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Tinolang Tahong

The Hearty Filipino-style Mussel Soup


Tinolang Tahong is a flavorful Filipino soup that highlights the natural sweetness of mussels, combined with the aromatic notes of ginger, garlic, and moringa leaves. This traditional dish, a variant of the classic Tinola, is cherished for its comforting broth and health benefits.

Tinola, a beloved Filipino soup, traditionally features chicken cooked with green papaya, chili leaves, and ginger in a savory broth. Its origins can be traced back to pre-colonial Philippines, where it was a staple in many households. Tinola gained literary prominence in Jose Rizal's novel, "Noli Me Tangere," where it was depicted as a symbol of Filipino culinary heritage. Over time, variations of Tinola emerged, including Tinolang Tahong, which substitutes chicken with mussels for a unique twist on the classic recipe.

Mussels, the star ingredient of Tinolang Tahong, are a nutritional powerhouse. They are rich in high-quality protein, essential for muscle repair and growth. Mussels are also an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which support heart health by reducing inflammation and lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Additionally, mussels provide important vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin B12, zinc, and iron, contributing to improved brain function and a robust immune system. The other key ingredients of Tinolang Tahong are garlic, ginger and moringa.

Garlic is renowned for its potent medicinal properties. It contains compounds like allicin, which have anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antibacterial effects. Regular consumption of garlic can help boost the immune system, lower blood pressure, and improve cholesterol levels.

Ginger adds a zesty, warming flavor to Tinolang Tahong. It is widely known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Ginger aids digestion, reduces nausea, and can help alleviate muscle pain and soreness. Its bioactive compounds, such as gingerol, contribute to overall health and well-being.

Moringa leaves, known locally as malunggay, are often called a "superfood" due to their impressive nutritional profile. They are rich in vitamins A, C, and E, calcium, potassium, and protein. Moringa leaves have strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which can help protect against chronic diseases and support a healthy immune system.



1 kilogram of fresh mussels, cleaned and debearded

2 tablespoons of cooking oil

4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, julienned or diced

1 onion, sliced

1 liter of water or seafood broth

1 cup of moringa (malunggay) leaves

1 green papaya or chayote, peeled and sliced (optional)

2 tablespoons of fish sauce

Salt and pepper to taste


1) Heat the cooking oil in a large pot over medium heat. Sauté the garlic, ginger, and onion until they become fragrant and translucent.

2) Add the cleaned mussels to the pot and stir to coat them with the aromatic mixture.

3) Pour in the water or seafood broth, then add the fish sauce. Bring the mixture to a boil.

4) Once boiling, add the green papaya or chayote slices. Lower the heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender and the mussels have opened up.

5) Add the moringa leaves and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until the leaves are wilted but still vibrant.

6) Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot with steamed rice.

Tinolang Tahong is a delightful Filipino soup that not only pleases the palate but also offers numerous health benefits. The combination of mussels, garlic, ginger, and moringa leaves creates a nourishing dish that supports overall wellness. Enjoy it on a chilly day or as a comforting meal.


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