Binakol is a chicken soup from Western Visayas, specifically Iloilo and Aklan. It’s name is believed to come from the Kinaray-a term for cooking in bamboo tubes; although, some accounts say it’s from the Hiligaynon word “bakol” (to spank), which refers to how the meat used is spanked prior to cooking for more flavor. It’s a testament to the culinary creativity of Filipinos; the dish being traditionally cooked in bamboo tubes, or inside half coconut husks. It’s similar to tinola; but it uses coconut water for the broth, giving it a distinct sweetness.
Binakol recipes usually use native chicken for its meat (especially the Batangas version). But in our version, we swap it out for seafood to balance out the refreshing broth. What you get is a light, subtly sweet soup, paired with a sort of earthy depth. No pressure to cook this in bamboo or coconuts—though it’d be arguably better if you could.