Chicken Halang Halang is easy to make yet delivers tons of flavor. It's creamy, spicy, and delicious with steamed rice!
Ever since I was introduced to creamy and spicy gising gising and Bicol express, I've been on the lookout for other dishes that share the same big, bold flavors. I am so excited to discover chicken halang halang and add it to my list of favorites on the blog!
What is halang halang
Halang Halang is Visayan dish, which literally means "spicy, spicy". Although similar to tinola in its use of ginger and papaya, it has added heat from chili peppers, a hint of citrusy flavor from lemongrass, and richness from coconut milk.
Like most dishes, there are different ways to make halang halang. While the recipe below is more popular in the Cebu region, other versions are flavored with soy sauce and vinegar instead of coconut milk.
- Not a fan of papaya? Swap with chayote or bamboo shoots.
- I like to use bone-in chicken for extra depth of flavor but boneless thigh or breast meat will work as well.
- For a smoother sauce, do not bring the coconut milk to a hard boil lest it curdles and separates.
- To tame the heat, scrape off the seeds from the chili peppers before chopping.
Looking for more delicious chicken recipes? This pinaupong manok recipe is easy to make and turns out super moist and flavorful. Make everyday afritada extra special with juicy pineapples; you'll love the sweet and tangy flavors for sure!
Chicken Halang Halang
- 2 stalks lemongrass
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 onion, peeled and chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 2 thumb-sized ginger, peeled and minced
- 1 (about 3 to 4 pounds) whole chicken, cut into serving parts
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 can (14 ounces) coconut milk
- 5 pieces Thai chili peppers, minced
- 1 small green papaya, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks
- salt to taste
- 1 bunch fresh spinach, stems trimmed
- Remove and discard the dark green layers of the lemongrass until you get to the lighter green part. With a knife, cut into lengths that will fit inside the chicken's cavity. Using the back of the knife, pound ends of lemongrass to release flavor.
- In a pot over medium heat, heat oil. Add onions, garlic, and ginger and garlic and cook until softened.
- Add chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned.
- Add fish sauce and continue to cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add coconut milk, chili peppers, and lemongrass. Bring to a simmer.
- Cover and cook for about 20 to 25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
- Add papaya and cook for about 4 to 5 minutes or until papaya is tender and sauce is thickened.
- Remove lemongrass and discard. Season with salt to taste.
- Add spinach and cook until just wilted. Serve hot.