It’s been a cold, wet day. I think It’s just the perfect type of weather that calls for a piping-hot pot soup, isn’t it? Isn’t it a perfect time, too, to learn how to cook the best Pork Sinigang? Read on!
During this season, Sinigang is my ultimate comfort food that warms my tummy and satisfies my cravings!
Well, Sinigang is a Filipino native soup which means “stewed” or “to stew”. While present nationwide, Sinigang is seen to be culturally Tagalog in origin, so the similar sour stews and soups found in the Visayas region and Mindanao (like Linarang) are regarded as different dishes and differ in the ingredients used.
In addition, other kinds of meat and seafood can also be used. Beef, shrimp and fish are the most commonly used in Sinigang, but personally, I prefer the pork-base one.
What About Pork Sinigang?
Pork Sinigang ( tagalog-Sinigang na Baboy) is a traditional Filipino soup dish known for its sour flavor. The quality of this dish depends on the souring agent. Originally, the most common and widely used souring agent for this dish is unripe tamarind fruit or sampaloc in tagalog.
The use of tamarind, however, as time passed by, has been replaced with the use of an artificial form of flavorings in cubes and in powder. Also, instead of tamarind, you can use guava, calamansi, bilimbi (kamias), unripe green mango or santol.
My mom’s special add-ons are any pork bones (pork belly with rib bones, pork neck bones, baby back ribs, and other bony parts) because bones add more umami flavor to the soup.
Things I Love About It
What I love about this dish is that, aside from its delicious taste, it is also easy to prepare that in the course of time, a hot-pot soup can already fill my tummy. Also, during the cold days, it rouses my senses due to its sour taste and a bit of spicy flavor. For me, it is perfect with a serving of steamed rice and fish sauce with lots of chilies.
Not just that, I feel refreshed too despite the fact that it is a hot dish. It might be because of its tangy taste that makes me sweat and cools down my body temperature during humid days. Most especially, it is my family’s “Sunday’s favorite” because of how it ties our hearts together around the dining table.
Benefits Of This Dish
Pork Sinigang has significantly changed my appetite when it comes to eating food with vegetables. At first, I didn’t really like how it tasted and even the smell, but then, I learned to eat some vegetables because of this dish, and that very moment made me realize why my mom kept on telling me to eat veggies, and it is simply because, as she always says, “Masustansya ang gulay, pampahaba ng buhay.”
(Vegetables are for long life as they are nutritious and healthy) Now, it’s time to be aware of the health benefits this dish can give:
- Vitamins – That’s nothing else but the group of B Vitamins – Thiamine (B1), Riboflavin (B2), Niacin, Pantothenic Acid (B5), Pyridoxine (B6), Biotin (B7), Folic Acid (B9), and Cobalamin (B12). All these B-vitamins have a powerful impact on your body in terms of stabilizing your energy levels, improving your brain functions and being accountable for the developmental processes that happen with and in-between cells.
- Regulates your digestion – Dietary fibers are found only in selected veggies, like eggplants – these dietary fibers are responsible for helping one achieve a balanced diet. Thus, eggplants can also help you lose weight as they are bulky but with less calories, making you feel full for a longer period of time, so you’ll tend not to overeat.
- Radish has anthocyanins which help our hearts to function well and protects them from cardiovascular diseases.
- Radish also helps you achieve that “Outside Glow” through Zinc, Phosphorus and loads of Vitamin V which are present in this vegetable.
String beans (Sitaw)
- These are highly recommended for lactating mothers. Also, it is identified as an energy food. In addition, it helps in the prevention of bone degradation.
- This original souring agent can slow down your aging processes and even more, could help you when you’re dealing with cold and flu. Also, one wondrous fact about it is that it could be your back-up buddy versus diabetes!
Ever since, Pork Sinigang has been my well-loved dish because of how it f my cravings, and all I can say is that there is no better way to warm you up and comfort you than with this deliciously-cooked dish!
Salvaging My Pork Sinigang
When your your dish tastes bad, the only thing you should do is to save it.
- Not Sour Enough- this dish is supposed to be sour, so when there’s not enough sourness, definitely, you didn’t cook it right. Thus, to save your dish, squeeze more tamarinds or any souring agents of your choice then add the juice to your dish, boil it for a few more minutes.
- Too sour- just like a lot of things in life, too much of everything is bad, so having too sour dish that your face frowns already is not good also. Add more water and a pinch of salt to remove too much sour flavor from the dish.
- Too Fatty- since you are using Pork meat, it’s inevitable to bite fatty meat parts that are too oily, and sometimes, it is distasteful. When this happens, simply transfer the meat in a chopping board, then remove the fatty part. When there’s oil and fats floating on your dish’s soup, skim it. Also, to counteract the distasteful flavor after removing the fatty parts, try to add more green veggies to your dish.
Tips in cooking Pork Sinigang
To avoid common cooking mistakes and to be able to serve a good-tasting dish, follow these simple tips.
- Little by little, add the souring agent until the desired sourness is achieved.
- Do not overcook your veggies as doing so just drains their flavors and causes veggies to lose their important nutrients.
- Use fresh Pork meat to avoid the bad aftertaste.
- If you lack souring agents, check stores near you for good Sinigang mix products. Again, do this if you don’t have enough souring agents.
What to Serve With this Dish?
This dish is everyone’s constant to keep you warm during cold days or nights, but if this dish has friends it goes well with, then, these are probably the ones listed below. Read on!
- Plain Rice – I’m a lover of garlic rice, but there are instances that I set aside my affection for it, and this one of those. There’s no use having flavored rice when it will just be diluted by this dish’s soup.
- Fish Sauce with red chilies- Filipinos are fond of balance, so when something is sour, we want to balance it by having something salty as the dip, and fish sauce is the perfect choice because of its umami flavor, and if partnered with red chilies, it will be just a hot and spicy meal experience.
- Fried Fish- the vibes fish brings is just completely different from the pork meat in Sinigang. Its being a fried, dry and salty is just perfect for this sour soup dish.
- Buttered Shrimps- although there is also a variant of Sinigang that uses this seafood instead of pork, I still opt to have shrimps cooked in butter as the side dish because that “Shrimp in Tamarind” just soaks shrimps in soup for too long, causing it to have a soggy texture. Also, the oil in butter just makes it up for the fatty oil in the Sinigang.
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Best Pork Sinigang Recipe
- 2 lbs Pork Ribs
- 1 Bunch Spinach
- 3 tbsp Salt
- 12 Pieces String Beans Cut in 2-inch length
- 2 Pieces Tomatoes Quartered
- 3 Pieces Chili or Banana Pepper
- 1.5 Liters Water
- 1 Piece Onion Sliced
- 2 Pieces Taro Quartered
- 1 Piece Radish
- 1/2 Kilo Tamarind Fruit You can add more depending on your preference
- In a pot, pour in 500 ml water and toss in tamarind. Bring to boil. Set aside.
- In another pot, add 1 ltr water. Put in pork and onion, and sprinkle with salt. Bring to boil.
- While waiting for the pork to get tender, crush tamarind with your bare hands. Then, filter using a strainer or squeeze using a clean cloth to get the tamarind juice.
- While boiling the pork, skim the scum.
- Add taro, radish, and sliced tomatoes. Continue to boil until taro and radish softened.
- Pour the tamarind juice. Then add the green chilies, string beans and water spinach.
- Cover and simmer for 5-8 minutes or until the spinach and string beans are cooked.
- Serve while hot. Share and enjoy!