Pinaupong Manok (Chicken Steamed in Salt)

May 24, 2020

This recipe for Pinaupong Manok or Chicken Steamed in Salt is for the health enthusiasts who want flavor and goodness as this chicken is cooked in its own liquid. When you start smelling the lemongrass and tamarind leaves, you’ll start salivating. The reason you have to use either a clay pot or glass pot is that the salt will corrode your metal pot and might even create a hole.

Watch my cooking video below. Don’t worry, we shot this before quarantine. Enjoy!

Pinaupong Manok (Chicken Steamed in Salt)

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By Marianne de Leon Serves: 4-6
Prep Time: 30 minutes Cooking Time: 1 hour Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Whole chicken stuffed with lemon grass and tamarind leaves steamed over a bed of salt and banana leaves


  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1/2 kilo sea salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped lemongrass - the white part only
  • 1 onion chopped coarsely
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup young tamarind leaves
  • 2 pieces 12-inch by 12-inch banana leaf, fire wilted (See our guide on how to prepare a banana leaf for cooking or baking. Link below.)
  • Sauce:
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced lemongrass (white part only) or ginger
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 6 tablespoons black vinegar (can be found in Chinese or Asian stores)
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • salt to taste - start with 1/4 teaspoon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper



Prepare a clay or glass cooking pot with cover (Traditional clay pot, Pyrex, Corningware, or similar.)


Wash chicken and dry with paper towel. Set aside.


Put salt inside clay pot or glass pot and spread evenly on bottom.


Place wilted banana leaf on top of salt; making sure that the leaves cover the salt.


Rub chicken, inside and out, with freshly ground black pepper.


Mix lemon grass, onion, tamarind leaves in a bowl and then stuff inside chicken cavity.


Lay chicken inside the clay pot, breast side up.


Cover pot or cover with aluminium foil tightly.


Over low fire, place pot and cook chicken for 1 hour or till chicken is very tender.

Prepare the sauce:


In a small sauce pan, over low fire, heat oil and sauté garlic till light golden tan.


Then add the lemon grass and sauté for 1 minute.


Add the soy sauce, vinegar and simmer for 2 minutes.


Remove from fire and add the salt and pepper.

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