Pinaupong manok

My husband has heard of pinaupong manok (sitting chicken) several times but never had a chance to try it. He thought it was something complicated to prepare and, hence, only for special occasions. I thought that was really funny. I have been making pinaupong manok since high school. I told him it was the easiest thing to make.

Pinaupong manok is so named because the chicken is made to sit on a bed of rock salt. No liquid is added; the chicken cooks in the combined steam generated from the water content of the salt as well as its own. It absorbs all the natural flavor of the rock salt. Traditionally, the dish is served with a dunking sauce made with toyo (soy sauce) and kalamansi (native lemon) juice. stuff the cavity of the chicken with spices lay the chicken on a bed of rock salt dipping sauce for pinaupong manok pinaupong manok

I decided to cook pinaupong manok with a few improvisations. With the traditional Chinese steamed white chicken in mind, I stuffed the cavity of the chicken with 2 whole onions, 1 whole garlic, several chunks of ginger, a bay leaf and some peppercorns. Then, I served it with a dunking sauce made with finely mined garlic and ginger stirred in olive oil and seasoned with salt. Heck, it was great! Note though that if you have kids who do not like the strong taste of ginger, better prepare an alternative sauce for them. The usual toyo and kalamansi would be fine.

The traditional way of cooking pinaupong manok is to cook it in a palayok, the native earthenware pot. But, there’s nothing wrong with using any large, thick stainless steel casserole. When I was first taught to cook this dish, I was told that it was very important that no part of the chicken should touch the metal. Hence, a large and deep casserole. Cooking time is one hour for every kilo of chicken.

I used a pressure cooker. Cooking time was 20 minutes counting from the time the valve started to whistle.

Ingredients :

For the chicken :

1 whole chicken, about a kilo in weight
2 whole onions
1 whole garlic
4 1″ chunks of ginger
5-6 peppercorns
1 bay leaf
2-3 c. of rock salt

For the dunking sauce :

1 tbsp. of finely minced ginger
1 tbsp. of finely minced garlic
1/2 c. of olive oil
salt to taste

Cooking procedure :

Peel the onions. Pierce the garlic in several places using a sharp, pointed knife. Rub the cavity of the chicken with rock salt. Stuff the cavity with the onions, garlic, ginger, peppercorns and bay leaf. Rub the skin with rock salt.

Make the bed of rock salt. Pour enough rock salt, about an inch high, into a large, deep stainless steel casserole. Place the chicken on the bed of salt, breast side down, making sure that no part of the chicken touches the metal. Cover the casserole and cook over medium-low heat for 1 hour. If using a pressure-cooker, cook for 20 minutes counting from the time the valve starts to whistle.

Do not uncover during cooking time.

Meanwhile, prepare the dunking sauce. Stir the minced garlic and ginger with the olive oil. Season with salt (add more or less depending on your preference).

When cooking time is up, insert a long, large fork into the chicken cavity to lift it without breaking. Transfer to a plate. Take about a tablespoonful of the olive oil from the sauce and brush the chicken all over.

Serve hot.

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  1. bing says

    hi Connie,

    I always find your site very helpful, hence, i make sure that I check your site everyday. I also witnessed the transition of your blog from the old version and this one. The only suggestion I would like to share is, your previous blog allows me to print only the recipe, but your current blog don’t have this provision (or am i just missing something here? :) ).

    Nevertheless, thanks so much for sharing your wonderful recipes and food ideas.

    Bing :)

  2. Totits says


    Allow me to thank you for the recipe on pinaupong manok.

    In a discussion with a friend, the topic shifted to how her brother decided to cook pinaupong manok using a large can of milk. We dedided to check the internet for the recipe and came across your site.

    On another matter, I was looking for Chilean Sea Bass recipes and came across a report on mercury poisoning of seafood specifically tuna, swordfish sea bass and alaskan halibut. My question: how affected are we, here in the Philippines, from this kind of poisoning.

    Mercury poisoning, which may happen through ingestion of fish that contain high levels of mercury cause brain damage. It can in fact lower intelligence in children and cause memory loss and tremors in adults.

  3. says

    Totits, I worry about it too. Canned tuna here, for instance, are not sufficiently labeled to inform the consumer just what variety of tuna is inside. For now, we stopped eating canned tuna.

  4. maricar says

    hi, connie!

    thanks for the recipe, before i try it i’d like to ask you if it’s ok to use a non stick casserole instead of palayok or stainless?


    • Mikoy says

      Hi Connie, this is my first time to write in your blog and before anything else I have cooked almost 10recipes from ur site and I must say superb and delicious! :)

      Connie, I used le creuset for this pinaupong manok but thing is the vapor, instead of escaping it goes back inside and becomes liquid again thus my pinaupong manok becomes tinola LOL because of this I somehow decreased the salt because it would make the chicken extremely salty. In spite of this, I still love this and will cook it again when the mood or cravings come again :)

      • Connie says

        I have a new recipe for pinaupong manok which I’ll be posting soon. Hopefully, yours won’t turn into tinola. :)

  5. says

    Hello,I am interested with your recipe on the Pinaupong Manok.My question is.When cooking with a pressure cooker,I have to layer the bottom of the pot with salt and had the chicken on top of the I getting that right? No liquid added to the pressure cooker?

    Thanks Ralph

  6. Fatima says

    Hi con,

    Just wondering what would be the result if I will use sesame oil instead of the olive oil cos for the moment I don’t have olive oil and I’m soooo ready to try this recipe now :oops: Hope the outcome would still be great. Anyways, I’m going to the grocery late this afternoon but I have to cook this chicken for lunch and I just feel the urge to do the pinaupong manok. By the way, I’ve been calling you by your first name , hope it’s okey with you. Thanks for your wonderful recipes. My mom thinks I’m a super cook now :lol:

  7. Sarah says

    Hi Connie,

    I am so anxiuos to try your pinaupong manok. I have a question though, can I cook this thing in the oven and on what temperature?


  8. says

    Sarah, it will come out as roast chicken UNLESS you cook it in a sealed ovenware. Temperature, I wouldn’t know. Never cooked pinaupong manok in the oven.

  9. Sarah says

    Hi Connie, the pinaupong manok turned out perfect except I overcooked it a little bit but overall it was alright.

    I have a couple of questions to ask you, maybe three. First, is there any way you can share me the recipe of Taisan Cake, is this similar to Ensaimada? Secondly, where can I order the Polvoron Mold online? I am from Toronto,Canada and I don’t seem to find this kind of mold here not even in Chinatown. Finally, do you know the recipe of Longganisa from Cagayan Valley? I hope you can help me. Thanks!


  10. says

    Sarah, taisan and ensaimada – dunno know to make them. polvoron mold online – i have no idea. longganisa from cagayan valley, dunno either. sorry.

  11. bambee says

    hi – im so eager to try this out but i dont have rock salt. is it okay to use regular iodized salt for this?

  12. says

    Hello! Thanks po very much for the recipes. if i don’t have something in mind to cook i just open your website then ayos na ang breakfast, lunch at dinner. Thanks po ulit for sharing!

  13. carmie says

    hi, love to try this one but i there is no rock salt available in dubai as u think iodized salt will be the best alternative

  14. danica says

    Hi Connie, Is it supposed to be really salty? Actually some parts of it are really good pero there are parts that are really salty. I used a slow cooker instead of a pressure cooker. It looks ok, the chicken is golden brown after cooking. Di lang talaga namin makain some parts of it.

    By the way, for those who can’t find rock salt, there are coarse salt in supermarkets. You can also use sea salt pero a little expensive.

  15. says

    i first tasted this dish when i was 9. i believe it is a pampangeño delicacy cos i heard and tasted it from pampanga. for me this is the best way to cook and eat chicken. yummy. ^_^

  16. Chris says

    Hi Connie

    Cooked this last night. My kids just loved it.
    I am just learning to cook, because I have to
    as my wife is now doing night shifts. I find your website
    very informative, and the instructions quite simple to follow.
    Mabuhay po kayo.

    Cheers from Australia.

  17. Rose says

    thanks for pinaupong manok recipe…will try this, this Christmas…by the way can i use the rice cooker casserole? low heat?

  18. melisa says

    Hi! Para po hindi maalat what we do is put a metal hotpad (“lakal” tawag namin) dun namin pinapatong yung chicken para walang part ng chicken ang sumasayad sa salt. Nirurub namin ng margarine yung chicken for golden color. Para mabango naglalagay din po kami ng pandan leaf. Suggestion lang po.

    More power!

  19. Marisse says

    Hi Connie,

    Is it safe to just place the salt in the pressure cooker without water? My pressure cooker broke after cooking twice in it and now I bought a new one, its manual specifically said do not put anything dry and always make sure there is water in there…. Just making sure I don’t break this new one! Appreciate your input on this.

  20. Marisse says

    Hi Connie,

    sorry after re-reading my comment, I meant, after cooking pinaupong manok twice in it….my pressure cooker broke down….


  21. marissa says

    hi! i am a 50-year old working mother and i enjoyed every chunk of your pinaupong manok recipe. marunong din kasi ako magluto nun. i used to put lemongrass inside the chicken sauce is juts like the usual toyo and kalamansi.
    ok lang b na i-rub ng asin ang chicken bago iluto?ano ba ang appropriate na side dish sa pinaupong manok? thanks.

  22. says

    Marissa, am not so sure about rubbing the salt. I was thinking that the skin might turn out much saltier than the meat. A stir-fried vegetable dish would be good, I think, Marissa. Like chop suey with minimal meat. :)

  23. Paeng says

    Hi Connie:

    We tried this recipe, it was very good! We, however, made some changes though… Instead of the chicken touching the salt, we placed a layer of banana leaf between the salt and the chicken, thus no part of the chicken tasted very salty. :)

    Thanks for the recipe! Live long and prosper ;)

  24. weng says

    hi connie,
    finally, i have encountered pinaupong manok recipe..i’ve bin asking my frends how to do it but i just imagined the procedure! i will try this at home, then if it will be great, i will prepare one for christmas! nyway, can i cook it in our rice cooker?

  25. peachy says

    ms. connie,

    the same measurement din ba if use iodized salt. wala pa kasi akong nakitang rock salt dito.

    Thank you.

  26. julie says

    hi ms. connie
    gusto ko tlaga ang recipe u n pinaupong manok sa asin pero khit ano gawin ko ndi ko prin makuha ung sala n gusto
    ibigay u nga skin ung sekreto mo sa paggawa mo ng recipe n ito?
    salamat poh?

  27. emmanQ says

    hi ms. connie,

    I have a very simple recipe of pinaupong manok. I sort of “discovered or invented” it when I was in High school. Our barkadas once were about to go on a picnic in a hot spring resort in Bicol. Each one has to bring his own recipe. I volunteered, I’ll bring pinaupong manok although I don’t know how it is done. I was thinking I’ll just ask somebody who knows. To my dismay, nobody knows. The only information I can get is it’s supposed to be cooked in palayok “sitting” on lots of salt. Bravely, I embarked on this project on my own. I bought a big clay pot with cover. Big enough for the body of the chicken not to touch it. I put about an inch deep of rock salt at the bottom. I wash carefully the chicken and with water still dripping, let it ‘sit’ on the salt. I didn’t put anything inside not even rubbing salt inside or outside. We had a dirty kitchen stove using firewood as fuel. I cooked it until steam is coming out. I thought I burned it already because I smelt something burning. What happened was, the steam that was generated inside cooked it so well that its fat dripped to the salt at the bottom that it burned to a reddish brown. the flesh was so perfectly soft and the taste was so good. It had a subtle “asim” that I remember resembles the taste of a new clay jar that was broken and when we were small children we would laugh when it sticks to our wet lips. Anyway, everybody loved the taste of my pinaupong manok.

  28. Kyo says

    Hi, I just wanna ask what is the purpose of the thick salt in your recipe? Also, if you put the chicken in contact on top of the salt layer, the chicken will absorb the salt making it extremely salty. In our tagalog recipe of pinaupong manok, we put a layer of banana leaf stem on top of the salt. The chicken SHOULD not touch the salt. :)

    • says

      The reason you’re using rock salt: After cooking, all excess salt can be scarped off. Place a layer of anything between the chicken and the salt and the chicken does not absorb anything. Might as well rub it with salt inside and out before cooking.

  29. maharmi bie calindas says

    i tried this recipe and got all my questions answered by the FAQs. im just waiting now for the result. Hopefully it will turn out good. thanks for the recipe…

  30. myra says

    We had this for dinner, although its an italian recipe. The chicken is stuffed with bread crumbs, egg, rosemary pepper garlic, lemon zest and lemon juice. I also add rosemary twigs on salt and put a pinch of pepper with the rock salt then popped it in the oven for 1 and a half hour on 220°C, I used your sauce for steamed chicken and eat it with Zucchini trifolati as a side dish. thats what I call eating without a sense of guilt.

      • janisinthehouse says

        ms. connie, baka po the admin deleted it already kasi i made a comment there about taking the recipe from your site. if i remember it correctly, the “eunice” who submitted it to the site lifted the second paragraph, the ingredients and the cooking procedure of your recipe in its entirety.

        • Connie says

          I posted a comment there asking for the deletion of the entry. It’s currently under moderation. We’ll see what happens. :)

    • says

      Thanks for the tip, I’ll report him to Google which owns Blogspot, to get his blog down. Looks like all his posts were stolen from many different bloggers.

      P.S. Had to delete the link — people will click out of curiosity and that will do the thief a favor. :)

  31. Mikko says

    Thanks for this. My brother used to cook this when i was a kid in antique.

    Brings back the memories.

    By the way, i added lemongrass with the onions and garlic. Just something i can remember my brother used to place inside the chicken.

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