28 Jul2006


Based on the recent Marketmanila survey on favorite pinoy dishes…Sinigang na Baboy (Sour Soup with Pork) came out in the top 3 individual dishes, while sinigang as a dish (fish, prawns, pork, beef) sini2was clearly the number one favorite overall… As I reviewed my archives, I realized I had done a post on Sinigang na Sugpo (prawns) made with fresh tamarind and a version with kamias, and a Sinigang na Bangus (milkfish) made with guavas, but had never put one on Sinigang na Baboy…so here it is. The past few days have been wetter than usual in Luzon and while our roof leaks, yard floods and school is called off yet again, the perfect antidote to feeling like a large mold spore is to have some nice comforting hot soup…

First make some tamarind broth as described here. To make the sinigang, buy about 1.5 kilos of pork ribs and have them cut into largish pieces. Get about ¼ of a kilo of pork sini4cubes as well. Wash these and set in a colander to drain. Meanwhile, heat up a nice large heavy casserole and throw the pork in to sweat it or sear it a bit. Stir occasionally until all sides are seared. Add about 15 cups of rice washing water and some chopped tomatoes and spring or green onions. I also threw in some small leeks. Simmer for about 45-60 minutes until the pork is nice and tender. Add some sliced radish, eggplant, sitaw (long beans), siling mahaba (long green chilli), and patis (fish sauce) and cook for a few minutes until softened. Next add the tamarind pulp/water and regulate amount to the desired level of sourness. Add salt and ground white pepper. Add kangkong leaves and stems (water spinach) and after a minute or so, it is ready to serve.

I added the tamarind fairly late because our cook insists that the veggies turn an unappetizing brown tinge if they stew too long in the acidic soup…personally, I might add sini3the tamarind water earlier and suffer with discolored greens (which I think are really overcooked greens). But nevertheless, the result was utterly brilliant! The meat was incredibly tender, the soup tasty, the greens just cooked right. We sometimes serve our soup separately in our home and all of the other stuff is presented on a separate platter. On the side we had patis (fish sauce) and kalamansi (calamondin) and lots of rice. There are few meals more satisfying for many of the 80+ million Filipinos around the world…



  1. Rampau says:

    Am I the first to comment? I love sinigang na baboy! Your recipe is very interesting since it’s slightly different than what I’m used to. We don’t sear the meat at all. We are one in using the ribs and meat. The bones make the soup tastier. Thanks for making me real hungery.

    Jul 28, 2006 | 1:45 am


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  3. NYCMama says:

    Necessity is the mother of…21 years ago when I first moved to Chicago, it was difficult to find kangkong, so I used spinach and…fresh mushrooms! So we got used to sinigang that way. Here in NY, easier to find Kangkong, that is if you get to the asian stores. If not, we use cabbage! And the radish we can get in the regular stores, are the small pink ones, I just snip of the ends and throw the whole thing in without slicing! BTW, 21 years ago, my lola visited me in Chicago and taught me this: she called is sang-ko-cha (not sure how to spell). She made me saute garlic onions and tomatoes first, seasoning that with pepper and salt/patis, even mashing up the tomatoes by hand, and then browning the meat after that, then adding the water. Lola is long gone, but her method lives on! The little Americanitas say they will eat sinigang even if I cook it everyday!

    Jul 28, 2006 | 2:44 am

  4. myra says:

    we love sinigang too, but love it even more with lot’s of gabi.

    Jul 28, 2006 | 7:03 am

  5. ThePseudoshrink says:

    I agree with you Myra, lots of gabi really makes it more delicious. I like mine maanghang-maasim (lots of siling haba and tamarind). Sadly, my hubby is not so keen on eating sinigang…says it’s not a usual dish in his province (Cebu). Is that true, Mr MM?

    Jul 28, 2006 | 10:32 am

  6. Marketman says:

    ThePseudoshrink, yes, Cebuanos prefer non-soured soups I think…but I love very sour sinigang. I find the gabi thickens the soup, but sometimes over thickens it…

    Jul 28, 2006 | 10:38 am

  7. Jean says:

    It’s wonderful that you, MM, can get back to basic. While most of us have to rely on Mama Sita’s packet version (and it is GOOD brand! Heck, I use it all the time cuz raw tamarind isn’t available here in the states.) that we here tend to miss out on what we used to have. We definitely need to get back to our roots.

    Jul 28, 2006 | 10:56 am

  8. Gigi says:

    You know, I like sinigang with boiled gabi to mash on the rice and lots of okra (a vegetable I got to appreciate because of my boyfriend). As a kid, I remember Dad and Mom (I was blessed with parents who both cooked!) put in sampaloc blossoms. Hindi ko lang matandaan if it actually made the broth maasim or if it needed booster sampaloc pa for souring…. Enlighten me on this please. Anyone??

    Jul 28, 2006 | 11:05 am

  9. connie says:

    NYCMama, I hear you. My first few months here in the US, I had to make sinigang using broccoli, spinach and jalapeno. Not bad, actually. I would still use them when I’m too lazy to go to the Asian Market for kangkong or taro root.
    When the gabi is cooked, I take few pieces out of the pot, and mashed it and then add it back into the pot to thicken it. I like my sinigang sour, spicy and a little bit thick. We also eat sinigang with the meat and veggies on a bigger serving plate, each person having a cup of the sour soup and patis or binagoongan on the side.
    Gigi, I definitely love it when they make sinigang using sampaloc blossoms back home, one of the things I miss. The blossoms itself makes the soup base sour, if you want it more sour, you just use more blossoms. I just rememeber my mom buying lots of it which all ends up being use in the soup. Yumm!

    Jul 28, 2006 | 11:59 am

  10. rina says:

    sinigang is a magic word for my daughter, if i sense that her appetite is waning, i just cook a pot of sinigang and she’ll eat for two and still want it for breakfast the next day : )

    Jul 28, 2006 | 12:08 pm

  11. izang says:

    sinigang is best the day after…my sister serves it with chili-garlic she makes herself, patis and calamansi…fun to watch them sweating while eating….

    Jul 28, 2006 | 12:47 pm

  12. Maricel says:

    Gigi, sampaloc blossoms are sour already on their own. However, here in Bulacan when sampalok blossoms are used as the souring agent the dish assumes the name Sinampalukan as opposed to Sinigang when the sampalok fruit is used.

    Jul 28, 2006 | 1:02 pm

  13. ThePseudoshrink says:

    Mr MM, thanks. Naniniwala na ako kay hubby. I thought ayaw lang niya talaga nung luto ko. Gigi, we also use the sampaloc blossoms and young sampaloc leaves. Like what Connie said, we just put more if we want it more sour. We use it for chicken too. I also like to use alibangbang leaves, pero usually for beef ribs. Uhmm, let me just get my hanky to wipe away my drool. ; )

    Jul 28, 2006 | 1:07 pm

  14. CecileJ says:

    ThePseudoshrink: really, alibangbang leaves as in the alibangbang whose flowers look like orchids and the leaves like wings? Wow, thanks for the interesting info!

    Jul 28, 2006 | 1:19 pm

  15. Olive says:

    My husband looooves siningang so much! The more sour it is, the better. In our house, we call it the lock jaw soup! My teenage son also loves it, especially the fat of the pork which gets all jiggly and is best eaten warm and dipped in patis.Yum!

    Jul 28, 2006 | 2:29 pm

  16. lee says:

    pork wins again

    Jul 28, 2006 | 2:44 pm

  17. virgilio says:

    …and I cliked sinigang na baboy when I sent my vote.

    a friend over here loves her pork sinigang with ketchup!! Different strokes…

    Jul 28, 2006 | 2:58 pm

  18. virgilio says:

    cliked should be clicked, sorry. it’s 9 a.m. here and already sizzling hot. not a good day for sinigang.

    Jul 28, 2006 | 3:00 pm

  19. gus hansen says:

    Marketman, I have a rookie question. I’ve never cooked sinigang using rice washing water. What difference does this make in flavor? I’m eager to try it.

    Jul 28, 2006 | 4:27 pm

  20. mardie says:

    being from cebu i agree with mm and pseudoshrink, we are not much into sinigang. but since i love shrimps or prawns i voted for the shrimp sinigang at the poll. im willing to try cooking it though at home and with MM’s recipe i might do it one of these days and who knows, i might grow to love it. pero i just want to know: MM, the rice washing water, pang-unang hugas ba yan na tubig? i wash my rice just once but im just asking.

    Jul 28, 2006 | 6:29 pm

  21. Catalina says:

    Like NYCMama’s grandma, we start our Sinigang with a sangkutsa–saute garlic, onion, and tomatoes until mushy; add meat and patis; simmer covered until essences are extracted; then add the rice washing. Sinigang cooked this way tastes much better than one that is “just boiled.” Sangkutsa is also essential for Tinola (except of course you use ginger and leave out the tomatoes.)
    MM, have you ever tried Sinigang sa Pakwan? Unripe watermelon (more greenish white than red)–called buko–is used for souring. This is perhaps the only sinigang that doesn’t call for water or rice washing — the “juice” from the watermelon, released after the sangkutsa, yields enough liquid to tenderize the meat, with enough to spare for the soup tureen. Yunmmy!

    Jul 28, 2006 | 7:41 pm

  22. honey says:

    sinigang sa batuhan is also great. it makes the soup more malapot and it’s really maasim. my mom says that if i add the tamarind before the vegetables, the veggies will take a longer tme to cook

    Jul 28, 2006 | 7:58 pm

  23. linda says:

    My Aussie dh went away overseas as part of his job for 2 long months a few years back and he rang me a few days before he came back and he requested that I cook him sinigang pork for his welcome meal.His request was granted.

    Jul 28, 2006 | 9:07 pm

  24. perkycinderella says:

    In Bacolod, we use batwan instead of sampaloc as a souring agent. Very delicious and yes, it thickens the soup! My Mom sent me 4 bottles of batwan to Boston 3 months back. Kaya, every weekend I cook sinigang na ulo nang salmon with batwan! The taste is sublime!

    Jul 28, 2006 | 9:09 pm

  25. lojet says:

    Anybody used watercress instead of kangkong? I thought there might be some similarity. I have not eaten kangkong for over 30 years.

    There’s a Dominican soup called Sancocho that calls for sour orange but use instead a lot of rootcrops. I wonder if that has any influence on our sinigang version. Here’s how they do it, but it also has a lot of other version some using fewer kinds of meat and vegetables. http://www.visiting-the-dominican-republic.com/sancocho-recipe.html

    Jul 29, 2006 | 7:11 am

  26. mita says:

    mustard greens are great especially with seafood sinigang. i’ve also tried turnip greens and that’s good too.

    Jul 29, 2006 | 10:35 am

  27. NYCMama says:

    Yes lojet. Have used watercress as well! And it holds up better in the hot broth than spinach.

    Jul 29, 2006 | 11:36 am

  28. ThePseudoshrink says:

    CecileJ, yes, yung nga. Am not too sure about the orchid-like flowers, pero the leaves indeed are like wings. Pero you have to use lots of leave to make the soup really sour.

    Jul 29, 2006 | 12:04 pm

  29. sasha says:

    Hi MarketMan,

    Really love sinigang na baboy but it’s funny, my mum always called it “tadjang” as in “we’re having tadjang for dinner” – it was only much later that I realised she’s talking about sinigang na baboy! My mum is funny. Thanks for your recipe.

    Jul 29, 2006 | 4:43 pm

  30. Rowena says:

    Love the pictures-I have to visit HongKong Market today. Dito sa Dallas, we have kangkong, sitaw, talong, gabi and pretty much anything that a pinay will need to cook a Filipino food. My daughter-who is in the US Army cannot not come home often since she is stationed far from home. But as soon as she calls me to let me know she will be coming home, she asks for sinigang also. God Bless and keep you and your love one safe.

    Jul 29, 2006 | 9:21 pm

  31. erleen says:

    perfect for a very rainy day!

    for us, tadyang means the part of the pig that is used for sinigang. we cook it by ‘boiling’ it. we let the rice washing boil, with the onions and tomatoes and tamarind. no garlic. I love it when the pork fat gets soft and the oil in the soup turns orange from the tomatoes.

    sarap sa purong patis at siling labuyo.

    MM, where’s the puso ng saging?

    Jul 30, 2006 | 1:19 pm

  32. Mandy says:

    hi MM, i know you don’t eat out much, but have you tried sentro in greenbelt. they have this fantastic singigang ng corned beef. the soup is great and the veggies are not gray looking, probably bec the tamarind soup has been prepared ahead of time and heated with the veg after we order it. then the corned beef… yum yum yum. and my mom now has a corned beef supplier. hope our cook can replicate this dish!

    Jul 31, 2006 | 2:23 am

  33. Marketman says:

    Mandy, I have not eaten at Sentro but I have heard about the corned beef sinigang…will have to try it one day. Erleen, we don’t typically put puso in our pork sinigang, but sometimes in other sinigangs or tinolas…but increasingly I find the puso sometimes tough…

    Jul 31, 2006 | 5:52 pm

  34. jANe says:

    pwede po bang tagalog project koh po ksa eh!!!!!!!!!!!!!11
    siginapo hey!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! tao nman dyan oh!!!!!

    Sep 24, 2007 | 6:17 pm

  35. MOMMY FOR 5 YEARS says:

    when we first moved here in America i really want to cook a real good soup, but i have a hard time looking for an asian store both me and my husband is very new to the place so i found one but they dont have kangkong and gabi, kaya nag ti-is nalang ko ng labanos at saka eggplant nalang at tamarind mixed na mimis kung kumain ng masarap sa pinas, lalo na lutong pinoy wowwww….it taste really good!!

    Dec 4, 2007 | 5:29 am

  36. Angel&JohnnyDallasTX says:

    I ran into your article this evening while cooking sinigang na baboy (while waiting for the meat to soften). Your recipe is very close to my mothers and grandmothers way of cooking, infact, identical, except for your addition of leeks. I personally like your idea of searing the meat, and will try that the next time I cook the dish. Thanks for writing about a very staple dish for filipinos.

    Jan 13, 2008 | 9:04 am

  37. Paul Ancheta says:

    So delighted to know that I belong to a global “Sinigang Lovers Club”! I recently discovered a store in Kolkata, India (where I live) that stocks up on sinigang ingredients . . . and my life is now complete in this city. Read about it on

    Since kang-kong is not available, I use spinach as an alternative and throw the leaves into the pot after removing it from the flame. Turmeric is common here; I’ve discovered that a sprinkling of turmeric just before I turn off the flame gives the dish an additional tang and color.

    Mabuhay ang sinigang!

    Feb 28, 2008 | 9:56 pm

  38. Raphael Gil says:

    That is delicious! Its been my favorite since i was 4 yrs old!

    May 22, 2008 | 4:47 am

  39. violeta says:

    I always visited your recipe everytime I cooked sinigang na baboy. I like the taste of my sinigang and I feel I’m a good cook. Though I can’t find here kangkong, gabi and tamarind in Slough, I use radish, okra, sling mahaba and sinigang sa sili mix instead but the result is still fantastic.

    Jan 20, 2009 | 7:46 pm

  40. dougs says:

    great recipe, bro. sinigang na baboy is my favourite pinoy dish of all time (yup, i love it more than adobo or karekare). i’ll try to follow your recipe when i attempt to cook this dish this week. now to find some tamarinds in singapore…

    Mar 3, 2009 | 10:13 pm

  41. Erika says:

    My favorite version is the one made at my lola’s place in bulacan: ginisang sinigang na buto-buto! with a bit of patis with sili and heaps of steaming rice, it makes for a perfect rainy day meal. or ANY day meal. =P

    Mar 28, 2009 | 11:12 pm

  42. faye says:

    Ive eaten Sinigang na Baboy before, but I usually eat Sinigang na Isda. How will I know if they have already spoiled?

    Jun 2, 2009 | 1:02 pm

  43. Erminia N. Alimane says:

    My favorites sinigang i want to eat is sinigang na sugpo & sinigang na isda….

    Jun 11, 2009 | 3:40 pm

  44. Cecilia says:

    I love sinigang in all shapes and flavorings, but I have to say I’ve never made it from scratch, as I left the country at a young age and never knew anybody that made it from scratch. But thanks to this site, and that tamarind is in season now, I am going to cook it tonight from scratch for the first time! And that’s why I’m reading-up on this subject. Thanks for the yummy post and the helpful comments!

    Jun 13, 2009 | 9:11 am


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