If you are craving comfort food, then this easy-to-make Pork Sinigang recipe is for you. It's perfect for any time of year, has fresh vegetables, with tamarind paste to give this sour soup its delicious flavor and is healthy because it doesn't have any additives or preservatives! It is so good for you!
What is Pork Sinigang
Sinigang is a very popular Filipino soup dish. But first things first, "sinigang" is a Filipino (Tagalog) word that describes more of the cooking method, which means "to stew", rather than the dish itself. So you could compare this dish to any type of stew-like dish, where the meat is cooked or stewed with vegetables. One thing to note though, Pork Sinigang has a light broth consistency, unlike your typical stew which is a thicker soup.
Pork Sinigang has a sour note to it, which comes from the souring agent used. In this recipe, I used a natural ingredient which is tamarind paste. The Sinigang broth really makes this dish with its complex flavor because it's sweet, savory, and sour all packed into this very flavorful and tasty dish. The flavor comes from a fruit called tamarind or "sampalok" in Tagalog.
Other ingredients you can use to make sinigang sour are guava, kamias, green mango, calamansi, and santol, which can be found in any Asian or Filipino market.
Why We Love This Dish
- Pork Sinigang is one of the soup recipes on my blog that I guarantee will be an all-time favorite among your family and friends. And check it out - Sinigang is hailed as the BEST SOUP in the world!
- If you want a truly satisfying meal, then this Pork Sinigang sure won't disappoint. It is a meal in and of itself and so versatile and easy to make because you can use any types of meat and vegetables to make this dish.
- It is delicious, healthy, and so very good for you! The flavor is in the broth, so you can add any protein and use any vegetables you wish.
- You can cook this dish using an Instant Pot, Slow Cooker, or a stovetop using a Dutch Oven or any other stockpot. Be sure to check out my recipe cooking Pork Sinigang in an Instant Pot.
- It's kid-approved!!
What Types of Meat Can You Use
The cut of meat I am using for this recipe is pork belly. Here’s a little tidbit of info: Filipinos have always favored pork because pigs are indigenous to the lands, and are, therefore, readily available. And of course, the flavor of pork gives this soup its rich and tasty flavor.
By the way, here is a Tagalog term for you, can you say “baboy?" Baboy means pig in Tagalog. So if you are having some of your Filipino friends over for dinner, just tell them you’re cooking "Sinigang na Baboy" for dinner! And they will be very impressed for sure!
If you want to opt for red meat, then the best cuts of meat to use for sinigang are chuck or shoulder cuts, which are lean and have a high concentration of collagen-rich connective tissues that also have some fat marbling for flavor.
Now keep in mind that since chuck roast is a tougher cut of meat than sirloin or rib roast, which you can also use to make this dish, the cooking method best suitable for using a chuck roast for Sinigang will be pressure cooking or slow cooking. I will blog about the latter soon, so be sure to bookmark my site. Or better yet, sign up to receive my newsletter so you can see my new recipes in your inbox every time I publish new content. You can also check out my Instant Pot Sinigang Pork recipe.
Chicken would be another type of meat you can use to cook sinigang. Naturally, if you use some of the bonier parts of the chicken, you’ll get a more flavorful soup. However, using a combination of the chicken's dark and white meat to make sinigang will give you the best of both worlds.
Fish and any shellfish like shrimps are great options too to consider in making sinigang. Check out my Quick and Easy Shrimp Sinigang recipe.
Ingredients Needed for Pork Sinigang
- Pork Belly - I bought the pork belly from my local farmer. So I trust the quality 100%. I used fresh pork belly in this recipe because it is rich in flavor and the method of cooking I am doing for this "Sinigang" dish, yields a very tender and succulent dish.
- Spinach - you can use frozen in a pinch, however, I prefer using fresh. Spinach is rich in fiber, loaded with vitamins and minerals, and it's so dang good for you. Remember, Popeye?! Hah, I just aged myself.
- Eggplant - try using fresh if you can, and slice them diagonally in about ¼" thick. For this recipe, I used the Asian variety.
- Tamicon Tamarind Concentrate - It's 100% tamarind paste. I bought this from Amazon. And doesn't need to be refrigerated.
- Tomato - you can use fresh, frozen, or canned. Just be sure it's either sliced or whole so you don't end up with a tomato-like soup consistency. I used tomato in this Pork Sinigang dish because the acidity of it balances the overall flavor of the dish.
- String Beans - the one I used for this recipe is native to the Philippines. You can substitute green beans instead.
- Okra - I used fresh, however, if you can't find fresh, you can use frozen or omit this ingredient altogether. Many people do not like the consistency of okra so it's OK if you don't use this at all. It won't affect the flavor of the dish. And if you use frozen, cut back on the cooking time to half.
- Lemon - I added the juice of one lemon to this dish as it adds to the sourness of the soup. You can omit this if you feel that the tamarind is enough sourness.
How To Make Pork Sinigang
In three easy steps, you can make Pork Sinigang and enjoy the flavorful goodness of this soup. Enjoy it with or without rice!
- Sinigang mix, which comes in packets, contains additives and preservatives like MSG short for Monosodium Glutamate. MSG is an artificial flavor enhancer. I always use fresh and natural ingredients, so I refrain from using this seasoning packet. And the way I cook my Sinigang using Tamarind paste, is soooooo flavorful as it is, it doesn't need any enhancement.
- The tip to making a clear and less fatty broth, is to first start by using cold water. Let it come to a full boil, then turn the heat down to simmer. And always have the lid on. And I also added 1 tablespoon of cider vinegar with the water for added health benefits. And doing so also helps to breakdown the protein faster and reward you with a juicy and tender meat.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can use all types of meat to cook sinigang, from red meat like chuck or shoulder cuts to white meat preferably cuts with bones like dark meat in chicken and neck bones or ribs in pork, and seafood or shellfish make good protein options too to make Sinigang.
Yes, omitting the meat and using any of your favorite vegetables (especially the green and leafy kind) will give you a very satisfying sinigang dish.
For this recipe, I used baby bokchoy, spinach, string beans, eggplant, and okra. You can also add other vegetables like gabi or taro root, green beans, radish, turnip, rutabaga, daikon, and any other types of green leafy vegetables like mustard greens, kale, chard, or collard greens.
Properly refrigerated this dish which is made with lots of fresh ingredients can last anywhere from 2 to 3 days.
The addition of fresh vegetables makes this Pork Sinigang dish a hearty and fiber-rich meal. The tamarind soup broth is also loaded with Vitamin C. In addition, the manner in which you cook the sinigang like skimming the scum and fat off the dish will give you a vitamin and mineral-packed soup that is also rich in protein.
Yes, you can freeze sinigang, for up to three months, however, note that fresh vegetables once cooked, frozen, then thawed, will never be exactly like how it was fresh. So keep that in mind. The sinigang broth, on the other hand, will still be as flavorful.
Other Filipino Soup Recipes To Try
- Instant Pot
- 1 Pound Pork Belly
- 4 Cups of Water
- 2 Tablespoon Tamarind Paste
- 1 Medium Tomato can be whole or sliced
- 1 Cup Fresh String Beans
- 1 Cup Fresh Okra
- 1 Fresh Eggplant sliced diagonally
- 2 Cups Fresh Spinach
- Juice of 1 Lemon
- Salt to taste
- Add the pork, tomato, tamarind pulp, and water to the saucepan or Dutch oven.
- Bring to a boil, then simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, until meat is tender.
- Add the vegetables in the order listed, and give each vegetable 2 minutes each of cooking time.
- Add the juice of one lemon, then season the dish with added salt as needed. Serve with steamed rice. Enjoy!
- Try to use fresh vegetables as much as you can. However, frozen would be a great alternative, followed by canned.
- Ask your butcher to slice the pork belly for you about 1" thick.
- This recipe is so versatile, you can use all types of meat for this recipe, or omit them altogether.
- For a clearer and less fatty soup, be sure to skim the scum off the top of the soup as you cook and simmer the dish.
- As an alternative cooking method, you can also make Sinigang using an Instant Pot.