Sinigang na Baboy is the ultimate comfort food! Made with pork ribs, vegetables, and tamarind-flavored broth, it's hearty and delicious on its own or served with steamed rice.
Today has been a cold and wet day, with rain intermittent throughout. It was the type of weather that calls for a piping-hot pot sinigang na baboy, which was exactly what I made for lunch.
Chockful of crisp-tender vegetables and meaty ribs and thick with the sourness of tamarind, my steaming bowl of soup provided much-needed comfort against the harsh weather outside. It was delicious, filling, and the perfect way to warm up!
What is Sinigang
Sinigang is a classic Filipino soup characterized by its sour and savory medley of flavors. It's popular comfort food in the Philippines, usually served on its own or paired with steamed rice on rainy days to ward off the cold.
Like adobo, the term sinigang describes more a method of cooking than a particular dish as it comes with many variations. The soup can be made with various kinds of protein as such as pork, fish, shrimp, beef, and chicken as well as souring agents such tamarind, guava, green mango, calamansi, kamias, batuan, santol, and other native fruits.
- Pork-while you can use meatier and leaner parts such as pork shoulder (kasim), I recommend bony cuts such as spare ribs, pork belly with ribs, hocks and knuckles, tailbone or neck bones for better flavor
- Tomatoes-use ripe, juicy tomatoes
- Onion-peeled and quartered
- Fish sauce-brings umami flavor; you can swap with salt if you prefer
- Gabi-adds a starchy component to the dish and thickens the broth
- Radish (labanos)
- Sitaw (long beans), eggplant, okra, bok choy-these are the vegetables I used but feel free to use other local produce available such as kangkong (water spinach) and pechay
- Tamarind-can be fresh pods, paste or powder mixes
- Banana or finger chili peppers (siling haba)-adds a mild heat; optional and can be omitted
How to make from scratch
I usually use packaged tamarind mixes as the fresh fruit is not always available in my area. Although these powder flavorings are easy and convenient to use, nothing beats pork sinigang from scratch! Just follow the steps below on how to use green tamarind pods.
- Wash tamarind pods under cold, running water to remove any grit or dirt from the skins.
- Place in a saucepan with about 1 cup water and bring to a boil. Cook for about 4 to 5 minutes until soft and outer skins begin to burst.
- Using a fork, mash the tamarinds to release the pulp.
- In a fine-mesh strainer set over a bowl, place the tamarind and liquid. Continue to mash with a fork, returning some of the liquid into the strainer once or twice, to fully extract the juice.
- Discard seeds and skins. Pour tamarind juice into the pot.
Enjoy this delicious pork sour soup and keep warm, my friends!
Sinigang na Baboy
- 2 pounds pork spare ribs, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 8 cups water
- 2 large tomatoes, quartered
- 1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 6 pieces gabi, (peeled and halved depending on size)
- 1 6-inch radish (labanos), peeled and sliced to ½-inch thick half-rounds
- 2 finger chilies (siling haba)
- ½ bunch long beans (sitaw), ends trimmed and cut into 3-inch lengths
- 1 eggplant, ends trimmed and sliced to ½-inch thick half-rounds
- 6 pieces okra, ends trimmed
- 15 pieces large tamarind or 1 ½ (1.41 ounces each) packages tamarind base powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 bunch bok choy or pechay, ends trimmed and separated into leaves
- Rinse pork ribs and drain well.
- In a pot over medium heat, combine pork and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, skimming scum that accumulates on top.
- Once broth clears, add tomatoes, onion, and fish sauce. Lower heat and simmer for about 1 to 1 ½ hours or until meat is tender, adding more water as necessary to maintain about 8 cups.
- Add gabi and cook for about 4 to 6 minutes or until tender.
- Add chili peppers 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 to the 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.
If Using Fresh Tamarind
- Wash tamarind and place in a saucepan 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 the juice.
- Discard seeds and skins. Pour tamarind juice into the pot of sinigang.