This is an irresistibly tangy Filipino soup recipe you can make with your protein of choice.

sinigang soup in bowl

Kelsey Hansen

Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
2 hrs 20 mins
Chill Time:
6 hrs
Total Time:
2 hrs 40 mins
14 cups

For many remarkable reasons, we love our grandmas. But the yummiest one is the ladles of love they feed us: chicken noodle, beef stew, or even canned soup. And all those steamy bowls make us happy. But BHG Digital Food Editor Katlyn Moncada’s Grandma Tessie loved her up with sinigang (pronounced SIN-E-GAHNG), a soup indigenous to her home in the Philippines.

“I’m so proud of her!” Katlyn exclaims. Her Lola (meaning grandmother in Tagalog, the Filipino language) was always cooking and ”putting food on the table” for family, but she also worked in a hospital, catered parties, and prepared her famous crab rangoons and egg rolls by the hundreds (all while handing out business cards!). In addition, the now 85-year-old family matriarch always made time to serve her special sinigang. She hopped up her version of the traditional soup with a distinctively sour tamarind-based seasoning, endowing her scrumptious potfuls with, as Katlyn describes it, an “irresistible tang.”

Katlyn’s Lola prepares her sinigang with a combination of tomatoes, beans, spinach, and onion in a clear broth. She then loads in whatever protein she has on hand—pork, beef, chicken, or seafood. In all the ways she made it, sinigang has always been a highlight of the family meal rotation. And Lola Tessie never measured. Now a contemporary Filipino urbanite living in St. Louis, she also relies on an envelope of sinigang seasoning for extra convenience, as called for in this recipe.


  • 2 lb boneless pork shoulder or beef chuck, cut into 1-inch chunks

  • 8 cups water

  • 3 to 4 medium fresh tomatoes, quartered

  • 1 large onion, quartered

  • 1 packet (1.76 oz.) sinigang sa sampalok tamarind seasoning mix (such as Mama Sita's brand)

  • 8 oz fresh green beans (sitaw), trimmed and cut as desired

  • 2 small banana peppers

  • 1 medium eggplants (or 2 small)

  • 5 oz fresh spinach

  • 3 to 4 cups steamed jasmine rice

  • 1 tbsp fish sauce


  1. For meat and broth, place meat in a large saucepan. Add the water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer about 1½ hours or until meat is fork-tender. Remove meat with a slotted spoon. Cover and chill broth and meat at least 6 hours or until fat is solid in broth. Lift the fat off surface of broth; discard. Shred or chop meat.

  2. To prepare soup, in a 5- to 6-qt. pot combine the chilled broth, the tomatoes, onion, and seasoning mix. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, about 30 minutes or until onion is tender.

    Find It

    Look for sinigang seasoning mix in envelope packages at international food stores or Asian markets.

  3. Add green beans and peppers (if using); simmer,uncovered, 10 minutes. Add eggplant and cooked meat. Simmer, uncovered, about 10 minutes more or until eggplant is tender.

  4. Stir in spinach. Serve with rice. Season to taste with fish sauce.

Shrimp Sinigang Soup

Prepare soup as directed, except omit pork or beef and skip Step 1. Use 8 cups water instead of broth in Step 2. Continue as directed, adding 2 lb. extra-large head-on shrimp (26–30 count) in the last 2 to 3 minutes of cooking. Serve as directed.

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