Blake loves to watch Krista eat. In Chapter Three, they have their first “date”. Here’s a snippet:
“Krista tucked into her meal with gusto, leaving Blake enthralled by the way she puckered her lips after taking a sip of the broth from her sour sinigang soup. He had to mentally shake himself to pay attention to his own food.”
Sinigang, one of the most popular viands in the Philippines, is a sour and savory soup. It’s usually made with pork, but can also can be cooked using beef, shrimp, salmon or just vegetables. The typical sour ingredient is green tamarind fruit, but other fruits like kamias (bilimbi), guava, or santol can be used as well. As fresh tamarind is hard to find here in the US, I’ve taken to using a tamarind seasoning mix as a shortcut.
Sinigang na Baboy sa Sampalok
- 1 pouch soup base mix (I recommend also Mama Sita’s Tamarind Seasoning Mix)
- 2 lbs. pork (I use pork belly, but other parts like shoulder or neck are fine, too)
- 10 cups water
- 1 cup tomatoes, quartered
- 1/2 cup onion, quartered
- 2 cups green beans, cut into 2″ length (Filipinos use sitaw or long beans)
- 2 cups radish
- 2 cups eggplant
- 1 pc. long green pepper (Anaheim or other)
- 2 cups leafy vegetables (spinach or kangkong/morning glory)
- patis (fish sauce) to taste
- In a saucepan, bring water, pork, tomatoes, and onion to a boil. Cook until pork is tender. Approximately 30 minutes. Simmer for five minutes.
- Pour in soup base mix. Increase the heat and bring to a roiling boil.
- Add green beans, radish, eggplant, green pepper, and fish sauce. Cover and simmer for five minutes.
- Turn off the heat and add the leafy vegetables. Cover to steam-cook.
- Serve hot with rice.
Like Krista in the book, I eat it with fried fish–tilapia, bangus (milkfish), or galunggong (mackerel scad)–but it can be served on its own.