Sinigang is a popular sour soup from the Philippines, well popular for its sour taste that comes from fruits with sour notes like santol (wild mangosteen), kamias (averrhoa bilimbi), calamansi (calamondin), green mangoes, guava and the most common of all the tamarind. Apart from sour fruit, the basic ingredients are meats (pork, beef, fish or chicken), kangkong (water spinach), taro root, green finger chillies, tomatoes, onions, string beans and okra. Traditionally juices from the sour fruits are extracted by boiling it together with the soup then pressed using a fine sieve back to the pot but due to instant mixes the traditional way of preparing this is not anymore practiced.
This is probably Philippines most famous soup and second most famous dish after Adobo, a lot consider this as a comfort meal and this goes easily to the top favourite dishes of every Filipino, for me it is my top 1 and I can’t live a fortnight without having a serving of this one. To consume this is not like your normal Western soups as this is eaten as a viand combined with steamed rice, now you might find it absurd why a tropical country like the Philippines enjoy a hot soup like this, well with the sour fresh flavours infused in this dish it leaves a refreshing appetite-encouraging taste that is well designed for the humid tropics.
1 kg Pork Belly, cubed
150-200 g okra medium sized, sliced in half
150-200 g string beans, sliced
1 bunch of kangkong (water spinach) or any leafy vegetables
8 pieces small taro
1 large red onion, roughly chopped
1 packet sinigang (tamarind) mix or 400 g tamarind
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
3 pcs green finger chillies
freshly ground black pepper
1. Place pork and chopped tomatoes in a pot, pour water in pot until the pork is barely covered bring to a boil. If using tamarind place it on a muslin cloth and tie the ends. Bring to a boil then simmer for 30 minutes.
2. Add the taro then continue to simmer for 30 minutes.
3. Add the sinigang mix or if using tamarind extract all the juice by wringing the muslin cloth multiple times then remove once all juice is extracted.
4. Add green finger chillies, okra and string beans then cook for 5 minutes
5. While boiling add the kangkong leaves and cover, turn of the heat.
6. Season with freshly ground black pepper and fish sauce