16 Mar2008


Yup, it sounds bizarre. But it tasted pretty good. I think anything with a ham bone at its core usually turns out pretty good. The original idea was to try making a sinigang with an unripe pineapple as the souring agent. Thus far, I have made sinigangs of all kinds with raw tamarind or sampaloc, also with guavas, batwan, kamias, green mangoes, santol, sampaloc leaves, etc. Still on my list were sinigangs with “green pineapple”, alibangbang leaves, unripe sineguelas, and a few other less well known ingredients which sometimes find their way into sinigang across the archipelago. So we picked a rather har and apparently unripe, hopefully sour pineapple on our way back to Manila from Tagaytay. It seemed promising… but I had to get over one major hurdle…my fairly strong allergy to pineapples… I figured I could cook the dish, but would have to rely on others to taste it.


I had done some research and it turns out that truly “green” pineapples can be quite poisonous, and I suspect when people make a sour sinigang, they are using a pineapple just on the cusp of turning sweet, lest they give themselves massive stomach aches… though cooking seems to kill off some of the more toxic effects of an unripe pineapple. A day or two later, I decided to make the sinigang before the pineapple got riper, but after peeling it, it was obvious that despite its green skin, it was already rather sweet inside. Worse, I discovered there wasn’t any appropriate pork or beef in the house for a sinigang, so I changed gears and decided to experiment with an altogether different type of soup. First I made a ham bone stock, then added the peeled and cubed fresh pineapple, mashing some of a pieces to extract the juices. After several minutes of boiling, I added some prawns, sliced ham and lastly, the sliced savoy cabbage and seasoned as necessary…


The results? Not a slam dunk winner, but a pretty good soup (I had two bowls of it, and the cooked pineapple caused only 10-20% of my normal allergic reaction to fresh pineapple). The ham broth overwhelmed the pineapple a little, but the pineapple provided a nice sweet/sour note to the soup. The prawns were yummy and the slices of ham provided little bursts of protein and salt. If you have made a “green pineapple” sinigang before, may I ask if your primary source of protein in the soup was pork, beef, fish or shrimp? And what other souring agents can I experiment with to complete my quest for the ultimate sour Pinoy sinigang??? Thanks!



  1. Gigi says:

    Would have exclaimed strange if it weren’t for my “encounter” with Cafe Bola sinigang na lechon that had ripe watermelon slices. It was super super good! So your fruity soupy fix doesn’t strike me as odd! Bravo for this experiment! Confident and thought-provoking. Btw — MM, I spotted you yesterday with Mrs. MM @ Salcedo Market but I was busily snorting my chicken barbecue and Bacolod lumpia breakfast! :) You looked intense and in your element!

    Mar 16, 2008 | 3:07 pm


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  3. Marketman says:

    Gigi, I should do a post on Marketman sightings… folks as far away as General Santos City swear they have seen me in their local markets when I was several provinces away…heehee. But yes, we were at Salcedo yesterday and madly trying to fill our shopping list of ingredients for an extended trip to the sea shore soon…

    Mar 16, 2008 | 3:37 pm

  4. daguldol says:

    That looks really good.
    I love to eat.
    I only wish I knew how to cook…


    Mar 16, 2008 | 6:08 pm

  5. Aleli says:

    Young alibangbang leaves are less sour than young tamarind leaves. Good luck finding this ingredient in Manila. I think what people remember about alibangbang is that tacky girlie bar (now burned down) in Cubao.

    Mar 16, 2008 | 9:33 pm

  6. Marketman says:

    Aleli, actually I found alibangbang leaves at the Nasugbu market last August, post here. I just haven’t made a soup flavored with them yet…

    Mar 16, 2008 | 9:53 pm

  7. bea says:

    If you are into sinigang, try LUBAS leaves. I don’t know how else it is called in other places (it may even be your alibangbang leaves) or where else it may be available. we get ours from our farm here in Camarines Norte (northernmost province of Bicol).

    Mar 16, 2008 | 10:46 pm

  8. kongwi says:

    it reminds me of the vietnamese catfish in sweet and sour soup…it’s like sinigang na kanduli with pineapples, bean sprouts, lots of celery, tomatoes and a few sprigs of cilantro leaf…i’ve tried cooking it once with canned pineapples and it’s good…

    Mar 17, 2008 | 12:16 am

  9. Belle says:

    interesting take on sinigang, i didnt know prawns and ham can work together in a ham bone broth and with pineapples. Seems like pizza minus the bread cheese and tomato sauce. :) Have a wonderful day MM.

    Mar 17, 2008 | 6:57 am

  10. joyce says:

    my cousins in the province pluck alibangbang leaves from the yard and use this as souring agent for fish. :)

    Mar 17, 2008 | 10:17 am

  11. erleen says:

    If we are to base this on pizza toppings, this will be called Hawaiian Shrimp Soup ala Marketman. =)

    Mar 18, 2008 | 1:34 am


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