Comforting and delicious sinigang na baboy! Sour and rich broth loaded with pork and vegetables. Simple to make and very versatile. Simmer slowly on the stovetop, or use your instant pot/ pressure cooker to shorten the cooking time. Directions and tips are all here!
What is Sinigang?
Sinigang is a Filipino word that means "stewed in a sour soup". It can be made with pork, fish, chicken, shrimp combined with a variety of vegetables. Fish sauce (patis in Filipino) is added to give the soup a savory flavor.
Tamarind (sampalok in Filipino) is the most popular souring agent or "pang-asim" and it is widely used in powder form called "sinigang mix".
Pork cuts for Sinigang
Pork ribs, pork belly, pork butt, and pork shoulder are the best cuts for sinigang. My personal favorite is pork ribs as it makes a wonderfully rich broth that goes so well with the sour flavor.
Sinigang na Baboy Ingredients
These are the essential ingredients to make sinigang.
- Onion, garlic, green chili, and white radish - are necessary ingredients that play an important role in making the base flavor of the soup.
- Tomatoes - it adds color to the dish and makes sinigang naturally sweet and tangy.
- Fish sauce (patis) - the key ingredient that flavors sinigang. It's packed with umami flavor, a perfect complement to the meat and vegetables.
- Vegetables - the complete list is below. Use whatever is available.
- Tamarind (sampalok) - using sinigang mix is the most convenient way of making sinigang. You can use fresh, if available.
- Gabi - or taro in English is the secret ingredient that makes the sinigang soup extra rich and luscious. I recommend shaving half of the portion using a peeler so it can easily melt and infuse with the soup as the meat cooks.
Best way to cook Sinigang
Cooking this Filipino sour pork soup can be done in two ways. Which method is best is often a subject of debate for many sinigang "connoisseurs". For me, it's all a matter of preference and of course how much time you are willing to spend in the kitchen. I use both methods alternatively, depending on my mood.
Method 1: Sauté and boil
Involves sauteing the garlic, onions, and pork before boiling until the meat is tender. This method elevates the umami a little bit further and makes the broth extra rich from the additional oil.
Method 2: Boiling method
The title says it all. You basically just boil the pork in a pot of water until tender. It's the easiest and most convenient way of cooking sinigang. This method makes a clear, light, and flavorful sour broth.
How to cook Sinigang na Baboy
And here's how to make it!
Searing the pork until just brown and simmering it in fish sauce deepens the flavor of the broth. When the water starts boiling, skim off the scum as it arises.
Add in the yam (gabi) and simmer. Cooking time on the stovetop will take around 1 hour or more depending on the pork cut you're using. If using the pressure cooker, 20 to 30 minutes should be enough.
By the time the pork is tender, the broth will be thick and rich as gabi has already dissolved and blended with the broth.
Finally, add the vegetables and cook with the lid on. Add the tamarind powder or extract and simmer until the vegetables are done. That's it!
Vegetables for Sinigang
Here is the list of vegetables that works well with sinigang. Use whichever is available:
- sitaw (snake beans)
- winged bean
- banana heart (puso ng saging)
- bok choi (pechay)
- kangkong (water spinach)
- green beans
- nai bai
Cooking sinigang in a pressure cooker/instant pot
Using a pressure cooker to cook sinigang is one way of cutting the cooking time short. It's especially useful if you love using pork ribs (like me!) which could take 1 hour or more to tenderize.
I highly recommend sauteing the spices and the pork when using an instant pot. The extra step helps build the flavor before starting to pressure cook the meat.
Common questions about Sinigang
To make the soup in reddish color, use red ripe tomatoes. Saute it with the pork to render the color.
Was unripe tamarind and place it in a pot. Pour 1 cup water boil until soft and skin begin to separate. Mash with a fork. Strain in a fine mesh over a bowl and continue to squeeze out the juices. Discard the skin and seeds. Pour the tamarind extract into the pot of tenderized pork when the vegetables are halfway done.
Love Filipino soup flavors? Try these recipes!
- Tinolang Manok
- Nilagang Manok sa Patis (Chicken Soup with Fish Sauce)
- Misua Soup with Sesame Pork Meatballs
- Minced Beef Sopas-Filipino Macaroni Soup
- Pork Nilaga (Pork Soup with Vegetables)
- Pesang Manok (Chicken Ginger Soup)
- Easy Chicken Sinigang with Gabi
- Beef Nilaga Pressure Cooker Recipe (Nilagang Baka)
- Sinigang Salmon Belly in Japanese White Miso
Watch the Sinigang na Baboy recipe video
Sinigang na Baboy (Pork Sinigang)
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 yellow onion (quartered)
- 1 kg /35 oz pork, cut into serving pieces (see note 1)
- 3 tablespoon fish sauce (add more if preferred)
- 5 cups water (see note 2)
- 1 med-size gabi (peeled then shaved or cut)
- 2 large tomatoes (quartered)
- 1 med-size radish (peeled, thinly sliced)
- 2 banana chili (sili pangsigang)
- 2 tablespoon tamarind powder/ sinigang mix (add more if preferred, see note 5)
- salt to taste
Choice of Vegetables (see note 3)
- okra (ends trimmed)
- eggplant (cut into ½ thick inch)
- bunch of green long beans (cut into 3 inch length)
- bunch of water spinach (kangkong)
- Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add garlic and onions. Saute until fragrant and translucent.
- Add pork. Cook until no longer pink. Pour fish sauce and simmer for 2 minutes or until fragrant and juices appear. Pour water and let it boil. Skim off scum as it arises. Add gabi (yam) and cover with a lid. Cook until pork is tender (see notes for cooking times). Add more water as needed.
- Season with salt or fish sauce, to taste. Add vegetables in this order: radish, chili, tomatoes, eggplant, okra then sitaw. Cover with lid and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until vegetables are half done.
- Pour sampalok sinigang mix or choice of souring agent (pampaasim). Cook for another 2 minutes.
- Add kangkong or your choice of leafy greens. Simmer for another minute and remove from heat. Serve with rice and enjoy!
Recipe Notes and Tips:
- Pork cuts: pork ribs (buto buto), pork belly (liempo), pork butt or shoulder (pork kasim) are the recommended cuts for sinigang
- Water: Use less amount, around 3 to 4 cups if cooking with a pressure cooker to avoid overspilling. Add more once the meat is tender.
- Other vegetables you can use: winged bean (sigarilyas), banana heart (puso ng saging), bok choi (pechay), green beans, nai bai.
- Alternative cooking method: Boil the pork right away with onions in a pot of water. Skip the garlic and oil. For a reddish broth, add the tomatoes early.
- Use fresh tamarind (sampalok) if preferred: Wash unripe tamarind and place in a pot. Pour 1 cup water boil until soft and the skin begins to separate. Mash with a fork. Strain in a fine mesh over a bowl and continue to squeeze out the juices. Discard the skin and seeds. Pour the tamarind extract into the pot of tenderized pork when the vegetables are half-way done.
Cooking times:Note that the thicker the cut, the longer the cooking time.
- pork ribs - 1 to 2 hours on the stovetop, 25 to 30 minutes in an instant pot/pressure cooker. Use quick release.
- pork belly and pork shoulder - 1 to 1 ½ hour on the stovetop, 20 to 25 in an instant pot/pressure cooker. Use quick release.