29 May2008


Wondering what to put on the menu for dinner this weekend? Something warm and comforting and delicious, using what’s available/freshest at the market? How about a terrific Sinigang na Bangus at Bayabas? I did a post with recipe for this wonderful version of sinigang a couple of years ago, here, but I just made it again the other day and I forgot how how much I like this version of sinigang… Start with about half a kilo of ripe “native” pungent guavas or bayabas, not the huge light green hybrids. I also used an immersion blender to mash up the guavas to make a thicker broth, though that is optional. I also added gabi or taro root as suggested in the previous post and it was a nice addition to the dish. Just remember to add a lot of salt/patis to this dish, it can turn out bland otherwise.


This is the perfect dish for the rainy season. And I suspect, before the advent of knorr sampaloc/sinigang cubes, more folks ate this during the rainy season when unripe sampaloc was hard to find. This version of sinigang has a more subtle flavor, yet if you puree some of the fruit into the soup, it is actually thicker and heavier than a classic tamarind sinigang. The bangus is just barely poached in the liquid and you can cook this whole thing in less than 45 minutes or so. Serve with patis and kalamansi on the side. Enjoy!

Here is a link to other soups from earlier in the life of this blog that you might want to try on a rainy day…



  1. Apicio says:

    Your distinction between large green hybrid guavas which is great for eating out of hand from the homegrown cooking bayabas na panigang partly answers your question about why varieties of tomatoes for salad and pasta are not commercially grown in a tropical country like ours. Well years ago the local branch of the Bureau of Agriculture introduced a tropical version of beefsteak tomatoes and the local vegetable farmers did try growing ‘em but found little market for them at harvest time. My town-folks preferred by far the native variety of tomatoes that’s mainly used for cooking, you know, the small ones that Filipino noses are often yoked with in similes.

    May 29, 2008 | 7:42 am


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  3. eej says:

    Sinigang with guava is totally unheard of when I was growing up in Davao. When I was in Manila one Summer break, I was shocked to see round and pinkish guavas bobbing in my hot bowl of sinigang! Let’s not even talk about the funny, sickening guavaish smell emanating from the pot.

    Sorry, but I prefer the original tamarind broth than guava in my sinigang.

    May 29, 2008 | 7:59 am

  4. millet says:

    love this with bangus bellies! let the rains come!

    May 29, 2008 | 7:59 am

  5. Gay says:

    I agree with eej, the smell is a turn-off for me that’s why my dad only cooks sinigang sa bayabas when I’m not at home for dinner.

    May 29, 2008 | 8:07 am

  6. topster says:

    Sinigang sa bayabas is a real favorite of mine especially with good quality bangus! I like my bangus unprocessed, meaning with the bones still in the meat (sans scales of course). For me unfilleted fish add more quality to the soup because of the bones & head.

    I’m just sad not all our kababayans appreciate the dish. Maybe its the pungent smell (I personally do not find it weird) that turns them off, some people associate with kilikili aroma! =) But this this is still in my top2 sinigang dish list!!! OISHI!

    May 29, 2008 | 8:10 am

  7. Marketman says:

    topster, KILI-KILI aroma? Hahaha. I nearly fell off my swivelling desk chair! I understand the aroma is strong, but when cooked, I actually like the smell of guava broth.

    May 29, 2008 | 8:33 am

  8. the husband says:

    This is just so perfect. A cool weather and a hot bowl of sinigang na bangus! Yum! A like mine with some gabi to thicken it up a bit.

    May 29, 2008 | 8:42 am

  9. AleXena says:

    Oh my this makes me so sentimental. Sinigang na bangus sa bayabas is the common favorite food I share with my Lola. A bowl of it comforts my soul both figuritively and literally. Whenever I am far away from home, had a bad day or is so stressed out, I always crave for this dish. I don’t even find the smell offensive, as quite a few do. For me it’s the best aroma there is.

    Thanks MarketMan for featuring this again. Thank you also for the tip of using the immersion blender to mash up the guava into pulp. My lola does it the old-fashioned way so it’s mortar and pestle for us in the house.

    I noticed though that you don’t put sugar in it. In our town we put sugar in the broth to compliment the taste of the guava. For this dish we use semi-ripe or almost ripe guavas, hence a sweeter broth. Maybe one time you should try it too.

    This is also good with alimasag, especially after a full moon. Just dont forget to put a lot of “kangkong” and “talong” in it. And oh, this dish is best eaten “kamayan” style.

    May 29, 2008 | 9:17 am

  10. linda says:

    We have a pinay friend here in Oz who has a guava tree and the fruits are small and maasim which are just perfect for sinigang na bangus.And when we have an abundance of these guavas we just put them in ziploc bags and freeze them whole ready for our next sinigang meal.

    May 29, 2008 | 9:26 am

  11. jenny says:

    AleXena, what’s the connection with the full moon? :)

    May 29, 2008 | 12:06 pm

  12. elaine says:

    Immersion blenders always come in handy for me when making soups such as squash or broccoli, and now sinigang! I think I’ll try this with sinigang sa kamias too, mushing a little bit of the fruit. I haven’t had sinigang sa bayabas in ages and I, too, would so love to have it this week…just looking at your photo makes me saliviate as usual…:)

    May 29, 2008 | 1:22 pm

  13. sunset says:

    hmmmm i thought gabi is just for sinigang na baka and baboy only… is it masarap too in sinigang na bangus sa bayabas? my mom’s version of this dish is added with a teaspoon of white sugar to stress the sweetness of the almost ripe guavas in it.

    May 29, 2008 | 1:40 pm

  14. AleXena says:

    Jenny: Eversince I was little I was told by the older folks that crabs are meatier during the full moon. It is said that because of the full moon’s illuminatiing effect, good crabs are drawn from their hidding places so fishermen catch them easily.

    I don’t know if there is a scientific study connecting the full moon to meatier crabs, but strnagely when you buy crabs during this time it really is meatier. And they contain a high amount of aligue (crab fat) as oppose to crabs bought at any time after the full moon.

    But I highly suspect it’s just an old wive tale, although I maybe wrong.

    May 29, 2008 | 3:06 pm

  15. risa says:

    I love sinigang sa bayabas – for fish or pork or shrimp! Sadly, I am the minority at home too, which is lorded over by sampaloc sinigang lovers.

    EEJ, KILI-KILI smell made me laugh. A housemate said that of a pot of chili with wansuy and cumin!

    May 29, 2008 | 4:10 pm

  16. krizteene says:

    I certainly love this. And I remember my mom also used to cook this with sugpo. With patis and sili on the side. YUM!

    May 29, 2008 | 5:46 pm

  17. Rachel Sweets says:

    i totally agree with topster, its the pungent, vis-a-vis, mistaken kili-kili aroma of sinigang sa bayabas that makes the dish extremely palatable to the buds…and yes, i fell off my chair laughing my stomach out! truly, i am salivating with ellen! I can eat your sinigang dish over and over and over! Crushing kamias as form part to the soury flavor is recommended with variands of fish. Fish sauce with crushed siling labuyo will be a whack on the brain! Cheers! :)

    May 29, 2008 | 5:51 pm

  18. zena says:

    jenny and aleXena: it’s not an old wives tale. Fishing during a full moon yields a better harvest. It’s a combination of the light and the tide, i thing.
    MM, yes, kili-kili power or BO. It can kinda stink. But i love it anyway. And i remember your first posting of this dish! I guess i’ve been lurking much longer than i thought. =) Do you prefer the bangus or the beef with the guava?

    May 29, 2008 | 6:02 pm

  19. betty q. says:

    Zena…I have never tasted beef sinigang made with guavas. Is it the same procedure like making pork sinigang? Myboys like the “regular pork sinigang”…But your beef sinigang with guavas sounds tempting and yummy!…I know I will get a loooot of “ewwws” but maybe I can mask the KILI-KILI smell by adding lime leaf or lemongrass. If they still give me “ewwwws”…too bad for them….more sinigang for me!!!

    May 29, 2008 | 10:45 pm

  20. leah says:

    I think the BO-like aroma is only true if the guava is not freshly picked. If you have to buy guavas from the market rather than pick them from your own tree, I can imagine the fruits will break down to some extent. Sinigang sa bayabas is one of the dishes that I miss now that I live in the Northeast US. Back home, we grill the bangus first to give it a smoky flavor before adding it to the broth. And we try not to “disturb” the peeled fruit when simmering as the flesh tend to be gritty and the seeds can get lodged between your teeth. Pako or fern when available is a great addition rather than kangkong.

    May 30, 2008 | 2:54 am

  21. zena says:

    bettqy q., we usually pressure cooker the beef first to make sure it’s tender coz my mom hates “maganit” meat. Boil the guavas till mushy, then strain. Add your veggies and meat. Great when piping hot and with patis. =)

    May 30, 2008 | 5:35 pm

  22. dhanggit says:

    oh this is my late dad’s favorite!! one of those pinoy dishes i really miss :-)

    May 30, 2008 | 11:16 pm

  23. toni says:

    Mmmmm it’s been a long time since I’ve tasted Sinigang prepared from scratch. There’s always the signature salty aftertaste from packaged Sinigang mix, and that’s not a bad thing. Once in awhile though, it really is refreshing to taste Sinigang prepared with natural souring ingredients. Ah, when, when, when again?

    May 31, 2008 | 10:08 pm

  24. goodtimer says:

    Zena, we also cook sinigang na bayabas with beef. It’s a traditional dish in Baesa Novaliches where my mother-in-law’s cousins are from. For every kilo of beef (best to use camto with alternating meat and fat), use an equal amount of guavas (1 kilo too. i guess you can use less if you immersion-blend the guavas as opposed to traditional straining). The sourness of the guavas should be balanced with a little sweetness from sugar. This is actually the tricky part, balancing the sweet and sour. It took me a long time to figure out how much sugar to put in and I haven’t quite perfected it like the old-timer cooks. Veggies added are sliced patola, sitaw and camote tops. Add some finger chilis too. My kids love this dish because of the sweet-sour taste and the aroma of the beef with guava doesn’t have that kili-kili scent.

    Jun 1, 2008 | 9:37 pm

  25. Ellen says:

    Hi! This is one of my comfort food! My Mom makes this sinigang with bangus and shrimp. The shrimp really lends a deeper flavor to the soup. Thanks for reminding me of this dish. It would have been a part of my daily food repertoire but native guava is hard to come by.

    Jun 2, 2008 | 12:14 pm

  26. presentacion says:

    nice sinigang sa bayabas recipes from all of the commenters. i remember our family version is to salt the bangus overnight before adding them to the guava broth to cook. we include only the head and the middle cuts where the belly is. the salting gives the sinigang a pleasant taste. we add sili leaves to the hot broth before serving and yummmy.

    Jun 3, 2008 | 10:03 pm

  27. kongwi says:

    for a totally different take on this, you can add crabs in the soup and even chicharon…it will add another dimension in taste…also, add squash flowers to the soup…try it MM next time…

    Jun 9, 2008 | 2:24 am

  28. mylene sheen pecson says:

    this dish is usually appreciated by people of luzon as opposed by the inhabitants of the visayas or mindanao. hence the comment on its “offensive” aroma. this dish reminds me of my childhood. my mom is from mindanao but my dad is from luzon. so she cooks it but has never appreciated the dish. my dad and siblings, on the other hand ate it with much gusto! the pork version with siling labuyo is tops! perfect when served with dried pork adobo on the side! YUM!!!

    Jun 11, 2008 | 8:49 pm

  29. Junior says:

    Marketman nice soup…my favorite also…but have you tried the comfort soup of true blue blooded ilocanos? Its the Ilocano style Pinapaitan(with pinispis as bittering flavor)!!!
    you can use baka, kambing or kalabaw internal organs with meat as your ingredients…
    I suggests you must try ang try to come up with you pinapaitan soup marketman version…Enjoy…

    Manong Junior

    Jul 7, 2008 | 8:48 pm

  30. tiana says:

    i think the bad smell comes from onions. my mom suggests not to put onions when cooking sinigang sa bayabas. the taste is great without the bad smell!

    Jul 16, 2008 | 3:53 pm


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