This Filipino sinigang recipe is made of salmon, vegetables, and tamarind broth. It's rich, comforting, and so easy to make.
Salmon Sinigang Recipe
Salmon specifically the belly part is one of my favorite fish for sinigang. It's rich, comforting, and packed with healthy oil. Even my kids love it! So our week is never complete without serving this for lunch or dinner.
This sinigang recipe is not much different from other sinigang recipes. It uses similar ingredients with a few additions to make the soup less fishy.
Here's what you need to make it:
- Salmon - for a delicious sinigang use salmon belly, salmon head, and even salmon trimmings. You can also use salmon fillet but I recommend combining it with either of the two for a deeper flavored broth.
- Radish, Ginger, and green chili- the secret to a less fishy soup. Always, always include this trio when making fish or seafood sinigang.
- Fish Sauce - is the main salt of sinigang. It's packed with umami flavor.
- Tomatoes - add color and extra flavor to any sinigang dish.
- Vegetables - okra, sitaw (long green beans), kangkong, sweet potato leaves, eggplant, pakchoi can all be used interchangeably.
How to make Sinigang na Salmon
Here are my top tips on how to make this Filipino fish sour soup:
Prepare the salmon
Buy a pack of salmon that has already been descaled. Wash it thoroughly and remove any slime and impurities. If you're using salmon belly, gently scrub it with salt to remove the slime then rinse. Cut it into medium size pieces so it's easier to serve.
If you happen to find a pack that includes the head and bones of the fish, the better! It will make the best and most delicious salmon broth.
Cook the Salmon
There are two ways to cook salmon sinigang. The first is the boiling/simmering method and the other is the sauté method (ginisa in Filipino). I use these two interchangeably depending on my mood.
Involves boiling the ingredients from beginning to end. This method makes a lighter, clearer yet still flavorful broth. You start by simmering the ginger, onion, radish, and tomatoes to infuse the flavor. Then you add the salmon, and fish sauce along with the vegetables like okra and eggplant. Finally, the souring agent and leafy vegetables.
This involves sautéing the aromatics and tomatoes at the beginning of the cooking process. This makes a deeper and more robust sinigang broth. The next step is pretty much the same as the boiling method.
Tip for a less fishy sinigang broth
A Thai chef once told me that stirring the fish as soon as it's added to boiling water intensifies the fishy smell. So, DO NOT STIR or be tempted to disturb any of the ingredients as soon as the fish is added to the pot. Let it simmer for a couple of minutes before doing so.
Variation: Sinigang sa Miso
Adding miso or fermented soybean to fish sinigang or any seafood sinigang is a great way of adding more flavor to the soup.
In the Philippines, fresh miso can be bought in almost any local market. If not available, sinigang mix made with powdered miso and tamarind can be used as a substitute.
For those living abroad, you can use Japanese White Miso or any lightly flavored miso paste. To use, add a couple of tablespoons to the pot as the sinigang finishes cooking. Turn off the heat as soon as it's dissolved.
As with any other sinigang dishes, this deliciousness is best served warm and eaten with rice. Oh, so comforting!
Watch the video on how to make Sinigang na Salmon
More fish recipes
Love Filipino soup? Try these recipes!
- Pork Sinigang
- 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)
- Easy Chicken Sinigang with Gabi
- Beef Nilaga Pressure Cooker Recipe (Nilagang Baka)
- 5 cups water
- 1 thumb ginger (peeled, sliced)
- 1 small daikon radish (sliced)
- 2 med tomatoes (sliced)
- 1 whole onion (sliced)
- 4 cloves garlic (chopped)
- 2 pieces banana chili (sili pangsigang)
- 1.3 pound / 600g salmon (see note 1)
- 2 tablespoon fish sauce
- 2 tablespoon tamarind powder/ sinigang mix (i used Knorr, see note 2 & 3)
- salt (to taste)
Choice of Vegetables
- okra (ends trimmed)
- eggplant (cut into ½ thick inch)
- bunch of leafy greens (see note 4)
- Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add garlic, onions, and ginger. Saute until fragrant and translucent. Add tomatoes. Cover with a lid and cook until softened. See note 5 for an alternative cooking method.
- Pour water followed by radish, and fish sauce. Simmer until radish is half done.
- Add salmon, green chilies, and vegetables like okra and eggplant. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes. DO NOT STIR.
- Sprinkle sinigang mix. Lightly stir to dissolve. Taste, add more sinigang mix if needed. Season with salt, to taste.
- 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:
- Salmon - use salmon belly, salmon head, fillet or even salmon trimmings.
- Other souring agents (pangpa-asim) that can be used: calamansi, kamias, batwan, fresh tamarind.
- Using fresh tamarind - 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, step 4.
- Leafy Vegetables - kangkong, sweet potato leaves, and bok choy/pak choi.
- Alternative cooking method: simmering the ginger, onion, radish, and tomatoes in water. This should take about 5 minutes. Do steps 3 to 5.
- Sinigang na Salmon sa Miso - use Sinigang mix with miso or add 2 tablespoon Japanese White miso as it finishes cooking. Turn off the heat immediately.
Originally published April 2019. Updated with a new recipe, photos, new writing, brand new video.
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