What is Sinigang?
Sinigang na baboy is a Filipino dish that is as flavorful and comforting as it is simple to make. It’s a sour broth, simmered with pork, tomato, onion and other vegetables for an incredibly hearty and savoury stew. The name “Sinigang” comes from the Filipino verb “sigang” which translates to “sour.”
Sinigang is fun to make because you can get really creative with how the broth gets its sourness. For our recipe today, we’ll be using tamarind concentrate. Some people like to use green pineapple, mashed sampalok, kamias or the most obvious choices of all: calamansi juice or vinegar. It’s really up to you how you make this sour broth!
How to Make Sinigang na Baboy
Note: This recipe is from Filipinx by Angela Dimayuga & Ligaya Mishan.
Ready to get cooking? Let’s start with our Sinigang na Baboy recipe! We’ll be using boneless pork shoulder, which is a nice balance between the tenderloin and belly cuts of pork. Feel free to mix it up with whichever cut you like best. Plus, this dish is pretty customizable; feel free to use the vegetables of your choice.
- 2 pounds (910 g) boneless pork shoulder
- 2 medium sized yellow onions
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 12 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
- Kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper
- 2 cups (454 g) tamarind concentrate or one 14 ounce (400 g) block tamarind paste, liquefied with boiling water
- ¼ cup (60 ml) fish sauce
- 2 whole fresh serrano chiles
- 1 daikon (about 1 ¾ pounds / 800 g)
- 1 Japanese eggplant (about 5 ounces / 140 g)
- 2 medium tomatoes
- 10 ounces (280 g) whole baby spinach leaves (about 8 packed cups)
- Steamed white rice, for serving
- Cut the pork shoulder into pieces that are 1½ inches (4 cm) in size while removing any excess fat as desired.
- Slice the onions in half from tip to tip, then cut each half into 4 equal-sized cubes.
- Heat oil in a large pot on medium-high until it shimmers. Then, add garlic and cook for 1 minute until toasted.
- Add the pork and season with salt and pepper. Stir the pork occasionally and cook for four minutes or until it is lightly browned.
- Add tamarind, onion, fish sauce, serrano chilies, and 10 cups (2.5 liters) of water to the pot. Increase the heat and bring it to a boil. After that, reduce the heat to medium, cover the pot, and simmer for 1 ½ hours until the pork is softened but not completely tender.
- While the soup is cooking, prepare the vegetables. Peel the daikon and slice it into pieces that are 1½ inches (4 cm) long. Cut the beans into pieces that are 2 inches (5 cm) long. Cut the eggplant into disks that are 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick. Cut the tomatoes in half and then slice each half into four equally sized cubes.
- Add the daikon to the pork mixture and stir, then cover and simmer for an additional 30 minutes or until the daikon is soft and the pork is tender.
- Take off the lid and remove the serrano chiles from the soup. You can choose to discard them or keep them based on your preference.
- To cook until the vegetables are tender, add the long beans, eggplant, tomatoes, and spinach, and stir occasionally for another 20 minutes.
- After adding the lemon juice, serve the dish by scooping a generous amount over a bed of white rice.
Sinigang na baboy is a classic Filipino dish that’s sure to be a hit! Whether you choose to use tamarind, pineapple, sampalok, kamias or calamansi juice as the base of your soup – you can’t go wrong! The key to making this dish is patience; let it simmer and allow the flavors to meld together until you get that perfectly balanced tangy-sweet flavor. Bon apetit! Have fun playing around with the ingredients for a unique twist on an old favorite. Enjoy!