So in an effort to try and make more FiliPALEO dishes, I searched for a way to make sinigang without the use of a flavor pouch. My parents have always used that flavor pouch for sinigang, so much that I was convinced that that was the "authentic" way of doing things. Actually, back in the day (and sometimes in present day), sinigang was often used with tamarind as its souring agent, so I figured that if I found my own tamarind, I could make sinigang from scratch.
I always thought this was the authentic way to do it.
Burnt Lumpia is a blog written by a guy named Marvin who happened to run a food truck back in 2010/2011 in LA called "The Manila Machine." Anyways, I was one of many internet lurkers of his blog, and I stumbled upon his ingenious idea to use rhubarb as the souring agent for sinigang. Turns out, it works HELLA well.
Who would've thought? RHUBARB!
8 cups water
3 stalks rhubarb
2 cups chopped daikon
2 yellow chilis
3 pc. gabi (taro root)
2 lbs. pork country style ribs
1 tomato, quartered
1/2 onion, chopped
1 cup green beans, chopped
1 bunch bok choy, chopped and stalks separated from leaves
2 tbsp. fish sauce (nước mắm/patis)
In a big stockpot, add the water. Chop up the stalks of rhubarb into ~1-inch pieces and throw them into the stockpot. Bring up to a boil, then reduce heat to medium, cover, and continue cooking for 15 minutes. Strain out the rhubarb and keep the liquid using a sieve.
In 15 minutes your stockpot will change from this...
Straining out the liquid is a bitch, but it matters.
Cut the pork into stew-sized pieces, season with salt and pepper, then over high heat, brown on a fry-pan. This takes maybe 1-2 minutes per side. Transfer the pieces into the stockpot containing the rhubarb broth.
To the stockpot, add the chopped up gabi, daikon, and quartered tomato. Pierce through the yellow chilis with a knife or skewer and add to the stockpot as well. Cook the chopped onions in the fry pan that was used to brown the pork, then transfer the onions to the stockpot. Bring up to a boil, then drop the heat to medium, cover, and simmer for 50 minutes.
Throughout this simmer process, taste the broth to make sure it is to your liking. Add salt or more fish sauce if needed. If it's reached your desired spicy level, pull out the yellow chilis.
It starts to look like sinigang!
About 35 minutes into the simmer step, it'll be time to throw in the green beans and the bok choy stalks. About 45 minutes in (10 minutes after), throw in the leafy part of the bok choy. Mix it up for 5 minutes, and you're ready to serve.
If you're going paleo, eat it by itself - with all the gabi and bok choy and green beans, it's definitely satisfying even without rice. If you're not doing the paleo thing, serve it old-school over rice.
Serves about 6 average people, or 2-3 weightlifters.