Sinigang na Baboy (a.k.a. Filipino Sour Tamarind Soup with Pork)

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It’s finally starting to cool down and I was in the mood for something comforting but not too heavy. So, I made sinigang. According to Wikipedia:

Sinigang is a Filipino soup or stew characterized by its sour and savory flavor most often associated with tamarind (sampalok).

All I know is that it’s sour and chocked full of my favorite veggies (spinach and bok choy) and it’s delicious.

This dish is super versatile in that you can use whatever meat you like (fish, chicken, none at all) and add in your favorite vegetables. Eggplant and okra also work well in this soup. Really, it’s chef’s choice when deciding on veggies and meat. The only constant is the tamarind base. If you can’t find sinigang mix in your local Asian market, grab a few on Amazon here. It’s worth having a few on hand for emergency sour soup needs.

Again, chef’s choice – everything below is adjustable to suit your tastes. Hate bok choy? Double up the spinach. Hate spinach? Leave it out and add more string beans. You really can’t mess it up. Well, you could, but you’d have to try really, really hard.


Ingredients – spinach, bok choy, fish sauce, anaheim chiles, potatoes, pork, tomatoes, string beans, onion, tamarind soup base, ginger (not pictured).


Normally this recipe would just call for onions, but I added garlic because I love me some garlic. Then I realized I just bought a crap-ton of ginger, so I added some of that, too (also not traditionally in this dish). Basically – don’t let a recipe dictate your preferences. If you loooove garlic but a particular recipe doesn’t require it, add it in. Unless it’s desert.. that would be weird. Maybe… *thinks of potential garlic-based desserts*


Saute the garlic, ginger and onions. Add in the pork and brown on all sides.


Quarter the tomatoes and cube the potatoes in about 2″ pieces. No need to be exact. Add this to your pot along with 10 cups of water and let simmer over medium heat for ~40 minutes, or until the pork is tender.



The soup mix. I’m sure there is a way to make this tamarind soup base from scratch, but I’m all about NOT re-inventing the wheel. And every Filipino mom I know uses the packet so the packet’s good enough for me.


After the pork is done, add in the soup base along with the Anaheim chiles and string beans. Simmer about 8 minutes.


Add in bok choy and simmer another 5 minutes.



Turn off the heat and add the spinach into the soup pot. Cover with a lid and let the residual heat cook the spinach (about 3-5 minutes).


Sinigang on deck! Holla!


Serve with a heaping pile of sticky rice. Or, if you’re watching your carb intake, this soup is delish by itself. The rice definitely makes it a more filling meal.



soup and riiiice. yassss.


The potatoes are my favorite part. And the pork. And the bok choy. For sure the bok choy.



How I eat sinigang: Fill a spoon with rice, dip spoon in broth. Mmmm.

Sinigang na Baboy (a.k.a. Sour Tamarind Filipino Soup with Pork)

makes 6 servings in about 1.25 hours


1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large onion, sliced
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
2″ knob of ginger, roughly julienned
2 lbs pork shoulder, cut into ~2″ cubes
3 tbsp fish sauce
10 cups of water
2 medium sized tomatoes, quartered
6 small creamer potatoes, cut into ~2″ cubes
1 pack sinigang mix
2 Anaheim chiles (or other mild chile)
2 cups of string beans
6 baby bok choy, split and cleaned
9 oz baby spinach


Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic and ginger and saute until onion softens and ginger becomes fragrant – about 8 minutes.

Add in pork and brown on all sides. Add in fish sauce and saute another 2 minutes.

Add in 10 cups of water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add in quartered tomatoes and potatoes and cook for ~40 minutes or until pork is tender.

Add in sinigang mix packet, chiles and string beans. Simmer for 8 minutes.

Add in bok choy, simmer another 3 minutes.

Finally, turn off heat and add in spinach. Cover with lid and leave for 5 minutes – the residual heat / steam will cook the spinach.

Serve with big ol’ bowl of sticky rice.


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