Sinigang na Baboy (Pork in Sour Broth)

Sinigang is a Filipino dish famous for the variety of ingredients one can use as well as for its taste. Though considered a soup, it is not eaten as is, but rather combined as a viand with rice. Sinigang is typically sour and is most often likened to Thailand’s tom yam. Sinigang’s characteristic taste is attributed to the ingredient that gives its sour taste, not to the meat’s flavor.


  • 8 oz (227 g) package frozen unripe tamarind pods or 1 packet of tamarind seasoning mix
  • 2 lb pork shoulder or skinless pork belly, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 12 cups water, divided
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt plus more to taste
  • 6 pieces taro roots, peeled and cut in halves
  • 1 small daikon, peeled and sliced into ½-inch diagonal pieces
  • 1 Chinese eggplant, sliced into ½ inch diagonal pieces
  • 4 oz green beans, trimmed
  • 1 tomato, cut into wedges
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • 2 whole serrano peppers
  • Steamed rice, for serving
  • Fish sauce, for serving


  • If using tamarind pods, combine the tamarind and 2 cups water in a saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat for 10 minutes or until the tamarind is soft. Using the back of a spoon, mashed the softened tamarind. Strain the juice into a bowl and set aside. Discard the seeds and shells.
  • In a large pot, place the pork and 10 cups of water, if using tamarind pods or 12 cups of water if using seasoning mix. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Add salt, lower heat to medium, and simmer covered for 1 hour or until pork is tender.
  • Add the taro roots and cook for 5 minutes. Add the daikon, eggplant, and green beans, and cook for 10 more minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
  • Stir in the tamarind juice or seasoning mix, and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the tomato, onion, spinach, and peppers. Season to taste with salt.
  • Serve with steamed rice and fish sauce on the side.