3 Ways To Make A Delicious Bowl Of Sinigang Na Hipon

These are unique ways to make it sour.

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Sinigang is now more popular than ever! Even before it was declared as the world's best soup, it was probably already a favorite among Filipinos local and abroad. The late food writer Doreen Fernandez in the book "Sarap: Essays on Philippine Food" even said that it should be sinigang, not adobo, that best represents Filipino dishes. This soup is a glorious mix of flavors.

However, it's not just about the soup itself but all the components that make it so addicting and delicious. One of the best ways to enjoy seafood is part of the sinigang. The most classic way of cooking sinigang was with seafood, especially hipon or shrimp. 

The shrimp sinigang is classic when made with sampaloc but there are other ways to enjoy it as well that make it even more delicious and unique in taste. Try these alternative ways to make and fall more in love with this dish: 

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Photo by Zoe del Rosario
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1 Use fresh tamarind. 

The flavor is different from the pack but the wonder here is how much you need to make it taste the same as the pack. Fresh tamarind is extra sour and has a clean tamarind taste. 

You'll need at least a kilo of fresh tamarind to make a recipe for tamarind but if you exert the effort of extracting those flavors, you'll be rewarded with the freshest sinigang sa sampaloc soup dish you'll ever taste. 

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Photo by Majoy Siason

2 Use guava. 

Drop by the provinces and you'll see sinigang made with guava on menus and tables. Guava is not your traditional sour ingredient. You have to use the unripe guava to achieve the sour notes you normally taste in the sinigang. For a touch of sweetness together with the sour, add one or two ripe guavas to give you that balance that we love to taste in our dishes. The shrimps go surprisingly well with this combo. Try it with pork and fish, too! 

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Photo by At Maculangan | Prop Styling by Becky Kho

3 Use kamias. 

Kamias, also called bilimbi, is an oblong green fruit that is tartly sour. It's a fantastic substitute for the sampaloc, and, in reality, is easier to cook than if you were using fresh tamarind. It even gives the same sour taste that tomatoes give the sinigang, so it complements the sampaloc flavor when mixed together. 

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These are just three ways to make your hipon super delicious without using a ready-mix packet of sinigang sa samploc, but you don't need to be limited by these! Try other souring ingredients that are available in your area and you might learn a new way to enjoy your favorite soup. 

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Thinking about what to cook next? Join our Facebook group, Yummy Pinoy Cooking Club, to get more recipe ideas, share your own dishes, and find out what the rest of the community are making and eating!

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