How to Cook the Best Pinaupong Manok (Steamed Chicken)

Are you a chicken-lover? If yes, this article is right for you because we will feature another exciting and exquisite Filipino style of preparing your favorite broiler. We are going to teach and inspire you on how to make Steamed Chicken.

More so, we will share with you a variety of recipes for this kind of broiler meal. Recipes like this are so comfortable that you would like to execute it as soon as you finish reading this. So, take note and enjoy.

What Is Best Pinaupong Manok

As the dish’s name, “best pinaupong manok,” implies, yes, it is a “sitting chicken.” Sounds funny right? It does! After being marinated with a unique combination of spices, the broiler is steamed seated on a bed-rock of salt and placed on an earthenware pot (palayok). Thus, it is simmered by its oil and juices.

pinaupong manok on a plate
(Photo Credits to: Kawaling Pinoy)

Interestingly, the steamed broiler was prepared the way because there was no gas and stove yet. It is designed using the traditional way of preparing it. However, as time goes by, executing this broiler dish has evolved, and the broiler does not sit anymore. Sometimes it is cut in halves and placed planking or lying on its back then cooked in a preheated oven. But despite such innovation, the dish has retained its traditional popular name. 

What is the sauce made of

The natural flavor juiced by the salt from the broiler meat makes the steamed broiler dressing so appealing. The dipping sauce is made of soy sauce, calamansi, or lemon, and for some, they add chili to make it a little bit spicy. This is made perfect for lunch or dinner or a team potluck.

pinaupong manok ingredients
(Photo Credits to: Kusina ni Teds)

The dressing also gives color to the broiler meat, making it look tasty. Since the dressing is jam-packed with flavors, it can also serve as a great dipping relish.

Variations of Recipes

Speaking of innovations for recipes, these changes in the dish emerged due to different equipment and experimentation on its tastes. These innovations are also inspired by new exciting elements that, surprisingly, can be added to dishes. Here below, we are going to discuss variations of recipes for the steamed broiler. Try each of them when you make one.

Pinaupong Manok (Steamed Chicken) with Salt

pinaupong manok over a plate of salt
(Photo Credits to: yummy ph)

Pinaupong manok sa asin or Steam Chicken with Salt is the traditional way of preparing this broiler cuisine. The recipe includes sprinkling a combination of salt and black pepper all over the broiler and inserting tied lemongrass and leeks inside. Then, prepare the casserole by putting the remaining salt, cover it, and place the broiler sitting on top of it. 

To make it sit during the entire cooking, you may use a can as support or an average size rock then cover. Cook time runs for about one and ½ hours under light heat. After this, it’s ready to serve. You can also do it with side dishes like pickled papaya for extra flavor. 

Who would not be enticing to eat if it is present in a rural way? With the traditional weaved plate and banana leaf, it adds up that salivating moment with the dish. If you are in an urban area and you serve it this way, it will be a breath of fresh air just like in the provinces.

Steamed chicken with Sprite

pinaupong manok with sprite in a large pot
(Photo Credits to: Pinterest)

 Are you a sweet tooth kind of person but afraid of getting a tooth cavity? Then, the recipe for steamed broiler with Sprite can be right on your spot. It is a little variation of this menu wherein you include Sprite as a seasoning in marinating the broiler.

Although incredible, recipes like this include fusing any soda or carbonated drink to infuse sweetness in the taste. Sprite blends perfectly, and with its acidic nature, it can be absorbed easily by the meat. Hence, the sweet taste magnifies the broiler flavor and balances out with the saltiness.   

Sprite also cleanses the funky smell and aftertaste in chicken, especially when it is not fresh. Although we recommend using new elements, there will be situations wherein no fresh meat is available in some instances. Hence, Sprite is a great aide. 

You can also try tweaking the dish a bit by roasting the chicken. You can enjoy the sweet taste of this meal, even without gravy. 

Pinaupong Manok (Steamed chicken) with pineapple

pinaupong manok in a large serving bowl with pineapple
(Photo Credits to: Kawaling Pinoy)

Similar to the previous one, the recipe for steamed broiler with pineapple is also sweet. However, the sweetness is natural because it comes from pineapple’s natural burst as a fruit flavor. In doing so, you need to include one can of pineapple chunks with it syrup at the last coating of the chicken before putting it on hot steam.   

Besides, pineapple is a healthier sweetener compared to Sprite. You might get a tooth cavity if you use too many carbonated sweeteners. This fruit contains phytochemicals and nutrients, which helps you lower your cholesterol and maintain healthy blood pressure. 

In other words, it oppresses the high cholesterol component of our steamed broiler, making you safe from any untoward rise in blood pressure or heart attack. Also, this is advisable for pregnant women who are in their ninth month of pregnancy. Pineapple is an excellent help in easy labor, for it relaxes the cervix. It is a savory approach for pregnant who are still suffering from cravings during their labor month. 

Steamed chicken with coke

pinaupong manok with coke in a serving bowl
(Photo Credits to: SuperCook)

But of course, you don’t eat this cuisine very often, why not go full blast? Steamed broiler with coke is the topmost among the sweet variants of this broiler dish. Like Sprite, you pour in coke in the broiler marinated together with other spices before cooking time. It is an excellent way of enjoying sweet dishes without the horror of getting a cavity. 

However, unlike Sprite, coke has a more robust flavor making the broiler meat more tender. Besides, coke is an excellent choice among the carbonated drinks that match so well with broiler marinade. That’s why, once infused into the steamed chicken recipe, the oil, and juice extracted from it become more flavorful and harder to resist. 

Steamed chicken with Tanglad

pinaupong manok stuffed with tanglad

Without a doubt, this broiler dish recipe is delicious, but at the same time, it is slimy and stench in the mouth. Pinaupong manok sa tanglad is the recipe to reduce such a stenchy taste. You can also insert tanglad or lemongrass in the broiler. It is ready after the combination of salt and pepper have been spread all over the broiler. 

Aside from that, tanglad, also known as lemongrass, contains some health benefits. It promotes proper digestion, induces perspiration, low cholesterol, and serves as a coolant. So you wouldn’t mind indigestion anymore when eating a lot of steamed broilers.

This meal is perfect for grilling too and much served with hot gravy. Steamed broiler with tanglad is also the traditional approach of locals. You will see this mostly in some local restaurants instead of those innovated steamed broiler meals. 

Troubleshooting Techniques In Cooking The Steamed Chicken

Pinaupong manok is a very flexible dish in terms of its recipe. Usually, some find it problematic when some ingredients are lacking and assume that their recipe is in trouble. Do not panic; here are some troubleshooting tips if you encounter any of these recipe hiccups.

  • Lemon fruit juice can replace calamansi or pineapple in adding fruit like blending in the marinate. You can also try freshly squeezed orange juice as an alternative. Be mindful that freshly squeezed orange juice is sweeter than lemon juice, so use with caution. But if you like it sweet, this is perfect for you. 
  • Red or White onion may be added to the lemongrass when inserted in the broiler. You can also use shallots or native onion as an alternative. Shallots have a sweet taste, while the native one has a pungent taste. Just choose based on your preference. 
  • When the taste is flat, you can add the dipping sauce (soy sauce and calamansi) marinate. Set it aside for one-hour, place it in the fridge to let the marinate sink in. Then, reheat your broiler under low fire for 20-30 minutes.  
  • In the absence of broiler meat, you can use duck meat or turkey meat as well. The cooking method is still the same for the elements, replacing all except for meat choice. For simmering or roasting time, the duck and turkey meat is much tender than broiler when cooked. On the other hand, the native chicken needs more time simmering because it is not as tender as the store-bought meats. 

Trivia About Steamed Chicken

Did you know that steamed broiler ingredients contain numerous benefits? Find out here:

  • The bedrock of salt is where the broiler sits while being steamed. It stimulates the secretion of natural oil and juice accompanied with the marinade you spread all over the broiler. These oil and juice are steaming up back to the broiler. This cycle is what makes the broiler delicious. It saves you from using artificial flavoring, such as monosodium glutamate. 
(Photo Credits to: THE Healthy)
  • Leaves like lemongrass and leeks are inserted in the broiler to freshen up the broiler and prevent the stench odor from ruining it. But these two have a lot of health benefits. On the one hand, lemongrass boosts oral health, lowers cholesterol, and prevents infection. On the other hand, leeks have an onion-like taste and can add flavor to the dish. 
lemongrass on a wooden background
(Photo Credits to: SFGATE healthy eating)

While on the other hand, leaves like leeks are good sources of Vitamin A, C, and potassium (K). It is also an excellent provider of dietary fiber. 

  • The broiler is an excellent source of protein. Among the other meat kinds, such as beef and pork, it is the healthiest because it is digestion-friendly white meat compared to the two.
  • The simplicity of the dish makes it manageable to cook and even healthier. 
  • Steamed broiler dishes are much present during festivities like the Sarakiki Festival in Samar every September 1-8. This festival shows cocks swaying their heads. Another September festival that caters to steamed broiler is the Bicol Food festival. 

Tips About Steamed Chicken Recipe

 To pull this off excellently, please take note of the following tips.

  • Choose a decent broiler. If possible, use the native broiler for recipes like this because it is natural and organic, so the juice and oil are also natural when steamed. But regardless of whether native or not, as long as you buy the freshest. 
  • Marinate the broiler thoroughly. Make sure to spread the salt and pepper and properly distribute it all over the broiler, even at the tiniest part. Remember, the secret ingredient for recipes like this is the combination of the marinate and the steamed chicken oil and juice. Set it aside long enough that the marinate has sunk in up to the bones. 
  • Slow-cooking is another crucial tip for recipes like these. Since the entire principle is all about steaming, slowly cook the broiler meat under low fire. In doing so, you allow the marinade to blend well and sink into the flesh. 
  • The meat tastes awful when undercooked. The development of equipment like crockpots makes it a more manageable experience in achieving desired meat tenderness with less supervision.

Greatly served with

Of course, a broiler meal is a great partner for almost every food. You can choose from healthy to savory side dishes. Here are some of those. 

  • Chopsuey – hot-steamed broiler perfectly matched with healthy leaves of Chopsuey. It makes it a healthy meal.
  • Rice – broiler, and veggies suit well with rice. Be it hot-steamed, fried, or java rice. Especially in the Philippines, a meal is incomplete without rice. 
  • Coleslaw – Aside from Chopsuey, coleslaw is another leafy green that can pair well with a steamed broiler. It is so yummy all the more with ketchup and mayonnaise as dressing.
  • Mixed veggies with corn are a typical partner for a chicken meal with the corn’s sweetness and mixed veggies with cream. It is like the broiler meat melting inside your mouth. 
  • Pickled papaya – It adds a different flavor as a side dish. After all the exciting aftertaste of the steamed chicken, this cleanses the palate afterward. 
  • Gravy – if you do not like soy sauce and calamansi as relish dip, dressing is also a complementary feat to the steamed broiler. It is like eating roasted chicken with gravy. It makes you eat more rice than usual. 


Generally, this traditional style for chicken uses simple ingredients that are easy to remember. It is a cuisine that is economical and flexible, yet so majestic when you taste it. A dish deserved to be in a royal feast. Also, recipes like this will be your promising kitchen companion in creating filling dinners or potluck.

Now, you can add another menu to your kitchen book. Furthermore, it will be easier to come up with dishes whenever guests are coming over. Even just a simple family dinner will be unique because of this kitchen friendly guide. It can also serve as a packed lunch when going to the office or at school, and it will never be a dull lunch anymore. 

You will want to get some rice while reading this. Since you already know the recipe for steamed broiler, move now and cook your biggest version. Cook for your family and make your home like a royal banquet. 

For more delicious recipe, visit Eat Like Pinoy!

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5 from 1 vote

Best Pinaupong Manok sa Asin Recipe

A Filipino dish that is basically cooked over a banana leaf and seated on a bed of salt.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Filipino
Keyword Chicken recipe
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 2kcal
Cost $5 – $10


  • 1 whole Chicken
  • 1 bunch Lemon Grass
  • 1 bunch Leeks
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper crushed
  • 1 pc Banana Leaf
  • 2 cups Salt


  • Rub salt and crushed black pepper all over chicken as well.
  • Tie the lemongrass by itself also the leeks. Then stuffed it inside the chicken.
  • Put the stuffed chicken in a large casserole.
  • Add the remaining salt and lay the banana leaf on top.
  • Use a can and place inside the chicken to sit. Then cover it up.
  • Cook the chicken for 1 1/2 hours over low heat.
  • After 1 1/2 hours, remove the casserole from the heat and transfer the chicken onto a serving plate.
  • Serve hot and enjoy!


Calories: 2kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 56587mg | Potassium: 12mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 1mg
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