Tinola is a staple Filipino soup dish that uses any kind of protein, like chicken, pork, or seafood. My favorite kind of this dish is tinolang tahong, which uses mussels. I love mussels whether in soup, baked, or grilled form. What I also like about this dish is it’s super healthy. Aside from the protein, vitamin B-12, and iron you get from the mussels, the moringa (malunggay in Filipino) leaves makes the dish even healthier. Moringa is a very common vegetable here in the Philippines and is used in many dishes. It is also considered a super food because it’s a good source of vitamin C, calcium, potassium, vitamin A, among others.
500 grams (1 lb.) mussels
1 cup fresh moringa leaves
4 cups rice water
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 thumb of ginger, julienned
1 yellow onion, chopped
Salt and pepper
1. Wash mussels thoroughly. Let sit in salt water for 30 minutes to let mussels expel impurities naturally. Scrub any impurity on the shells.
2. Wash about two cups of uncooked rice in a bowl with 4 cups of water. Drain but save the water. This is the rice water. This is commonly used in vegetable dishes as it also helps thicken the soup because of the starch.
3. In a pot, saute garlic, ginger, and onion for about three minutes or until fragrant and onions are translucent. Then put in cleaned mussels and rice water. Wait until it boils. Mussels should open up, any mussel that does not open must be discarded. Season with salt and pepper.
4. When mussels are have opened up, turn off heat and add moringa leaves. Stir, cover, and let sit for five minutes. Serve hot. Enjoy!