Tag Archives: momma’s cooking

Sinigang na Baboy (Tamarind Soup with Pork)

22 Mar

I grew up with my Momma’s cooking, and of all of those dishes her Sinigang has always been my favorite.  She moved to Indiana from the Philippines when she was in her mid-twenties because my Lolo (grandfather) had moved there to continue his medical practice.  She grew up with cooks and maids who handled the usual housework, and she barely knew how to make rice.  But, with their new life in a new country, she had to take on the role of cook and maid for my Lolo and her brother.  It was a crash course in domestic life for a fine arts major who was more at home with watercolors and canvases.

Luckily, by the time that I was old enough to enjoy her cooking, she had mastered the Filipino classics.  I’ve been asking her for her recipes ever since I had moved out, but I never had enough courage to make the attempts and I also never wrote down the actual recipes because she would just rattle them off from memory and I thought that I might be capable of the same.  Last week, while hanging out at their place, I got her to slow down and give me the coveted Sinigang recipe while I entered it into my iPhone.

So without further ado, behold my Momma’s recipe:



  • 3 lbs-pork (shoulder, picnic, spareribs or country strips)
  • 2-roma tomatoes
  • 1-medium onion
  • 1-bunch spinach (add more if you want more roughage)
  • 1-packet Sinigang soup mix (you can find this at your local Filipino market)
  • patis (fish sauce) to taste (also found at any Filipino/Asian market)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 3 cups jasmine rice (more if you’re feeding a house full of Asians)


  • Cut pork into uniform cubes.  If using spareribs, separate ribs.  If you’ve chosen a bone-in cut, throw that bone in there for flavor!
  • Dice tomatoes and onion
  • Combine pork, tomatoes, onion, salt, pepper and patis in large pot.  Simmer on medium heat until tomatoes begin to break down and pork starts to brown (approx. 15 minutes)
  • Prepare rice according to package directions.  When you rinse the rice, save the water from the 2nd rinse and put in a bowl
  • When pork is brown and the tomatoes have broken down, add the rice water and additional water (if necessary) to cover the pork and vegetable mix 
  • Add entire packet of sinigang mix to the pot
  • Continue to simmer over medium heat approx 1 1/2 hours or until pork is tender
  • Add spinach and banana peppers and continue to cook over medium heat for 10 minutes or until spinach has wilted (I do not have anymore step by steps photos of this because guests had started to arrive and I had already started drinking)
  • Serve over rice and enjoy!

Sinigang can use almost any meat that you’d like.  My second favorite is shrimp sinigang, but some people use fish and even beef.  Just adjust the cooking times according the meat of your choice.