Sinigang na Hipon is a Filipino seafood soup made of whole shrimps and vegetables simmered in sour-based broth. It’s light, refreshing, and so easy to make.

Here you will learn how to buy and choose shrimp for sinigang, how to cook it the right way and how to make a flavorful broth without the fishy smell.

Filipino Shrimp Sour Soup

Sinigang na Hipon: How to eat it.

Sinigang na hipon always reminds me of home. It’s the dish that taught me how to appreciate shellfishes. And though it is a soup dish, I always end up using my hands to eat it. You see, sinigang na hipon is always cooked whole with shells, and head intact to get the maximum flavor. So you really have to use your bare hands to peel off the shells and head and enjoy it.

What happens to the spoon and fork? Well, the spoon is reserved for the soup and rice while the fork is used for the vegetables. Did you think we eat soup with our hands too? 🙂

Shrimp Sinigang Ingredients

How to buy and choose shrimp for sinigang?

The best shrimp for sinigang should be unpeeled with head-on. Signs of freshness include:

  • A firm and glossy appearance, that includes the eyes, head, and shell (see photo above).
  • No black spots, or yellowing near the tail.
  • Smell nearly sweet and not fishy. To check, smell and feel it with your hands. The flesh should be firm and translucent (see picture above).
  • No strong odor and should smell like the sea/seaweed and not of chlorine.

Once you bring the shrimp home, place it in a small bowl with a lid. Put ice on top and refrigerate to keep it fresh until it’s ready to be cooked.

If using frozen, buy frozen shrimp that has been flash-frozen immediately after being caught. To, thaw put it in a colander and run cold water over until the shrimp are flexible, 2 to 5 minutes.

Shrimp Sinigang Recipe

How to make the best sinigang soup with less “fishy” smell?

  • Use fresh shrimp. Sinigang that is made of fresh shrimp makes the best flavorful broth that is nearly sweet and not fishy.
  •  Use ginger, radish and green chili to complement the flavor of the shrimp. These aromatics enhanced its earthy-sweet flavor by masking the fishy taste.
  • Fresh tomatoes, use lots if you can. This adds natural tanginess and color to the soup.

Types of “pang-asim” souring agent for Sinigang na Hipon

Sinigang is prepared in different ways by using different kinds of souring agent or “pang-asim”. I have personally tried cooking with tamarind (sampaloc), balimbi (kamias), santol (cotton fruit) and calamansi (calamondin or Philippine lime). All are equally good with varying levels of sourness, acidity and sometimes sweetness.

If you live in the Philippines, using fresh souring agents won’t be a problem as they are seasonally available in many local wet markets.

For those living overseas, using sinigang mix is your best bet. Tamarind mix is the most popular and is commercially available in many Asian and Filipino stores.

How to Cook Sinigang na Hipon

  1. Infused the flavor of aromatics – boil the ginger, onions, and radish to infuse the flavor.
  2. Cook the vegetables – cook your choice of vegetables starting from the hard ones such as sitaw (long green beans), okra, chili, and eggplant. Cooking the vegetables for a few minutes before adding any souring agent, keeps the green color vibrant and retain a soft yet crunchy texture (in Filipino, hindi kukunat ang gulay).
  3. Season with fish sauce or salt if preferred. I would always recommend the former for added umami flavor.
  4. Cook the shrimp but don’t overcook it. It should be done within 2 to 3 minutes of boiling. Add it together with the sinigng mix or preferred souring agent.
  5. Lastly add your choice of green vegetables such as kangkong,  sweet potato leaves or pak choy. Cook for another minute. Serve right away and enjoy it warm with rice of course!

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Shrimp Sinigang Recipe

Sinigang na Hipon (Shrimp Sour Soup)

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Sinigang na Hipon is a Filipino seafood soup made of whole shrimps and vegetables simmered in sour-based broth. It's light, refreshing, and so easy to make.
preparation time10 minutes
Total cooking time15 minutes


  • 4 cups water
  • 1 medium radish (peeled, sliced)
  • 1 thumb-size ginger (peeled and sliced)
  • 3 tomatoes (sliced)
  • 500 grams / 1 lbs. shrimp
  • 1 medium onion (cut into quarters)
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce (add more if needed)
  • 1 20g sinigang tamarind mix

Choice of Vegetables (optional)

  • okra (ends trimmed)
  • long green beans (ends trimmed, cut into 2 inches length)
  • water spinach (leaves and tender stalks)
  • sweet potato leaves (leaves and tender stalks)
  • egpplant (slice diagonally)


  • Prepare the shrimp by cutting the antennae with scissors. Set aside. Prepare (peel, cut/slice) the rest of the vegetables and aromatics.
  • Pour 1 liter of water in a pot. Add ginger, onion, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Add and green chili radish. Cook until radish is fork-tender. Add your choice of vegetables, except for the green leaves. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Season with fish sauce.
  • Add shrimp and sinigang tamarind mix. Let it boil for 2 to 3 minutes until it turns pink. Taste, season with salt if needed. Add your choice of greens. Boil for another minute.

Recipe Notes & Tips:

  • Don’t overcook the shrimp. Cook until its no longer pink then remove from heat.
  • Use fresh shrimp. Sinigang that is made of fresh shrimp makes the best flavorful broth that is nearly sweet and not fishy.
  • Sinigang Tamarind mix can be found in many Asian and Filipino stores.
Author : Mella
Course : Main Course
Cuisine : Filipino
Keyword : sinigang recipe
Nutrition Facts
Sinigang na Hipon (Shrimp Sour Soup)
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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