Today has been a cold and wet day, with rain intermittent throughout. It’s just the type of weather that calls for a piping-hot pot sinigang na baboy, which was exactly what I prepared for lunch. Thick with the sourness of tamarind and abundant with crisp-tender vegetables and succulent meat chunks, my steaming bowl provided much-needed comfort against the malevolent weather outside.
- 2 pounds pork spareribs cut into 2-inch pieces
- 2 large tomatoes quartered
- 1 medium onion peeled and quartered
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 banana or finger chilies
- 4 pieces gabi taro (peeled and halved)
- 1 6-inch radish (labanos), peeled and sliced to 1/2-inch thick half-rounds
- 1/2 bunch long beans sitaw, ends trimmed and cut into 3-inch lengths
- 1 eggplant ends trimmed and sliced to 1/2-inch thick half-rounds
- 5 to 6 pieces okra ends trimmed
- 15 large tamarind pieces or 1 1/2 1.41 ounces each packages tamarind base powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 bunch bok choy ends trimmed and separated into leaves
Wash pork ribs. In a pot over medium heat, combine pork and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, skimming off scum that accumulates on top. Once broth clears, add tomatoes, onions and fish sauce. Lower heat and simmer for about 1 to 1-1/2 hours or until meat is tender, adding more water as necessary to maintain about 10 cups.
Add gabi and cook for about 6 to 8 minutes or until soft. Add chili and radish. Continue to simmer for about 2 to 3 minutes. Add long beans. Continue to cook for about 2 minutes. Add eggplant and okra and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes.
If using packaged tamarind base, add into pot and stir until completely dissolved. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add bok choy and continue to cook for about 1 minute. Serve hot.
Wash tamarind and place in a pot with 1 cup water. Bring to a boil and cook until soft and outer skins begin to burst.
With a fork, mash tamarinds. In a fine mesh strainer set over a bowl, pour tamarind and liquid. Continue to mash with a fork, returning some of the liquid into the strainer once or twice, to fully extract juice. Discard seeds and skins. Pour tamarind juice into sinigang.