This sinigang recipe is a delicious twist on classic Filipino comfort food. Juicy pork is simmered to tender perfection with an assortment of fresh veggies and aromatics to create a rich, savory, sour soup. Served with a side of steamed rice and extra fish sauce on the side, this is a mouthwatering meal of epic proportions!
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This pork sinigang recipe is a nutritious Filipino soup that’s equal parts comforting, filling and flavorful. It’s also tied to many fond childhood memories. My mom always had a pot of sinigang on the stove; whether I was feeling under the weather, coming home from practice, or just needed to warm up during chilly weather, this soup was always there and always hits the spot.
This sour soup has a unique flavor profile and is one of my favorite Filipino dishes. And of course, the sourer, the better! Get ready to learn how to make the best pork sinigang recipe ever.
Why This Pork Sinigang Recipe Works
- So Flavorful – Tart, refreshing, and sour, pork is simmered until it is fall-apart tender in a broth chock full of vegetables. It’s a delicious medley of flavors that you’ll want to make again and again.
- Perfect for Soup Season – This is the ultimate comfort food! Cozy up with a warm, comforting bowl of sinigang on a cold winter day.
- Made From Scratch – Many sinigang recipes are made with soup mixes but this homemade sinigang takes no shortcuts and it’s all the better for it.
What is Sinigang?
Sinigang is a traditional Filipino sour soup. The sour taste usually comes from unripe tamarind but my sinigang recipe uses lemon juice and lemongrass instead. Other souring agents include guava, pineapple, and bilimbi.
Growing up, my mom would use the Knorr Sinigang flavor packet, and while that is one style of making it, this version doesn’t call for using it, and in my opinion, it tastes better.
The term sinigang (“to stew” in Tagalog) references a cooking method because it has many variations. In the Philippines, this common, beloved dish is made with a variety of proteins including pork, beef, and fish. Here are a few popular variations:
- Sinigang na Baboy – Pork sinigang.
- Sinigang na Hipon – Shrimp in sour soup.
- Sinampalukang Manok – Made with chicken.
- Sinigang na Bangus – Filipino milkfish.
Tools You’ll Need
- 6-Quart Dutch Oven
Ingredients You Will Need for this Sinigang Recipe
This section details what you will need to make this recipe, the use of each ingredient, and substitution options. For the exact measurements, see the recipe card below.
- Pork butt – Cut into 2-inch chunks with excess fat removed. This is one of the most flavorful cuts of pork because it’s so fatty. The rich, meaty taste is what makes this stew so savory. However, you can use any cut of pork including pork spare ribs, pork belly, neck bone, or pork shoulder (kasim).
- Roma tomatoes – Halved.
- Yellow onion – Halved and cut into thirds.
- Garlic cloves – Smash it so the garlicky flavor is more intense.
- Lemongrass – Use the bottom 5 inches and smash the ends the with back of a knife.
- Water – This is the base of your broth.
- Jalepeño Pepper – Add some heat.
- Baby bok choy – Bottoms and leaves separated.
- Daikon radish – Peeled and cut into ¼ inch thick half moons.
- Fresh lemon juice – Do not use bottled.
- Fish sauce – Use this for an umami flavor. Add more to taste. I use Rufina Patis.
- Kosher salt – Plus more to taste, Diamond Crystal brand.
How To Make Sinigang
Start by cleansing the pork from any residue, then simmer it with fresh vegetables and aromatics for about an hour before adding the finishing touches.
In a 6-quart dutch oven, add pork and enough water to cover the meat.
Cover and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Boil for 2 minutes, then carefully drain pork pieces into a colander. Rinse out the pot, making sure to rinse out the brown residue from the pork. Rinse the pork with cold water then return to the cleaned pot.
Add Aromatics & Simmer
Add onions, garlic, tomatoes, lemongrass, and 9 cups of water to the pot. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Cover the pot with a lid, leaving a little crack open. Cook for 60-80 minutes or meat is tender.
Then add fish sauce, 1½ teaspoons kosher salt (or to taste), jalapeño, and daikon radish and cook for 20 minutes or until radish are fork tender.
Add Finishing Touches & Serve Sinigang
Stir in lemon juice, bok choy ends and cook for 2 minutes. Then add bok choy leaves and cook for 1 minute.
Adjust seasoning to taste with more fish sauce, kosher salt and/or lemon juice, if necessary. Then ladle into bowls and serve with jasmine rice on the side. Enjoy!
If desired, add 1 teaspoon of fish sauce and 1¼ teaspoons lemon juice to a ramekin and lightly spoon over the sinigang between bites.
Tips and Tricks
- Do not skip or try to speed up the simmering process. The pork needs to be cooked until tender so you can really enjoy this soup.
- Enjoy the next day. The great thing about sini is that it tastes better over time.
- Add as many or as few vegetables as you’d like (and use any combination you’d like). See below for more suggestions.
Sinigang Recipe Variations
- More vegetables. You can add taro root (also known as gabi), water spinach, green beans, okra, or eggplant.
- Slow Cooker. Sinigang can be prepared in a slow cooker for a more hands-off approach. Add the fish sauce, salt, jalapenos, and radishes 20 minutes before serving.
Once the sinigang completely cools, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. To reheat, warm it up in a pot on the stove over medium heat, stirring periodically until it is thoroughly warmed up.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I make this sinigang recipe ahead of time?
Yes. It actually tastes better the longer it sits in the fridge. It gives the flavors the opportunity to meld.
What are the main ingredients of sinigang?
The main ingredients of sinigang are water, a protein of your choice, a leafy green vegetable, and a souring agent.
Is Filipino sinigang healthy?
You can replace the pork can be replaced with a lighter protein such as (lean) beef or fish (try pompano or salmon!)
Looking for More Filipino Recipes
- Toyomansi – Filipino Dipping Sauce
- Easy Filipino Beef Adobo
- Chicken Tinola
- Taho: Filipino Silken Tofu with Sago
- Sinangag-Filipino Garlic Rice
Loving this Sinigang Recipe?
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- 6-Quart Dutch Oven
- 2¼ pounds pork butt, cut into 2-inch chunks
- 2 large roma tomatoes, halved
- 1 large yellow onion, halved and cut into thirds
- 6 cloves garlic, smashed
- 3 pieces lemongrass, bottom 5 inches ends smashed with back of the knife
- 9 cups water
- 1 jalepeño pepper
- 1 pound baby bok choy, bottoms and leaves separated
- ¾ pound daikon radish, peeled and cut into ¼ inch thick half moons
- 1-1¼ cups fresh lemon juice, do not use bottled
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce, plus more to taste
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste, Diamond Crystal
- Jasmine rice
- In a 6 quart dutch oven, add pork and enough water to cover the meat.
- Cover and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Boil for 2 minutes, then carefully drain pork pieces into a colander. Rinse out the pot, making sure to rinse out the brown residue from the pork. Rinse the pork with cold water then return to the cleaned pot. Add onions, garlic, tomatoes, lemongrass, and 9 cups of water to the pot. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Cover the pot with a lid, leaving a little crack open. Cook for 60-80 minutes or meat is tender.
- Add fish sauce, 1½ teaspoons kosher salt (or to taste), jalapeño, and daikon radish and cook for 20 minutes or until radish are fork tender.
- Stir in lemon juice, bok choy ends and cook for 2 minutes. Add bok choy leaves and cook for 1 minute.
- Adjust seasoning to taste with more fish sauce, kosher salt and/or lemon juice, if necessary.
- Ladle into bowls and serve with jasmine rice on the side. Enjoy!
- If desired, add 1 teaspoon of fish sauce and 1¼ teaspoons lemon juice to a ramekin and lightly spoon over the sinigang between bites.