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 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!
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.
- 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