I LOVE SINIGANG!
I remember the first time I had a chance to get a taste of this magical soup. It was my sophomore year of high school, I have been invited to a Filipino household for dinner. And I still remember till today that they served one giant pot of food, it was sinigang, Kinda amazing how there was so much vegetables and meat at same time. The baby back ribs were so tender, the bones came right off before u even start to struggle with it. Every ingredient has its own flavor but together they had one sour yet quiet sweet kind of taste. Nothing too strong, simple but yet interesting. I was surprisingly amazed by its taste and i was so attracted to it starting the first sip. The soup made vegetables bearable and the strange thing was that if you only eat the meat but not finishing the soup itself would be so incomplete. I knew I wanted more of that but I was too shy to ask for a second bowl so I had kept the regret all in me until freshman
year of college.
My first ever college roommate happened to be a local Filipino who still is the nicest girl I have ever met in my life and also went home very often which was like every weekend. And I would so look forward to weekends because whenever she went home, she would ALWAYS bring back “baon” (to-go food from home or party). As an unemployed freshman, all I could afford was dinning commons food which my parents had already paid for. So, every Sunday night, it was like Christmas to me. She would bring back a huge container full of all kinds of homemade food, and I would grab a bowl and some premade rice, drooling all over the place. Once she brought back sinigang, it just so happened at that moment I could felt a tear shedding from the corner of my eye. I finished the whole container all on my own because she was surprised to see how much I loved it, she let me finish it all. Ever since then, my perfect roommate would always bring back her own baon and a container of sinigang for me. Then she moved out after the first semester... haha she probably was tired of making me food. Just kidding, I love her so much.
By the start of sophomore year of college, I haven’t had sinigang for over 6 months and I moved out of the dorms to live with 2 other girls in an apartment half a mile away from campus. I had my own kitchen, stove, oven and everything. I was overly excited so I bought 2 sets of cooking supplies and way too many plates for just the three of us. But have I mentioned that I had barely ever cooked on my own before that. I had no idea how to cut food correctly, and how much soy sauce is too much, when to add water and how to stop a fire if that ever happens (which did happen, and I freaked tf out). I wanted to cook, just something, for my boyfriend who had cooked me many, many meals through my first year of college.
And it came to my mind, SINIGANG! I want to cook sinigang! So, 3 youtube videos, 5 totally different recipes later, I have decided to combine all these directions together and whatever happens, happens. I ordered my first pack of sinigang tamarind powder off amazon. 2 days later, I have bought all the ingredients I was told to buy, including my amazon ordered powder. I started cooking, I struggled with cutting the ribs, knowing how much water to put so I had to measure every single drop of it, cooking too much food with a small enough pot. Two hours of struggling later, there it was, my first official dish I have made on my own. I was so proud of the food and most of all, myself.
Ever since then, I started to love cooking and just really enjoying it. Nowadays, I cook now and then whenever I feel like a homemade meal. And sinigang has always have this special place in my heart where I know I will keep deeply and cherish forever.
So here, is my finalized recipe for sinigang, and I hope you guys will like it as much as I do!!!
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
2 pounds pork (chop or bone in)
8 cups of water
1 package tamarind soup base (such as Knorr®)
3 bunches spinach
2 pounds baby bok choy
1/4 pounds okra
2 jalapeno pepper
1 pound green beans
( I love vegetables so I listed a lot of them, but u can adjust the amount and kind of vegetables you like, it doesn’t really matter)
Boil 8 cups of water, cook chopped pork in the water till it changes color.
Dump the water, rinse pork under running water.
Heat oi on medium heatl, stir in the onion, cook and stir till its soft, add in pork chop till it turns a little burned color, add in tomatoes and stir till juices come out.
Add in 8 cups of water, cover the pot, medium high for 30 minutes.
Add in sinigang powder, cover the pot, medium high for 20 minutes.
Add in vegetables, hard ones (baby bok choy, green beans, jalapeno pepper) first, cover the pot till the vegetables are soft enough, add in soft vegetables (eggplant, spinach, okra), stir everything so its evenly covered with soup, cover the pot till everything is cooked.
Serve and ENJOY!!