A quick diversion from posts on our trip to Spain (to resume shortly) just to let you know what we are eating when the heavy rains start falling. Last week, this incredibly satisfying bowl of beef sinigang… I spotted some nice looking Australian beef brisket at the grocery and thought it was worth a try (I was hoping its increased price and good looks would yield a more tender cooked beef). I placed 1.5 kilos of brisket in a pot and covered it with cold water and set it on high heat and as soon as it reached its first boil, turned off the heat and rinsed the meat. Placed the meat back in the cleaned pot, covered with more cold water, and let this gurgle over the lowest of flames for some four hours until the meat was as tender as it was going to get. It was mostly tender, but I realize now that after that long on the stove, you are probably just as well off if you used local beef brisket from a good source… The broth was delicious, meaty and flavorful, and a nice clear yellowish brown tinge from the slow cooked gristle or muscle tissues.
Once it had achieved the desired level of tenderness, I added some freshly made from scratch tamarind puree/broth, adding as much as your personal sour-meter can handle. I let this simmer for a few more minutes, then added in sliced radishes, mild chilies, long beans, eggplant and water spinach. Serve very hot. A little dayap, chili and fish sauce on the side. Lots of rice at the ready.
Many (though certainly not all) Filipinos are programmed from childhood to seek that sour hit of tamarind or other acid in our sinigang. And for me, it is an absolute favorite. Prawn, pork or beef sinigang makes a frequent appearance in our household during the rainy season. If you are slave to those instant packets of sinigang mix with citric and other acids, please, please, please do yourselves a favor and try and make it from scratch again… it is well worth the effort. More natural, less processing, no packaging and incredible real flavor. :)
Want to see more sinigang recipes? Head to this post and scroll down to a list of more than a dozen sinigang posts previously featured on this blog.