With a Filipino husband, I've had to learn to cook a few of his favorite dishes. Filipino cuisine intimidates me in a bit, mainly because I'm not too familiar with the flavor combinations and basic techniques used. That being said, I have succeeded at making a very good Adobo (if I do say so myself), and Afritada.
Sinigang is definitely in the Top 3 for the hubby, and while it seemed so simple, I was convinced that it must be more difficult once you get started.
Well, thanks to a little packet of soup base (don't judge...), making Sinigang became one of the easiest and satisfying dishes ever. In doing our grocery shopping a few days earlier, we got a few veggies that I had never used before. Gabi, sitaw... in English, that's Taro root and long beans. What makes Sinigang so tart and uniquely flavored is the tamarind base along with the flavor of the veggies as it cooks.
I chose to make Sinigang na Hipon, or Shrimp Sinigang.
Note: Unless you're seriously afraid of eating head-on shrimp, you should really use it because it adds so much flavor to the soup stock.
This is probably a short-cut version of the recipe, but it's as delicious as any Sinigang I've had.
Pack of Shrimp, head-on
Packet of Knorr Tamarind soup base
3 Tomatoes, cut into cubes
2 Taro Root, cut into 1" cubes
2 cups of Long Beans, cut in half
Handful of fresh Spinach, cut into strips
6 cups of water
Scallions, finely chopped (for garnish, optional)
1. Wash and prep all the veggies so they're ready to go
2. Add the water into a large pot and boil
3. Add the soup base and tomatoes and allow to combine; simmer
4. Add the taro and cook for about 5mins
5. Add the Shrimp and remaining veggies
6. Simmer the soup until the shrimp are cooked
7. Serve hot and add some scallions as garnished
The soup tastes better the longer it simmers, so don't be afraid to leave the pot on very low as you come back for another ladle every so often.