Ever since I moved out of the Philippines and started living abroad, I had difficulties getting the exact ingredients for the Filipino dishes that I want to cook every time I feel homesick. The taste is different when I don’t use Reno liver spread for my calderata. The adobo will taste different, as well, if it’s not the local brands for the soy sauce and vinegar.
And when it comes to the sinigang, it is different when it’s not kangkong or water spinach.
Sinigang is a soup characterized by its sour taste due to the tamarind mixed into it, or any other sour fruits (such as kamias, guava, unripe mango, etc.) or leaves as a souring agent. When I was in Thailand, they asked me to describe it, and I cannot think of any other easy way but say that it’s similar to tom yum, but without the red-chili spiciness or coconut milk in it.
Sinigang is typically cooked with pork. But the variety is endless, as there’s an option to use seafood like fish or shrimp or chicken, as well.
And since I’m away from home, I just used the sinigang powder mix I can buy in the Asian stores. Sometimes, there’s kangkong in the fridge, but it’s too expensive. My friend suggested using spinach instead, since it’s the one she uses anyway, and it’s cheaper.
This turned out so good. I bought the fish from the Pinoy store, where a pack of 8 cut pieces is priced at 4.99Eur. I only used 4 of them for this recipe, and I enjoyed it because the fish is fatty, and it adds flavor to the dish. The long Japanese eggplant is bought at the Indian store. I am fortunate to have a variety of stores in this part of France! 🙂 I only miss this recipe using long chili, which adds flavor, spice, and more aroma to this dish.
1 pc eggplant (any will do), cut into medium-sized pieces
1 kl spinach
2 medium-sized tomatoes, cut into quarters
1/2 kl long beans, cut into medium sizes
1 pc white radish, sliced
1 white onion, sliced
4 pcs fish, sliced in a serving portion (or pork or shrimp, amount is whatever you desired)
1 pack sinigang mix
pinch of salt
3-5 pcs long chili (if available)
- Boil 5 cups of water in a pot. When it starts to simmer, add in the pork if you are using pork. Cook it first until it becomes so tender.
- Once cooked and tender, add the onion, tomatoes and radish. If using fish as the meat, when the water starts to boil, add the fish along with the onion, tomatoes and radish.
- Put the sinigang mix, too. Stir gently to mix it in the soup.
- If you have long chili, add it in the pot after 5 minutes since you put the sinigang mix.
- Once the radish is cooked, put the long beans, and cook for about 10 minutes.
- Put in the spinach (or kangkong, if you have). This is the last and the easiest to cook, so turn off the heat. Season with salt or a teaspoon of fish sauce, and mix it gently. Cover the pot. The heat will help to cook it.
After a few minutes, this is now ready to serve!
I usually don’t put salt or fish sauce; I tend to forget about it. I love my sinigang sour, and it works for me most of the time. I leave it to you if you want to season it with salt or fish sauce to add a bit of salty flavor. How about you? Do you have a different way of cooking sinigang? Let me know, and maybe I can try that one, too! 🙂