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Sinigang is a Filipino soup or stew characterized by its sour flavor most often associated with tamarind.
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Sinigang is traditionally tamarind based. Other versions of the dish derive their sourness from ingredients such as guava, calamansi, bilimbi, or unripe mango among others. Powdered soup base or bouillon cubes for sinigang based on tamarind or calamondin are also used in place of natural fruits. Vinegar is not used for making sinigang sour. A similar dish made with vinegar as the primary souring ingredient would tend to be categorized as paksiw in Philippine cuisine.
Meat in sinigang (e.g., fish, pork, shrimp, or beef) is often stewed with tamarinds, tomatoes, and onions. Other vegetables commonly used in the making of sinigang include okra, taro corms (gabi), daikon (labanos), water spinach (kangkong), yardlong beans (sitaw) and eggplant (talong). Most Filipinos like to cook sinigang with green finger pepper in order to enhance the taste while adding a little spice to the dish.
A common variation of chicken sinigang is called sinampalukang manok or sinampalukan (from sampalok, Filipino for tamarind). Sinampalukan is distinguished by its use of shredded tamarind leaves. It is also made with ginger, onions, and tomatoes. Sinampalukan is sometimes prepared to be a little spicier than the other sinigang dishes.
Formal Filipino restaurants commonly list sinigang as a soup and serve it as such. It is, however, traditionally and typically transferred from the bowl to the plate and eaten with rice in a similar manner to a main dish.
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 pound beef stew meat, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 quart water
- 2 large tomatoes, diced
- 1/2 pound fresh green beans, rinsed and trimmed
- 1/2 medium head bok choy, cut into 1 1/2 inch strips
- 1 head fresh broccoli, cut into bite size pieces
- 1 (1.41 ounce) package tamarind soup base
- Heat oil in medium stock pot. Saute onion and garlic until tender. Add beef to pot, and saute until browned. Pour in water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 20 to 30 minutes.
- Place tomatoes and green beans in pot, and continue to simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in bok choy, broccoli and tamarind soup mix. Simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
SINIGANG VARIATIONS BY SOUR MIX
- Miso Sinigang
- Sinigang sa Sampalok (Tamarind Sinigang)
- Sinigang sa Bayabas (Guava Sinigang)
SINIGANG VARIATIONS BY MAIN INGREDIENT
- Milkfish Sinigang
- Pork Sinigang
- Shrimp Sinigang
- Tilapia Sinigang
- Chicken Sinigang
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- Fish Sinigang
- Beef Sinigang
- Crab Sinigang
There is no rule as to what vegetables to use; the cook can use as much vegetable variety as preferred.
OTHER – NOT SO USUAL – SINIGANG DISHES
Sinigang using santol fruit as the sour source:
Photo from: marketmanila.com
Fish Sinigang with Tamarind and Tender Young Coconut
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Sinigang with Strawberry:
Sinigang with Watermelon:
Sinigang Lechon (Broiled Pork):
Please let us know if you have other versions of Unusual Sinigang!