Pork sinigang is a popular Filipino sour soup that makes use of different souring agents to flavor the broth. Green or unripe tamarind is traditionally used but guava, kamias (bilimbi), santol (cottonfruit) or green mango may also be used. Fresh tamarind is rare and expensive so others use powdered tamarind seasoning mix for convenience.
For pork sinigang, pork belly is the popular cut to use but pork shoulder, neckbone (butu-buto), tailbone (buntot) or spareribs may also be used. For this recipe, I used pork shoulder, a variety of vegetables and frozen unripe tamarind pods to flavor the broth. This soup is so easy to make. The pork is first boiled until tender and the vegetables are then added. The tamarind juice is added afterwards.
This sour and savory soup is a comforting dish for me when I was growing up. I loved coming home from school to a bowl of piping hot sinigang and a plate of steamed rice.
- 8 oz (227 g) package frozen unripe tamarind pods or 1 packet of tamarind seasoning mix
- 2 lb pork shoulder or skinless pork belly, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 12 cups water, divided
- 1 tbsp kosher salt plus more to taste
- 6 pieces taro roots, peeled and cut in halves
- 1 small daikon, peeled and sliced into ½-inch diagonal pieces
- 1 Chinese eggplant, sliced into ½ inch diagonal pieces
- 4 oz green beans, trimmed
- 1 tomato, cut into wedges
- 1 small onion, sliced
- 4 cups baby spinach
- 2 whole serrano peppers
- Steamed rice, for serving
- Fish sauce, for serving
- If using tamarind pods, combine the tamarind and 2 cups water in a saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat for 10 minutes or until the tamarind is soft. Using the back of a spoon, mashed the softened tamarind. Strain the juice into a bowl and set aside. Discard the seeds and shells.
- In a large pot, place the pork and 10 cups of water, if using tamarind pods or 12 cups of water if using seasoning mix. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Add salt, lower heat to medium and simmer covered for 1 hour or until pork is tender.
- Add the taro roots and cook for 5 minutes. Add the daikon, eggplant and green beans, and cook for 10 more minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
- Stir in the tamarind juice or seasoning mix, and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the tomato, onion, spinach and peppers. Season to taste with salt.
- Serve with steamed rice and fish sauce on the side.