This article is part of the series – History of Filipino food, Japanese influence
If you came from this article, good… if you didn’t, bad. Read that first please.
Did you already? Let’s go.
I want to be straightforward with this How to Cook Sinigang post because I am watching Jools Holland and the music is getting in the way of my writing. And I don’t have the luxury of watching TV neither letting you wait for the recipe. So, on to the ingredients:
1 kilo of any steak cut fish of your choice
1 the-largest-piece of spanish onion that you can find, 5 of the sweetest medium tomatoes, 6 vampire-killing garlic cloves – all chopped
1/4 cup of vegetable oil
2 medium sized Talong (eggplants), cut like retangles, the French call it Jardiniere
1 long and medium sized Labanos (Japanese Turnips), hmmm Jar-di-niere?
1 bunch of Mustard Greens or 1 Bunch of Water Spinach
1 tablespoon of Miso for 3 and a half cups of water
1 tablespoon and beyond of tamarind concetrate either powdered or syrup, if you can make it fresh from the fruit itself, you’re in heaven
1 tablespoon and beyond of fish sauce
Spring onions. Up to you how many
Get a deep pot. You cannot cook Sinigang in a flat pan.
Step 1 Do your sautee of onion, tomatoes and garlic. Drop them all at the same time in your pot. Saute in low heat and none of them should be browned. Let them give their juices for the dish until all of them has turned into a pulp.
Step 2 Add your 3 and a half cups of water in and dunk in your miso, and your eggplants as well. Crank the heat up and cover for the next 10 minutes or until boiling crazy.
Step 3 Your cue here is to see when your eggplants are cooked. If they are, turn the heat to medium and carefully test your broth. See if the Miso has amalgamated with the soup already. Test if it has made the broth salty. Does it need more salt? If it needs more, then start with 1 tablespoon of fish sauce. This step is to make sure that your broth tastes good. If it doens’t have a kick of miso, always add by a teaspoon and taste in 5 minute gaps. You need to wait for your Miso to germinate in your broth before you start adding more.
It’s your fault. The Jools Holland show has just finished.
Step 4 If your broth is perfect to your taste (and hopefully to the mouths your feeding it as well), add your fish in. Do not overcook your fish. That’s the reason why we tested and perfected the broth first so that we won’t overcook the fish. For an inch thick of steak, 10 minutes is more than enough. And once you dunk your fish in, be sure it’s in medium heat. Make sure it’s not boiling like everything wants to jump out of the pot. It should be boiling but softly. Cover for the next 8-10 minutes (if your fish is more than an inch thick).
Step 5 Get a fork and stick it in the fish near the bone, if you can move the flesh easily and it looks cook, it is. Dunk in your Labanos (Japanese Turnips) at Mustasa (Mustard Greens) or in my family’s case – Kangkong (Water Spinach). And this is also the time that you will add your acidic element which is usually a tamarind concentrate in powder or in syrup form. I use syrup or the liquid concentrate myself. Start with 1 tablespoon a then give it a taste. Some people like their Sinigang sour, some like it a bit sweet. Ah yes, you have to add at least a teaspoon of sugar in your Sinigang. It makes a big difference. So add your souring element little by little yes? And taste as you go along.
I think you’re done. Don’t forget to chop your spring onions and dunk it in the pot right after you take it off the heat. Tell me how your Sinigang cookfest went.
The TV is currently playing The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. My daughter has taken reins. Well, it seems like I’ll have to wait for another week for Jools again. Happy cooking!