I know my mother would be so proud of me. Wanna know why? Well, it’s because… I finally learned how to make the classic Filipino soup dish “sinigang.” It is a sour soup, usually flavored by tamarind. And it is probably the one thing my mother makes at least once a week at my house. Finally, I mustered up the courage to get it done and attempt recreating my mother’s recipe.
So, I may have cheated a little bit. I don’t have every traditional ingredient for an authentic Filipino dish. But I think by using substitutions and cheap alternatives, I was able to make something that was more uniquely mine! All right, enough hype, let’s get this started.
Starving Actor Sinigang - Filipino Sour Soup with Beef and Bok Choy
- In a pot, add a little bit of vegetable oil. This is for browning your meat. Place your beef or pork, cut for stew meat size, in your pot and let this brown a little bit.
- When the beef is colored in all sides, throw in a half of an onion, chopped finely into half-moons. Let the onions soften a little bit.
- Add water—however much you’d like in the soup—to this, and let it boil, covered.
- When the water comes to a boil, reduce it to a medium fire, and add the secret ingredient: sinigang mix! I don’t have tamarind pods to grind up, so just get a sachet of prepackaged sinigang mix from any Filipino store, and you’re golden. I chose Mama Sita’s Sinigang Mix for my version.
- When the soup powder look to have immersed well with the soup, add tomatoes. Some prefer not to slive open their tomatoes. If you want a whole tomato in a serving, I’d suggest roma tomatoes since they’re smaller and cheaper. Cover, and let it boil and cook for a couple of minutes.
- Next, add the radish bulbs to the soup, and cover to let it cook.
- Finally, add your leaves of bok choy. Cover, then turn off the fire. If you like your leaves wiltier, you can leave the fire on for just a little bit more. If you can’t find (or not like the texture of) this particular type of Asian greens, you can also use spinach leaves.
- Serve with a steamy side of rice, and you are set!
One thing you should keep watching out for is that the meat might take a while to be soft and tender. So just keep checking it, and then use that to gauge your time into going into the next steps. Remember that the vegetables take almost no time at all to cook (except maybe for the radishes so they can soften) so use how your meat is cooking up to know when to move on. Use a knife to poke through them to see if they are tenderizing nicely!