Pinaupong Manok

Pinaupong Manok, which means “sitting chicken”, is a Filipino-style chicken dish steam-cooked on a bed of rock. It’s moist, tender and delicious to the bone!

G returned from his Jujitsu class just before noon today and found me bending and contorting every which way, trying to take a decent shot of this pinaupong manok.

He took one look at my roasted chicken with its legs up in the air and said, “that is one weird looking bird”. Well, Smartypants, if you’ve spent the last two hours sitting and sweating on rock salt, you won’t be looking too swell either.

And then, of course, we had the chicken for lunch, and he couldn’t stop raving about how moist and flavorful it was, how the meat was so tender and delicious. Ha! Justice for my little winged friend.

Tips on How to Make Pinaupong Manok

  • Make sure to use a thick-bottomed pot with a tight-fitting lid as there is no liquid added and the chicken will cook only from the steam. There should be a wide enough space around the chicken to keep it from touching or sticking to the sides of the pot.
  • The amount of rock salt will vary depending on the size of the pot; have the bed of salt at about 1-1/2 to 2 inches deep.
  • As the chicken should be sitting upright to cook evenly, I peeled and leveled off one side of a whole onion and inserted it in the cavity after the lemongrass. The onion not only boosts flavor but also balances the chicken to help it “sit” upright.
  • I used salt, pepper, garlic, and lemongrass to season the chicken but I am sure it be will amazing with other blend herbs and spices as well. Mmm! I can imagine this stuffed with fresh sprigs of rosemary.
  • Cook time depends on the size/weight of the chicken. You can use a meat thermometer to gauge doneness. Insert in the thickest part of the chicken; if it reads 165 F, the chicken is ready to enjoy!

More Chicken Recipes:

  • Crispy Soy Chicken
  • Plum Sauce Lollipops
  • Chicken Sisig
  • Chicken Kare-Kare
  • Chinese Chicken Salad


Pinaupong Manok

Pinaupong Manok, which means “sitting chicken”, is a Filipino-style chicken dish steam-cooked on a bed of rock. It’s moist, tender and delicious to the bone!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Marinating30 mins
Total Time2 hrs 15 mins
 Course: Main Entree
 Cuisine: Filipino
 Keyword: pinaupong manok
 Servings:  Servings
 Calories: 397
 Author: Lalaine Manalo


  • 1 head garlic, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon pepper, freshly ground
  • 4 to 5 pounds whole chicken
  • rock salt
  • 2 stalks lemongrass
  • 1 large onion

Dipping Sauce

  • fish sauce or soy sauce to taste
  • calamansi juice


  • In a food processor, pulse garlic until smooth. In a small bowl, combine pureed garlic and pepper.
  • Remove the gizzards and any internal organs inside the chicken’s cavity. Under cold running water, rinse chicken well. Thoroughly dry the chicken inside and out.
  • Generously rub chicken inside and out with rock salt. Massage the chicken inside and out with the garlic and pepper mixture. Let stand for about 20 to 30 minutes.
  • 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.
  • Peel the onion and cut one end to level.
  • Stuff lemongrass into the chicken cavity. Insert onion with cut side facing outwards.
  • In a large, thick-bottomed pot, add rock salt to about 1 1/2 to 2-inches deep. Line banana leaves on top of the salt.
  • Position chicken on an upright, “sitting” position on banana leaves.
  • Cover pot with a tight-fitting lid. Over medium heat, cook chicken for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part reads 165 F.
  •  Gently lift chicken from pot and arrange on a serving platter. Serve hot with dipping sauce.

Dipping Sauce

  • In a bowl, combine lemon juice and fish sauce or soy sauce to taste.


Calories: 397kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 136mg | Sodium: 127mg | Potassium: 361mg | Vitamin A: 255IU | Vitamin C: 4.4mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 1.7mg

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