Old Promise

Do you keep a to-do list? Paper or electronic? I know it helps me to stay organized and on top of things, but sometimes I feel like it’s a battle. I win a few, the to-do list gets me back. Just as I cross things…

Old Promise

Do you keep a to-do list? Paper or electronic? I know it helps me to stay organized and on top of things, but sometimes I feel like it’s a battle. I win a few, the to-do list gets me back. Just as I cross things off my list triumphantly, my to-do list (an iPhone app, these days) laughs back at me, because there are always more things to add than I can delete.

This week has been all about playing catch up with my to-do list. It didn’t help that there are nasty viruses swarming through the schools and my daughter came home feeling sick last Tuesday. It can be harder to get things done when you have little ones who need extra tender loving care. I am relieved everyone is finally feeling better in my house, and today felt so productive. We returned to our routines, and I was able to tackle my to-do list once more. The refrigerator is fully stocked, the cupboards no longer bare, and I was able to accomplish so many tasks, pressing delete never felt so good.

One of those tasks was fulfilling an old promise. When I had hosted my Filipiniana-themed dinner party for my fellow blogger friends last fall, I had promised to post the recipe for my Sinigang na Hipon. As I described in that post:

Sinigang na Hipon is a tamarind based soup with prawns that also gets its rich flavor from pork belly. It can be served as a soup, as shown here, or over rice for a hearty meal. Kai-lan greens and spinach make the soup so nutritious, but it’s the Daikon radish that is my favorite part. This complex soup is tangy and vibrant, yet very satisfying. Sinigang could also be made with fish or just pork, and I consider it to be one of the truest native Filipino dishes, for its use of the indigenous sour tamarind.

This versatile dish can be made with a variety of vegetables as well. Popular ingredients include sitaw (Chinese long beans or green beans), gabi (taro), talong (eggplant), kangkong (water spinach), and okra. It is hard to find fresh tamarind, so the “dirty little secret” of many Filipinos is the Knorr Tamarind Soup Base. By all means, if you have access to fresh sampaloc (tamarind), do use it, but if you are in a bind, head over to your nearest Asian food market and you will be able to find the soup base. You may even be able to find it in your local supermarket, depending on where you live in the country.

Sinigang na Hipon {Tarmarind Soup with Tiger Prawns, Kailan Greens & Daikon Radish}

Use your favorite vegetables in this fresh and flavorful dish! If you have access to fresh tamarind, include it in the dish, otherwise, use the Knorr soup base. For everyday, I omit the shrimp/prawns, and it makes for a perfect meal when served over rice.

  • Pork neck bones or pork belly (or spare ribs), meat sliced
  • 1-2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Knorr Tamarind Soup Base
  • Gabi, sliced
  • Japanese daikon radish, sliced
  • Okra
  • Eggplant
  • Spinach
  • Shrimp or prawns (optional)
  • Patis (fish sauce) to taste

In a pot of water, bring pork to a boil, then discard water.

Using new water (enough to cover meat, about 3 cups, just add more later if needed), add tomatoes, onion and salt and let it come to a boil. Add Knorr soup base (start with half the packet, adding more to taste if necessary. Lower heat and continue to simmer until the meat is tender.

Add gabi. When nearly tender, add remaining vegetables (if using frozen spinach, add last). Add shrimp about five minutes before serving. Season to taste with patis.

Serve over rice and enjoy!


Comments

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  1. Dan (mychef)

    its always nice to hear our kababayan abroad blogging Filipino dish… I agree with you sinigang, is one of Pinoy’s native dish…but its first time for me to hear it with spinach..i wonder how it taste? got to try it…yum yum

    Reply
    • Liren

      Hi Dan, thanks for stopping by! I grew up on sinigang with spinach, I am guessing, because my mother most likely used it as a substitute for kangkong, which used to be harder to find decades ago in NY. I’ve gotten accustomed to it and it works very well!

      Reply
  2. Debi (Table Talk)

    My to-do list is now on my new iphone–yeah! My problem now is that I need 5 more of me to get it done! A bowl of this soup would inspire me to get busy—I will have to check for the Knorr mix here…could be tricky

    Reply
  3. angi

    Oof, there definitely are nasty viruses going around. A bunch of my labmates have been sick and now I seem to have caught whatever they had. But just thinking about this nice, warming bowl of comforting soup is remedy in itself. Once I get a little better, it will go on my cooking to-do list! :)

    Reply
  4. Brian @ A Thought For Food

    I just got back in from taking the pup out for a walk in the FREEZING cold and now all I want is a steaming bowl of this flavorful soup.

    Thank you for always sharing this wonderful history with us.

    Reply
    • Liren

      It’s always my pleasure, Brian! The cold here has been unseasonably bitter, too, so I wish I had a bowl right now as well!

      Reply
  5. Monet

    I am a huge fan of to-do lists. I have one on my computer and on a stick pad I keep in the kitchen. I’m all about organization, but like you, the list never ends. Thank you for sharing your words and this delicious recipe. And thank you for your kind thoughts on my own blog. I appreciate you!

    Reply
    • Liren

      You’re right, Monet, the list never ends! I appreciate you, too, my dear! Know that you and your family, especially Ryan’s grandmother, are in my thoughts and prayers!

      Reply
    • Liren

      Hi Monique! Yes, I finally did :) It just took a few months!

      Reply
  6. Kita

    This sounds like a great soup. I love using tarmarind, something I hadn’t discovered until a few years ago. I am lucky to have a few Asian markets nearby where I should be able to find the soup base :)

    Reply
    • Liren

      Hi KIta! If you find the tamarind or the soup base, I hope you try it. I just love tamarind, wish it was more readily available here.

      Reply
    • Liren

      Hi Priscilla! I think you would really like it – the flavors just come together really nicely!

      Reply
  7. Lisa { AuthenticSuburbanGourmet }

    Liren – I can truly attest to the fact that this was one delicious soup! I was so amazing to be exposed to the Filipino culture through food. Your week sounds like mine – off to re-stock the pantry and refrigerator. Parents coming over for dinner tonight and still have not finalized the menu. Have a great Sunday!!

    Reply
    • Liren

      Hi Lisa! How was dinner with your parents? Knowing you, it was perfect :) I’m SO so glad you enjoyed this Sinigang – it has a unique flavor, but I do think most people who try it just love it! Hope this week is calmer for you!

      Reply
  8. norma823

    It must be delicious especially with the tamarind. Nver had this and I am tempted. I have also a to do list that would turn your hair white. So much to do and so little time. Glad to hear the children are doing well.

    Reply
    • Liren

      Oh Norma, you made me laugh so hard. I can just imagine how busy you must be!

      Reply
  9. eatmarvin

    Great Sinigang Recipe! :) And I also use Knorr Soup Base. I have no idea where to find Tamarind here anyway.

    Reply
    • Liren

      Hi Marvin! I’m glad to hear that you use the Knorr, too. I actually was able to find fresh tamarind the last time I made this, but it’s never consistent in our markets, so I always have the soup base on hand.

      Reply
    • Liren

      Thank you, Joy! I love sinigang…and it reminds me of my little brother, too. It’s his absolute favorite.

      Reply
  10. Kate @ Diethood.com

    That would be the perfect meal on a chilly day, something we have no shortage of up here. I love the soup, especially those yummy prawns, and your presentation is beautiful!

    Reply
    • Liren

      Absolutely – I was craving it just the other day when the rainy chill returned to the Bay Area.

      Reply
  11. Chef Dennis

    Liren

    what a wonderful soup, the flavors just blending together creating a perfect dish! I have never heard of this dish but would love to try it!
    Cheers
    Dennis

    Reply
    • Liren

      It’s definitely a special dish, Chef Dennis, and I think you would enjoy it. Hope you do try it someday!

      Reply
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