Sinigang na Hipon at Kamias / Shrimp and Belimbing Soup


We make a mean sinigang from fresh unripe sampalok broth (tamarind) in our home. Forget those powdered mixes unless real sampalok is totally out of season. We also made an absolutely delicious bayabas or guava based sinigang several months ago. Now, a prawn sinigang made with kamias or iba as the souring agent…also fantastic! I guess we have to first say that sinigang must be one of our top Filipino dishes ever and the concept of a tart broth with vegetables and shrimp or fish never fails to whet our appetites. Our cook purchased some kamias or iba at the market yesterday and decided to make a sinigang using the kamias. She first sautéed some onions and tomatoes then added 10 kamias. She then added rice water and boiled until the broth was cloudy and flavorful. Add the shrimp and vegetables and cook. Add salt and white pepper to taste. Our cook strained the broth and served the shrimp and vegetables separately.

If you want to serve it all together, you can strain kamias2the kamias bits out before adding the shrimp and vegetables. She also added another 4-5 kamias a few minutes before serving so that there would be whole kamias in case we wanted to regulate the degree of sourness. The soup was really good. It was tart but not sharply so. It had a nice flavor from the kamias that is different from sampalok (tamarind) or bayabas (guavas). Another easy, delicious and nutritious soup to add to our growing list of house favorites…


15 Responses

  1. Hayyy, Marketman! When the cold is biting, what is more comforting than hot sinigang soup and steaming rice! I’ve been craving for sinigang na hipon for ages and your post just made it worse! Unfortunately, shrimps where are, are sold pre-cooked and I would never find kamias anywhere here.

    Bangus belly is also nice with kamias. The broth is clouded with sliced puso ng saging (the long and white variety, not the red one). And of course, served with steaming rice and patis with crushed siling panigang.


  2. Sheesh, MM, please stop making us crave for these good sinigang varieties when we can only have access to those prepacked ingredients! Each time I am about to open your site, I always wonder what other good stuff awaits me! Never been disappointed… What will we do if you decided to just post every other week! Quelle catastrophe!

  3. You mentioned “Kamias” and I remember playing with my cousins in my uncle’s yard picking kamias from their tree. I recently tried this Kamias shake in K.K.K. in West Ave. It’s good! I’m glad there are many ways to serve it. By the way, have you wondered what’s “Kamias” in English?

  4. The camias tree in my yard bears fruit all year round, I can
    cook sinigang na hipon or kandule with camias as souring agent anytime. Like you, I don’t use the package sinigang mix because the real thing is always available. To cook this sinigang, I first boil the camias to soften then remove the seeds with a fork. Put together the hugas- bigas, onion, tomatoes, sili, a piece of ginger and the softened camias. When it boils, drop the shrimps, sliced labanos, mustard leaves. Season to taste.

  5. MEL, you are right, sinigang hits ths spot on a cold and damp winter night. Lou, heehee, sorry to tempt…but I’m sure that there’s a whole lot of good stuff in your neck of the woods that would get my salivary glands on overdrive… Ciela, Karen in the link on Kamias prior to this post says the English name is Tree Sorrel and this link also suggests cucumber tree…VMA, didn’t realize the tree bore fruit all year round…but there is a time, about now where it really blooms profusely, is that correct?

  6. I remember my tita making delicious bars ala fig newtons using dried kamias. they were sooo good; moist, chewy and the sourness of the kamias was hardly noticeable. Will have to try and get the recipe from her as she has stopped making them. And I think Cafe Bola in Cubao also serves good kamias shakes.
    MM, thank you for such lovely posts.

  7. I love Gaita Fores’ Kamias shakes. Love them. I am intrigued by all these wisps of fond memories of sugared preserved kamias…recipes please?! please?

  8. MM, I’ll have to ask my Mom how she made preserved kamias when I was a kid. She’s a grad of UP HE so you’ll probably find a recipe for it in one of the college’s food preservation textbooks.

    If memory serves, I think she pierced each trimmed kamias with a fork several times, soaked the fruit in a lye solution or something, and later squeezed out the liquid from each one before drying it all in the sun. I think she soaked the fruit in several changes of water after the lye solution, repeating the squeezing after each soaking before sun drying.

    When the kamias was dry, she made a sugar syrup in which she cooked the fruit to the right texture. I remember helping squeeze the heck out of those kamias and after the long process, finally popping the yummy, chewy, sweet-sour preserved fruit into my mouth. Way better than champoy.

  9. Kate, the soaking solution is LIME (apog) mix with water NOT Lye! There is a book published by the Bureau of Plant Industry titled “Preservation of Fruits and Vegetables”. The procedure for making Candied Camias is on this book. I think the book costs about P200 at the BPI office in San Andres, Manila.

  10. Sorry! Apog nga pala. I have it confused with the lye we use to make suman sa lihiya. Come to think of it, apog is one of the items I plan to buy when I go home to RP. For the life of me, I can’t find slaked lime, as it’s called here. Thanks VMA.

  11. I love to put sliced camias on top of a hot and heaping plate of pancit bihon. Ay, Champion!

  12. i remember being caught by my values ed teacher eating kamias during class…munching it silently while dipping it in rock salt…yum yum yum…

    siniganag n hipon s kamias has always been a staple in our house….my lola used to cook kamias in another way…
    saute galic and onions in little oil, add hipon-pugot then add water, season with little patis and add sotanghon. when boiling,turn-off the heat. add sliced kamias then immediately serve…do not over cook…love it with bahaw… and cold pinya with bagoong….yum……

  13. I also love kamias in paksiw and sinigang though I haven’t tried the kamias shake and candy. I have another use for kamias though: for those who still do the laundry manually, after washing, you could use the over ripe kamias to your hands, it will help cleanse the soap totally.

  14. Thanks for the info Marketman regarding kamias. however refers to balingbing which is totally different from kamias. Kamias has smooth surface and balingbing has edges (as they say, balimbing has several sides/faces – like the politicians in the Philippines! :)

  15. Ricka, thank you for your comment. Actually, I refer to belimbing as another name for kamias or iba, not BALIMBING (Starfruit or Carambola), which is altogether another fruit, though both are cousins. I have a post on kamias and iba here which talks about it some more. As for wikipedia, I generally find it interesting but you must be careful about using it as your only or main source of information, as it is not always reliable… in this case, however, I suspect the issue is simply one of a similar spelling… BALIMBING is different from BELIMBING. :)



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