Taste Atlas recently ranked our very own sinigang as the top contender for international vegetable soups! The renowned travel and food guide rated it a 4.8 out of 5, having beat out Turkey's mercimek çorbasi (lentil soup), and Lithuania's saltibarsciai (cold beet soup).
Sinigang, which is a Filipino soup or stew, is a popular recipe that's distinct in its strong flavour profile. It is characterised by a strong, sour taste, often associated with tamarind (sampalok); though of course, tamarind isn't the only souring agent used in this time-honoured recipe. Much like the cuisine in general, sinigang is versatile, with a different take from every household.
Generally, sinigang can be classified according to two different ways: the soup base or souring agent used ("sinigang sa") and the meat or vegetable that is cooked through the soup base ("sinigang na"). The most popular variations of "sinigang na" include manok (chicken), baboy (pork), baka (beef), isda (fish, usually bangus or milkfish), and hipon (shrimp). Some like to mix different kinds of meat together—especially seafood—and throw in shrimp, crab, and squid altogether.
Of course, vegetables are also a popular alternative (as it was for Taste Atlas). This recipe is usually hallmarked by local greens such as sitaw (string bean), okra, kang-kong (water spinach), or the like.
Check out some of the "sinigang sa" variations below!
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Sinigang Sa: Sampalok
This is perhaps the most famous kind of sinigang base. Though it's still preferable to use fresh tamarind (sampalok) in any recipe, this kind of sinigang is so popular that many people can find it as a pre-packaged mix at the supermarket.