Inubarang Manok (Coconut-simmered Chicken)

photo(316)The province of Aklan in Central Philippines is best known for its Ati-Atihan festival, one that would almost put the Mardi Gras to shame.  It is also famous for one of the top beach resorts in the world, Boracay.

This dish is called Inubarang Manok and is a signature dish in Aklan. It is a simple recipe consisting of chicken simmered in coconut milk, along with a few spices.  The traditional dish is made with banana bud, but outside of the Philippines, this ingredient might be difficult to find.  But no worries, for this recipe, I used banana pith which is the fibrous tissue lining the banana peel.  All you need to do is scrape the peel of the banana with a knife or spoon.

I’ve seen similar recipes that call this dish Hinubarang Manok, but I’d rather not use the “H” because the term literally means chicken that has been undressed!


4 pcs. medium chicken breast, bone-in

1 1/2 cups coconut milk

5 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed

1 tsp grated ginger

2 tbsps banana pith

1/3 pc green jalapeno pepper

3-4 pcs. red thai chillies

2 tbsps Olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Dash of turmeric

Fresh cilantro leaves for garnish


Place chicken, coconut milk, garlic, ginger, banana pith, pepper and salt in a pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover pot and simmer for 30 minutes on medium heat. Drain and save the sauce. Heat oil in a pan and saute chicken until golden brown.  Remove oil from pan. Add sauce and let simmer for about 10 minutes then add green and chili peppers. Simmer for another 3 minutes, stirring continuously.  Add turmeric.  Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with fresh cilantro. Serve warm with steamed rice.


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