If you were to ask me for one dish that reminds me of home it would be my nanay’s Sinigang na Baboy. Sinigang are soups with a sour broth which will get your mouth watering. In other cultures, some see soup as a starter, however, in a Filipino household Sinigang is part of the main course which gets better as it mellows days after in the fridge. Baboy or pork soured with tamarind pulp is the more popular Sinigang combination. If you want to spice it up, add in a couple of chilies to the pot to give it a nice zing. This version of Sinigang calls for browning the pork which will bring out a greater depth of flavor in the broth.
¼ cup | 29.5ml of vegetable oil
1.5 lb | 0.68 kg of pork spare ribs cut into individual ribs (Ours are sourced from Long Stone Farm)
1.5 lb | 0.68 kg of boneless pork belly cut into 1½ inch (4 cm) pieces (Ours are sourced from Long Stone Farm)
½ lb | 0.23 kg sitaw (Chinese long beans) or green beans cut into 2-inch lengths
½ lb | 0.23 kg of romaine lettuce or other leafy green
½ lb | 0.23 kg of okra cut in half
3 cups of gabi (taro root) cut into 1 inch cubes
3 vine ripened tomatoes, cut into wedge
1 large onion, cut into wedges
1 medium daikon radish peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
3½ oz (100 g) of tamarind pulp (if unavailable substitute ½ cup of lemon juice or Sinigang sa Sampalok mix)
1 cup | 236 ml of boiling water for tamarind
6 cups | 1.5 l of water
- In a large deep pot heat 2 tsp of the vegetable oil over medium-high heat until shimmering
- Cook the pork spare ribs 5 minutes, turning until browned on all sides; transferring to a plate once browned.
- Add another 2 tsp of the vegetable oil to the pot and cook the pork belly for 5 minutes, turning until browned on all sides; set aside with the ribs when browned.
- Add the remaining vegetable oil to the pot and turn down the heat to medium.
- Cook the onions and tomatoes in the pot, stirring and scraping the fond from the bottom of the pot for 3 minutes.
- Return the ribs, pork belly, sitaw, okra, gabi, and daikon into the pot and add the 6 cups | 1.5 l of water, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to simmer the soup.
- While the soup is coming up to a boil, place the tamarind pulp into a heatproof bowl and cover it with the 1 cup | 236 ml of boiling water and leave it to soften for 15 minutes.
- Strain the tamarind mixture through a sieve over a bowl, squeezing the seeds to extract as much liquid as possible, then add to the pot (Add Sinigang na Sampalok mix or lemon juice to the pot if no tamarind pulp is available).
- Add the romaine lettuce to the pot and allow the soup to simmer for 10 minutes.
- Serve the soup in a bowl with the pork and cooked vegetables along with a side of kanin (steamed rice).