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Filipino Food Dish: Sinigang

After a round of golf, the Pinoy Golfer would order something to eat from the waiter of the Clubhouse and he needs something, a dish that has soup that could replenish his perspiration. In most cases, the Pinoy Golfer would order “Sinigang”. This is a food dish which has a sour soup with a fish or meat and vegetables in it.

When I was in Grade School, this was the first food dish my mother would teach me to cook. Depending on the number of people who would share the dish, consider the amount of water to be placed on the cooking pan and the amount of fish or meat to be cooked with it.

Cooking a Sinigang dish is very simple. Boil at least 3-4 cups of water in a cooking pot; put chopped ripe tomatoes, at least 3-4 medium size; 2 pieces of ginger as big as the thumb, pressed and chopped; any sour fruit that is chopped (peeled ripe guava without the seeds or fresh green tamarind); half-kilo of fish, bangus/milkfish or lapu-lapu/maya-maya or salmon’s head are the prefered ones or half-kilo of meat, pork neck bones or pork meat from the belly; green leafy vegetables like pechay leaves or kangkong/camote leaves; and salt to taste. Once the water is boiling, place the tomatoes, ginger, and the sour fruit and let the flavor from these ingredients mixed with the water. Taste the water if it has the sour taste already and simmer the pot. Slowly, put the fish or meat at the pot. When the meat or fish is cooked, mix the vegetables and salt. Once the vegetables are blanched and slightly cooked, remove the pot from the stove and the sinigang dish is ready to be served.

In the absence of sour tasting fruits, a lot of fresh ripe tomatoes, chopped and cooked-well, with the boiling water would be enough to make the soup sour. Adding some spoonful of vinegar would be the last resort to make the fish/meat stew sour. To give a better taste to the meat or fish, the Pinoy Golfer could ask some spoonful of “patis” or salted fish sauce which could be added or used as a “dip” or mixed with the soup. 

Today, it is easier to cook sinigang because there are “sinigang broth mix” packs available at the grocery stores. This broth packs are mixed with the boiling waiter and just place the meat or fish with it and mix it with any available green leafy vegetables and you have already a hot sour stew.

Aside from my Pinoy golf buddies, most of my friends from other countries who regularly play in the military golf courses in Metro Manila attest to their preference to eat Singang after a game of golf. Their wives are requested to cook Sinigang for lunch at home when these foreigners play golf or even practice in the golf driving range.

My favorite dish is the Sinigang Salmon’s Head at the Camp Aguinaldo Golf Course which is available all-year round. If you have the chance to play in this golf course, try it!

 

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