19 Sep2005

My daughter had a long term break over the weekend and we headed out asin1to the beach for some rest and relaxation. Some rain is fine – it cools, it calms and it nourishes the plants that produce the oxygen we breathe. But too much rain is a real damper – it rained at least 48 hours straight! After the dominoes, game of LIFE, video games, DVD’s, books, etc. you just wanted to join the closest Association of Active Mold Spores! It was so wet and humid that you could just breathe in your daily suggested intake of 8 glasses of water… What to eat on such a rainy weekend? A large bowl of steaming hot sinigang na sugpo (spicy prawn soup). I posted an earlier recipe for tamarind broth made from scratch but there was no tamarind in the Nasugbu market the other day so I bought two packets of sinigang mix or powder. I boiled up some rice water (the cloudy water from rinsing rice grains) threw in chopped onions and tomatoes and let this simmer for a while. I then added some long beans, eggplants and daikon radishes.

It didn’t taste sour enough so I added the juice of four calamansi (calamondin) asin2fruit and added several dashes of patis (fish sauce). Finally, when the broth was ready I added half a kilo of medium sized prawns and cooked that for 2-3 minutes and added a bunch of cleaned kangkong (water spinach) leaves. Serve in individual bowls with lots of steamed rice and a side dish of fish sauce and calamansi. Yum. This is one of my all time favorite comfort foods ever. I tried to photograph it with the pool in the background showing all the raindrops but it didn’t come out that clear. Suffice it to say the environment was extremely damp when we had this soup. You can replace the prawns with many different kinds of fish such as bangus, talakitok, etc. I used to make this soup when I lived in the U.S. many years ago…thank goodness for the powdered sinigang mixes. Though making the broth from scratch really does taste markedly better. I just noticed that the tamarind tree behind the house has tiny new fruit and the rains have brought a lot of new leaf sprouts…I should make a sinigang with the leaves…a more subtle sourness I am told.



  1. Ann says:

    wow, this is also one of my favorite! in fact, i always make sure i have shrimps/sugpo in my freezer so i could cook this anytime i wanted—even if the weather here is soaring high at 45 degrees! your pix crave me a lot! i’m missing the rainy days!

    Sep 19, 2005 | 5:33 pm


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  3. aleth says:

    sure is the all time favorite comfort food for a lot of pinoys! i wish those raindrops came out clear. . . can you photograph the raindrops alone instead?? :) haven’t had rain here in months!!!

    Sep 19, 2005 | 6:45 pm

  4. Wilson Cariaga says:

    sinigang na sugpo really is good when the rainy days are here… with the steamy sour broth and the sweet prawns plus the kangkong and raddish. . .oooooh yum yum. . .

    Sep 19, 2005 | 6:53 pm

  5. Ivan M. says:

    Yum Yum! Sinigang sa Sugpo is the best of all in the sinigang varieties (Sinigang sa Miso comes close). My mom also makes this soup with radish (labanos) though not exactly a personal favorite, it nonetheless makes a very noticeable difference in the overall taste of the soup.

    Sinigang is a very classic South-East Asian ‘sour soup’ (think Tom Yam) and is very appropriate hot and tropical weathers like ours.

    Sep 19, 2005 | 7:07 pm

  6. Mila says:

    I found that tossing in a couple of unripe tomatoes adds another level of sourness to sinigang, especially when the sinigang mixes taste too salty. Plus a green chilli pepper to help warm keep the temperature up on cold, wet days (like last week).

    Sep 20, 2005 | 8:43 am

  7. Gigi says:

    One of my all-time favorite childhood dining memory — eating sinigang na sugpo paired with inihaw na liempo. Deadly!

    Sep 20, 2005 | 10:32 am

  8. buddy says:

    Isn’t it that onions sweeten the broth?

    Sep 21, 2005 | 4:16 pm

  9. Marketman says:

    Onions that are slowly cooked do caramelize and sweeten. I suppose they add a sweeter note to sinigang… I also do like the radishin my sinigang when I get them fresh, I like Mila’s suggestion of unripe tomatoes and I do occasionally add the siling mahaba as well!

    Sep 21, 2005 | 4:21 pm

  10. corrine says:

    When I was newly wed, I stuck to my mom’s policy of never using sinigang mix. She always used fresh ingredients. But with today’s busy lifestyle and I’d say better quality mixes, the sinigang mix is a great invention. However, it’s a joy to discover that in Cebu, restaurants still use fresh sampaloc. I’d recommend Port Restaurant in Waterfront Hotel. Great restaurant to bring locals and foreigners.

    Jul 29, 2006 | 1:29 pm

  11. Marketman says:

    corrine, a compromise is to make a big batch of fresh broth/pulp and to freeze the unused portion. That might meet the must do it fresh voice while working within practical parameters!

    Jul 29, 2006 | 6:17 pm

  12. corrine says:

    Great idea…and to put them in containers good for one cooking each… so you just defrost what you need. hmmm…not bad!

    Jul 29, 2006 | 9:32 pm

  13. Hannah says:

    Please send me the recipe for Sinigang broth from scratch! My dad can’t have the MSG in the packets but he loves this dish! This is the first site that I have seen making it from scratch mentioned. I’d really appreciate it! Thanks so much.

    Sep 28, 2007 | 2:50 am

  14. Marketman says:

    Hannah, just go back to the post above and click the link to tamarind or sinigang BROTH and you will find the recipe…

    Sep 28, 2007 | 6:19 am


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