In preparation for our life across the Atlantic (and to have my grandma’s recipes written down somewhere), this is my attempt of writing a “recipe book.” As it is normally with cooking with grandma, there are no specific measurements and everything is “to taste.”
Sinigang is one of my favorite Filipino dishes. It’s a tamarind-based soup. I love it, but it is distinctively sour so it might not fancy everybody’s tastebuds.
- 1 large salmon fish head (~2.5 lbs)
Ask the fish butcher (What do you even call the person that cuts fish?) to help you cut it into large chunks or you can chop it yourself
- 1 pound of shrimp
Feel free to cut off the whiskers or any unnecessary parts of the shrimp but keep the skin on)
- Approximately half of a bunch of kangkong
You will need to separate the leaves from the stems. Then, cut the stems so they are 2 inches long. The stems are hollow so you will need to soak them in water to wash them.
This vegetable is called kangkong in Tagolog. In Cantonese, it’s ongchoy (通菜). In Mandarin, it’s kongxincai i (空 心菜). In English, it’s called Chinese water spinach? It’s official name is ipomea aquatica. Google it. You should be able to find it in some Asian market.
- Approximately half of a bunch of long green beans
Cut them so they are approximately 2 inches long.
These beans are the long wrinkly looking dark green beans (not the short bright green ones).
- a handful of okra
Cut the ends off so they look clean and appetizing.
- 1 Medium-Large sized tomato
Chop them into large chunks.
- 1 bulb of garlic
Peel and smash the garlic (no need to cut or mince it).
- some ginger (approximately the size of your thumb)
Slice the ginger (no need to peel the skin off)
- 1-2 packets of Tamarind Soup Base
Again, this is to your taste. We used 1.5 packets.
- Fish sauce (to taste)
- Cut and wash the salmon, shrimp, kangkong, long green beans, okra, & tomato
- Boil water in a large pot. You don’t need that much. The water should come up to your pinky. Don’t add too much water yet cause you can always add more water later.
- Peel and smash the garlic. Slice the ginger. Put the garlic and ginger in the boiling water.
- Put the tomato chunks in boiling water.
- Add the Tamarind Soup Base to the boiling water. It should be pretty sour.
- Place the long green beans and the kangkong stems in the boiling pot and bring to a boil.
- Place the salmon in the boiling pot.
- Place the shrimp and okra in the boiling pot. Cover and let it cook for a few minutes.
- Add approximately 2 tablespoons of fish sauce to the pot (or to your taste). Add water as necessary or if it is too sour for you.
- Place the kangkong leaves in the pot. You can keep it at the top of the pot and let the soup cook until the vegetables are cooked.
Then, you’re done! I like to serve it with brown rice. You’ll probably get 4-6 servings out of this recipe, depending if you’re using this as a side dish or as the main dish. I could eat this as a main dish.
Yum. Thanks Grandma!