Sinigang na Bangus (Milk Fish in Sour Tamarind Soup). Sinigang is a very traditional Filipino food, actually, for me, this should be the national food of the Philippines and every foreigner must taste this.
There are different versions of sinigang, (pork, shrimp, and fish) and also, sinigang have different sources of its sourness (tamarind, guava, unripe mango or sinigang powder or cube).
Sinigang is also a mixture of vegetables that includes okra, radish (labanos), taro corms (gabi), yardlong beans (sitaw), water spinach (kangkong), eggplant (talong) and sometimes sigarilyas. Most Filipinos like to cook sinigang with green finger pepper in order to add flavor and a little spice to the dish. The preferred sourness of sinigang differs per individual.
Rice water is the base of the soup (you can get this from second and third rice washing) this gives the soup its signature white cloudy color.
Milk fish is known as the national fish of the Philippines, beside from being delicious, this fish has a lot of bones that’s why it is kinda challenging to eat this fish but don’t worry, some supermarket sells deboned milk fish or you can just use other type of fish for your sinigang.
Here are the steps on how to make your own sinigang:
1-2 medium-sized milk fish (bangus), cut in about 4-5 slices or your preferred serving size
1 onion, chopped
7 cups water or rice washing
1 cup string beans (sitaw), cut into 1 ½ – 2 inches long
8 tamarind (sampaloc) or 1 pack sampaloc/sinigang mix
4 pieces tomatoes, quartered
1 bundle kangkong leaves or sweet potato leaves (talbos)
2 pieces green pepper(siling haba)
1-2 Radishes (Labanos), cut diagonally
Salt or Fish Sauce (patis) to taste
- If you are going to use tamarind instead of sinigang mix, boil tamarind until soften. Mash and extract the juices, strain and discard the pulp and seeds.
- In a caserole, pour the rice water.
- Add onion and tomatoes. Bring to boil.
- Add milk fish, cook and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add tamarind juice or sampaloc mix. Simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add green pepper, string beans, radish and kangkong leaves.
- Season with salt or fish sauce according to taste.
- Serve hot with rice
Tip: My mom used to add ginger to lessen the lansa or fishy smell and taste of most of the fish dish she prepare.
Don’t forget to let your foreign friends taste this!