How to cook: Sinigang na baboy (pork and vegetables in tamarind broth)

How to cook: Sinigang na baboy (pork and vegetables in tamarind broth)

“Pork and vegetables in tamarind broth” is not the literal translation of sinigang na baboy. Rather, it is a description of the classic Filipino sour soup with pork and a medley of vegetables. Although tamarind is the most popular, and common, ingredient for flavoring sinigang, other fruits like kamias may be used. When cooking sinigang with seafood instead of meat, bayabas (guava) is the souring agent of choice.

When cooking sinigang with pork (or beef), choose a cut with bones because it is the bones that make the broth rich and full-bodied. Pork tail is usual but you can also use ribs or even belly with bones.

There are many vegetables that can go into a pot of sinigang. Kangkong (water/swamp spinach), sitaw (yard-long beans), talong (eggplants), okra and gabi (taro) are traditional. Add all of them or some of them, it’s really your choice. For tonight’s sinigang, I used kangkong, talong and gabi.

For my family, sinigang is comfort food all the way.

Ingredients

  • 700 g. of pork, cut into 2 to 3 inch cubes
    4 cloves of garlic, crushed and peeled
    1 onion, peeled and finely sliced
    2 large tomatoes, diced
    2 tbsps. of cooking oil
    3 finger chilis
    2 eggplants, cut into wedges
    1 taro, peeled and cut into wedges
    a bunch of kangkong, cut up
    100 to 150 g. of fresh tamarind, boiled in 2 c. of water until mushy
    patis (fish sauce), to taste

Instructions

  1. Sinigang na baboy (pork and vegetables in tamarind broth)

    Heat the cooking oil in a pot. Saute the garlic, onion and tomatoes until they start to soften.

    Sinigang na baboy (pork and vegetables in tamarind broth)

    Add the pork cubes. Cook, stirring, until the meat changes color.

    Sinigang na baboy (pork and vegetables in tamarind broth)

    Pour in enough water (or rice washing) to cover. Add the finger chilis. Season with patis. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for an hour to an hour and a half, or until the pork is tender.

    Sinigang na baboy (pork and vegetables in tamarind broth)

    About 20 minutes before the pork is done, add the taro wedges.

    Sinigang na baboy (pork and vegetables in tamarind broth)

    Meanwhile, place a fine sieve over a bowl. Pour in the tamarind with the boiling water. Press the boiled tamarinds through a fine sieve to get the juice and as much of the pulp as you can. For a more detailed tutorial (and more illustrative photos), click here to view how to extract tamarind juice.

    Sinigang na baboy (pork and vegetables in tamarind broth)

    About ten minutes after adding the taro (gabi) to the pot, add the eggplant wedges.

    Sinigang na baboy (pork and vegetables in tamarind broth)

    When the eggplants are almost done, add the kangkong to the pot, pressing them down gently into the broth. Let boil for five minutes. Taste the broth and add more patis if necessary.

    Sinigang na baboy (pork and vegetables in tamarind broth)

    Serve the soup hot.

Cooking time (duration): 1 hour to 1 hour and 30 minutes, depending on the quality and size of the pork

Number of servings (yield): 4

  • florisa

    sure is one of my comfort food. and nothing beats the real tamarind extract for the soup, just like my mommy used to make. altho, i admit i use the tamarind powder nowadays for convenience.

  • Kris

    Connie, your sinigang made me hungry… I can eat sinigang for a whole year and never get tired of eating it.. This is definitely what I’m cooking tonight, although I will add baby spinach instead of Kangkong. Actually sinigang is my winter/spring comfort food din :)

  • http://joyjoycreativeoutlet.blogspot.com Joy

    I actually use beef more than pork but yours look really good. Did you find the fat be a little tough when you boiled it? That generally happens to me when I boil pork.

    • http://homecookingrocks.com Connie

      After over an hour of simmering, no pork fat stays tough. Unless you’re cooking pata. That takes longer.

      • http://facebook Eric

        i use to cook pork sinigang, but i did’nt try sautee, nxt time i will try. is it ok not to put garlic on it?

        • http://homecookingrocks.com Connie

          Hmmmm… It won’t taste as good.

  • Andy Dalisay

    I like your sinigang, especially if you make it spicy. It’s my favourite.

  • Nikita

    Comfort food rin ito for me.

    And for salmon, we use miso instead of tamarind; yummy!

  • frenchadobo

    maybe i should stop visiting your blog daily connie. everytime i check your blog, i come face to face with the food that i have been longing to eat. it’s been a week i have been dreaming of a pork sinigang especially it’s still winter here and the hot-sour soup sure is very comforting! your sinigang reminds me of the sinigang my mom cooks for us during rainy season back home. nakakamiss magbakasyon tuloy. on the othe hand, i plan to visit restaurants which serve filipino dishes on our coming vacation in the philippines, may i ask you to please recommend me good filipino restaurants that you have tried already ? want to show my husband more of the filipino taste. thanks in advance;

    • http://homecookingrocks.com Connie

      Naku, I suggest you just cook for him instead. The best Filipino food are served in carinderias rather than in posh restos.

      • beth

        I agree with you.Filipino food in posh restos are no longer authentic—-mostly asian fusion or something deconstructed for new appeal!

    • soleilnyc

      Just in case frenchadobo ever comes back, I’d love to recommend Abe in Serendra. The food is Kapampangan, known to have some of the best food in the country (sisig, bagnet, etc). When I went, they were even serving adobong field crickets. That’s about as authentic as you can get! Whenever I go back to the Phils, I make it a point to have a meal there.

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    • http://www.lukaret.com Beng

      naglalaway tuloy ako :). it looks so yummy!

      • Lee

        Hello, Miss Connie. I was surfing the net to look for Filipino dishes as I miss having them since I got here (US) and I happen to see your website and I am so happy as it helped me a lot to learn how to cook (like a chef) :-). May I ask what is the best substitute for kangkong in cooking pork sinigang? Hirap po makanap ng kangkong dito kahit sa Asian store. Can I use pechay po?

        • Connie

          Try spinach.

          • andrew cabral

            I like the way you cook ma’am……… thanks…

  • http://zoyita.tumblr.com/ Zoraya

    Thank you very very much for this recipe, my boyfriend and I love this soup and thanks to you i can make it. He is Filipino and he said taste very good is our very favorite!!

  • Jericho

    Do you add your tamarind juice to the pot right after you mash it and extract it? It looks so good. I’m trying to find a different combo of veggies since my wife is allergic to eggplant and hates okra :( Do you recommend any vegetables I can try in their place?

    • http://casaveneracion.com/ Connie Veneracion

      “Do you add your tamarind juice to the pot right after you mash it and extract it?”

      Yes.

      Re vegetables: You can just stick to kangkong and not add any other vegetable.

  • http://www.thefickleminded.com nina

    We don’t sautee our pork sinigang. Maybe I should try it to taste the difference.

  • http://homecookingrocks.com Connie

    I didn’t either for many years. But sauteing the meat prevents scum from forming once the water is poured in.

  • Glenda

    Thanks for the tip, I will try to saute the next time I cook sinigang. I have always taken the extra step of putting the meat in very hot water and then rinsing it to prevent the scum from forming.