The Philippine’s geographical profile makes us a unique and very diverse nation. Throughout the archipelago, hundreds of dialects are using, and cultural practices and norms are unique to each region. With that uniqueness and diversity comes a wide array of culinary delights.
And our featured chicken dish for this article is a simple dish that hails from the Visayas region. Judging from looks, one can be mistaken to compare to chicken Tinola. However, the taste and the components are different because the broth packs a spice punch that will make you crave more in each spoonful.
We know how curious you are right now as to what dish we are to share with you. And we are excited just as much. So let us go ahead and teach you what you need to learn how to cook the Best Chicken Halang Halang at home.
What is Best Chicken Halang Halang
At first glance, one might confuse our chicken dish with another Filipino classic soup-based dish. And that is understandable since the appearance can mislead you for something else. But tasting a spoonful will spell the big difference.
Visayan soup recipes are known for using a lot of lemongrass and ginger in cooking. It gives their broth that distinct zesty and tangy profile. These two ingredients make it different from the home-cooked soup dishes that we grew up with, like the Nilaga or Tinola.
This Visayan soup makes use of flavorful herbs and spices. And instead of the usual water for the broth, coconut milk is used in place of it. The latter ingredient gives the dish that slightly sweet and creamy hint.
The creamy profile is balancing with the addition of chili flakes and ginger’s zest. It creates the perfect finish in the mouth in each spoonful, creamy with a kick but a very clean aftertaste.
Ways To Cook This Spicy Recipe
Cooking this soup dish can be done in multiple ways. Most Visayan folks prefer to use the wood-fired stove because of the smoky flavor addition. But you can also use the cookware you have at home. We have a list of ways you can cook our menu at home, and see which one fits your taste.
Most households will have this cookware at home. That is why we have them on this list because of that fact. Any saucepan can use as long as they can hold a fair amount of liquid for the broth.
The process of cooking is pretty much the same as indicated in the dish. Follow the steps, and you’re good to go. The good thing about this particular cooking method is that it doesn’t require any modern kitchen appliances.
This cooking method can be considered home-style because of how traditional and rustic the approach is in preparing and cooking the dish.
Since its inception, the pressure cooker has been a great help for professional chefs and home cooks alike because of how it can reduce the cooking time of recipes, which may require extended periods if they are using. They can tenderize tough cuts of chicken meat half of the time they cook traditionally.
They can also draw out the flavors from meats much better using pressure build-up inside the pot. So it is not new that we have included a pressure cooker in this list for cooking our featured recipe. The meat of the Chicken is guaranteed to be tender.
Cooking this dish is the same as indicated; the only difference is using a pressure cooker instead of the usual cooking pot.
The principle of cooking using an instant pot is the same with a pressure cooker: using pressure to cook foods faster than usual. But the big difference is that the instant pot has a timer and can be ready for the desired period for cooking.
The process of cooking using the instant pot is similar to the recipe. The ingredients are sauteed in order as indicated. After putting in the coconut milk, set the instant pot to cook for about 20 to 30 minutes.
The instant pot is safer than the usual pressure cooker because of the timer and the safety feature mechanisms built into the pot.
Other Delicious Variants Recipe
The availability and simplicity of cooking this dish make it a famous soup dish, especially for the province’s folks, where the ingredients grow abundantly. That is why regional variants have been doing and variants that use available ingredients in their area. And we have listed some of them in this article.
Bisaya Spicy Recipe
Bisaya style is a variant famous in the Southern Visayas region, primarily in Cebu and other parts of that region. And this is a distinct variant because of the addition of vinegar and soy sauce in the ingredients list.
The cooking process is similar to the original recipe, as it follows the same steps indicated there. What makes it unique is having the vinegar and soy sauce, a typical component for adobo. These added ingredients give a darker color to the dish.
The coconut milk has to neglect in favor of sukang tuba (coconut sap vinegar.) The latter ingredient also gives a hint of sweetness because coconut sap vinegar is naturally sweet.
Chicken Halang Halang without gata
In this variant, coconut milk needs to neglect from the list of ingredients. The dish makes it similar to the Bisaya recipe because of coconut milk’s omission for the broth. So the variant now closely resembles Bicol Express in the sense that it doesn’t have much liquid.
The same steps are following in cooking this variant: the initial steps. In coconut milk, water mixed with a bit of vinegar and sugar can thicken the sauce. Simmer the mixture until there is no visible liquid in the pan.
Bohol Chicken Halang halang Recipe
It is another unique variant of this dish that came from the Visayas region. It only proves how famous this chicken dish is among our Visayan folks. However, there is one ingredient that sets this apart from the other variants.
Follow the steps, as indicated in the dish. Saute them to draw out the flavors. The ingredient that makes this truly unique from the other variants is bagoong or shrimp paste.
It gives another layer of flavor to this flavorful soup dish.
Knowing a few fun facts about the dishes we eat adds to the charm and enticement we feel when eating them. So let us give you a few trivia about our recipes.
Halang in the Bisaya dialect means “spicy.” If possible, the Visayan folks would always prefer to use free-range Chicken, which they are raising in their backyards instead of the market bought variety.
Cooking this chicken Filipino classic can be quite a challenge, especially if it’s your first time. And troubles can be unavoidable but do not worry because we got you covered. We have included some troubleshooting tips in case you encounter any of these kitchen mishaps.
- If the broth, add a tablespoon of sugar to neutralize the heat.
- If the broth has too much liquid in it, adding a few cubes of potato can help thicken the sauce.
It will be our joy for you to become a great cook that you can be. That is why we also included some time-tested cooking tips, which will help you perfectly, not just this dish but many other recipes.
- Aside from coconut milk, adding coconut cream can also help in making the broth taste creamier.
- Use finger chilies for milder spice if you’re not a fan of really dishes with chilies.
Best Served With
Surely, the soupy and creamy dishes that are perfect with something else for you to enjoy the flavor better. As a bonus, we create a list of dishes that our menu can greatly serve with.
Soup dishes are still great with rice. And what can be a more fitting partner to our menu than a plate of warm and flavorful Taco fried rice? The strongly seasoned rice is a perfect canvas for the creamy broth of our dish.
Breaded Pork chops are good, but it’s a bit dry because it’s a fried dish. So partnering it with our menu soup is one way of enjoying it better.
Rice will always be a perfect canvass for soup dishes. And that is why this Hispanic inspired rice dish is an ideal partner for our creamy and halang dish.
Good food connects people. We may divide from a geographical standpoint, but we are rooted in our desire to feed our family foods that can warm hearts and souls. And so with all this information that we have shared with you, we know that you can now recreate Filipino Chicken Halang-Halang at home.
So till next time and happy cooking!
Best Chicken Halang Halang Recipe
- 1 lb Chicken cut into serving pieces
- 1 cup Coconut Milk
- 1 pc Onion diced
- 3 cloves Garlic minced
- 1/2 thumb Ginger julienned
- 1/2 tsp Chili Flakes
- 2 pcs Lemongrass
- 1 pc Papaya small, sliced thinly
- 1/2 cup Malunggay Leaves
- 1 tbsp Fish Sauce
- 1 tbsp Cooking Oil
- Heat the oil in a pot.
- Saute the onion, garlic, and ginger until the onion softened.
- Add the chicken pieces. Cook until light to medium brown. Turn the meat over to cook the other side.
- Add-in the papaya and chili flakes then lower the heat. Cook for about 10 minutes while covered.
- Put-in the lemongrass and fish sauce. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Then gradually pour in the coconut milk and bring to a light simmer for about 15 minutes.Note: Stir thoroughly to avoid curdling of the coconut milk.
- Add the malunggay leaves and cook for another 3-5 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Garnish with chili leaves before serving.