has a special diet after giving birth. Sometimes it’s for healing purposes, sometimes the dishes are high in protein, and sometimes they are meant to help with lactation … or sometimes, all of the above!
Here is a recipe for a postpartum dish, this one a Filipino specialty. Lisa Juachon, one of the moms I interviewed for the postpartum feature story, shared her recipe for Chicken Tinola. Special thanks to R.J. Lozada, who prepared the Chicken Tinola dish pictured above.
1 whole chicken, cut into pieces
4 cups of water
2 tablespoons sliced ginger
1 tablespoon olive oil or whatever oil you have
1/2 of a large young papaya, cut into cubes — if papaya is not available you can use sayote (chayote)
1 tablespoon salt
patis (fish sauce)
malonggay leaves — if malonggay leaves are not available, use spinach leaves
Heat oil in pot at medium high.
Add ginger and saute for a few minutes or until you smell the ginger.
Add chicken and salt; saute for 5-7 minutes more.
Add the water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10-12 minutes.
Add young papaya or sayote. Continue to simmer for 10 minutes or until papaya is soft.
Turn heat down to a slow simmer and add malonggay leaves or spinach. Simmer on low for a few minutes.
Add patis to taste.
Source: Hyphen Magazine