A few months ago, I asked my Facebook friends which dish they thought was the most “Filipino” and most of the answers were either Adobo or Sinigang. If you ask me, I’d saaaaaaayyyy…Sinigang? Foreigners have heard more about Adobo than they have Sinigang but I like Sinigang better than Adobo. The only Adobo I like is my mom’s, I always tease my mom that my extra pounds are because of her. I’m like a homeless person who has not eaten for two days when my mom serves me her Adobo — yup! It’s the oily, pork belly that has been simmered then fried. I have three servings of rice each and every time!
Wait a moment, this post is about Sinigang! Let’s talk about that.
Sinigang is probably the most versatile Filipino food I know. There are so many different types, it depends on what souring agent and protein you used.
If I have to list out my favorite versions of Sinigang, I’d say:
- My mother-in-law’s Sinigang na Salmon sa Miso (Salmon in Sour Broth with Miso)
- Sinigang na Baboy at Baka (Pork and Beef in Sour Broth)
- Sinigang na Buto-Buto (Pork Ribs in Sour Broth – Ribs, not the spine)
- Sinigang na Bangus (Milk fish in Sour Broth)
- Sinigang na Baboy (Pork Belly in Sour Broth)
- Sinigang na Corned Beef (Corned Beef in Sour Broth)
Other versions of Sinigang are:
- Sinigang na Hipon (Shrimp in Sour Broth)
- Sinigang na Manok (Chicken in Sour Broth)
- Sinigang na Baka (Beef in Sour Broth)
There are so many more! Did you know that there’s Buko Sinigang (Young Coconut)? Strawberry Sinigang? I promise you, I’m not kidding! Strawberry Sinigang is from Baguio. Some use souring agents that I don’t want to eat again, Kamias and Guava. There’s still Calamansi that I have not tried — calamansi is so expensive in Hong Kong so I’d probably try that in the Philippines! 🙂
You might be asking, if my mother-in-law’s sinigang was my most favorite, why am I not making that? Well, that’s because I can’t get the same type of miso here. She buys her miso from the Philippines’ wet market — the ones from the groceries are NOT the same. One day, maybe I’d get to cook it the way she does. 🙂
Let’s proceed to favorite #2 then! Before I met my husband, I’ve not had this at home. Last year, he requested me to cook him Sinigang which had both Pork and Beef and I loved it! 🙂 It was more flavorful!
The vegetables in Sinigang could be any or all of the following:
- Kang Kong (Water Spinach)
- Labanos (White Radish)
- Gabi (Taro)
- Sitaw (Yardlong beans)
- Talbos ng kamote (Camote tops)
- Pechay (Chinese Cabbage, Shanghai, Bok Choy)
- Talong (Eggplant)
Honestly, people can put anything they want. My husband and I have either kang kong or bok choy when we cook Sinigang at home. The traditional ones have kang kong, sitaw, labanos and gabi so that is what I’ll show you today. 🙂
I’ve never cooked Sinigang from scratch, with fresh tamarind — Yes Jewo, I’m not as hard-core as you are! 😛 I’d like to learn that but since we have this at least once a week, after 8 hours of work, I’d like to do the easy stuff. 🙂
There are a lot of Knorr Sinigang mixes, take your pick! Do you want the Original? A bit spicy? thicker soup? Miso? I’ve not tried other brands but I guess the taste is pretty much close.
Sinigang would have tomatoes, onion, protein, souring agent and vegetables. It doesn’t taste the same if there are no veggies and absolutely not right if it doesn’t have any tomatoes or onion.
It starts with simmering the pork and beef in 6 cups of water, 3 big tomatoes and 1 big red onion. I’d put all that in a pressure cooker so we could eat sooner. 🙂 You can simmer that for at least 1 hour and a half…if you could wait that long. 🙂 It takes me about 40 minutes with the pressure cooker.
While waiting for the meat to become tender, I prepared the vegetables. As you can see, I have a lot of water spinach, some white radish, taro and yardlong beans. We also like a bit of spiciness in there, so we put in finger chilies.
Once the meat is tender, I saw that there’s not enough soup. My husband and I like our soup A LOT! I put in 2 more cups of water, let that boil then started putting in the vegetables. Of course, if you’re not such a big fan of soup, you don’t need to put in more water. 🙂
First, I put in the taro, since that would take the longest – that will make your soup’s consistency a little thicker. When I’m able to pierce the taro through and through, I put in the yard long beans, white radish and chilies. When those vegetables were almost done, I emptied a big pack of Knorr Sinigang Mix (Original) tasted it and added another pack of the mix, we like VERY VERY sour Sinigang, you can adjust that to your liking.
To season, you can use fish sauce — I added 1 teaspoon.
When I’m satisfied with the taste, I add in the water spinach and take it out after 30 seconds. DONE! Serve that with steamed white rice and have calamansi + fish sauce in a small bowl.
My husband said this was the best Sinigang I’ve cooked him — I guess it does taste a lot better when there are more vegetables, although he doesn’t like the radish! Haha! 😛
Sinigang na Baboy at Baka
(Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 1 hour)
- 600g Pork belly
- 250g Beef shoulder
- 3 big tomatoes, sliced
- 1 big red onion, sliced
- 8 cups of water (6 + 2, you can adjust this to your liking)
- 80g Yardlong beans, broken into pieces that are 2 inches long
- Water Spinach
- 4 finger chilies, cute in half if you need it spicier
- 200g White radish, sliced
- 220 g Taro, sliced
- 2 big pack Knorr Original Sinigang Mix (1 + 1, you can adjust this to your liking)
- Fish sauce to taste
- Calamansi + Fish sauce as condiment
- Combine pork, beef, onion, tomatoes and 6 cups of water in a pressure cooker or pot, simmer until meat is tender.
- When meat is tender, adjust the amount of water if needed.
- Add in taro, simmer until fork can pass through.
- Add in yardlong beans, white radish and chilies. Simmer until yard long beans are almost cooked.
- Add in Sinigang mix, keep adding until you achieve the sourness that you want.
- Season with fish sauce, if you want it saltier.
- Add in water spinach and take out after 30 seconds.
- Serve with calamansi or lemon with fish sauce on the side.
Makes 4-5 servings