Savory and tart, this Filipino sinigang recipe is filled with leafy green vegetables and tender pork belly in a rich tamarind broth! Famous for its sour taste, this pork sinigang recipe will be your new favorite soup with rice!
This Filipino sinigang recipe is hands-down a cultural favorite, known for the many nutritious vegetables in the soup combined with a tasty cut of beef or pork! (Like fall off the bone good…)
Spoon this delicious soup over your rice and serve this hearty meal any day of the week! You will definitely need your big soup pot for this dish!
I’ll also give helpful tips in this recipe to getting the best flavor while saving you some precious time WITHOUT compromising any of the authentic ingredients!
This post will go over everything you need to know to create this Filipino sinigang recipe.
Recipe difficulty: Totally beginner level cooking!
So, what is sinigang? This is a favorite soup, usually served as a main dish with a sour flavor from the tamarind. Cooking this soup will not be difficult, rather the challenge will be MAINTAINING your patience from prepping all the vegetables. Don’t skip out on loading this soup with a ton of these healthy vegetables as it’s a great way to get your greens in. (Trust me, it will totally be worth it in the end!)
Also, if you’re interested in Filipino cooking, but don’t know where to start, check out the top five Filipino ingredients I always recommend you have AND where to find it! (don’t worry—they are all crazy cheap) at the bottom of this post!
Sam’s Pro Tips for this Filipino Sinigang Recipe with Pork Belly
How to Save Time
- Buy the pork belly already sliced to save some time! Every minute of our day is important, so save yourselves some time and buy the pork belly already cut in large cubes! There are options to buy it sliced or have the butcher cut it for you. This is a great option as all you literally have to do when you get home is wash the meat and throw it in the pot! You’re done!
- Don’t bother measuring the spinach, just take a hefty handful! This tip is similar to my Savory Chicken Tinola with Spinach. In this Filipino sinigang recipe, we use 5 cups of spinach! Instead of stuffing your spinach in a measuring cup, simply take a large handful to throw in the pot. A handful of spinach roughly equivalates to the size of one cup. It doesn’t really matter if it’s slightly over or under, spinach totally shrinks as it’s cooked so feel free add more than less!
Getting the Best Flavor
- Get the right kind of tamarind soup mix to develop the sour broth. Filipino sinigang has a sour flavor usually coming from the tamarind, which is a type of fruit used to develop the broth in this dish. The easiest way to get the best flavor in your pork sinigang recipe is to buy the tamarind soup mix to save yourself some time. We don’t want another thing to prep. For this reason, I use the Knorr Tamarind Soup Mix to get the best combination with my sinigang vegetables!
- Adjust the flavor of this soup with beef broth or water. Honestly, since there is already so much flavor from the soup mix and vegetables, I just add water to my soup and have it boil. If you would like to add even more flavor, you can do a half and half mixture of beer broth and water. However, I really don’t think you will need it! I like using the water as it’s healthier and is one less item to buy.
Key Ingredients – Filipino Sinigang Recipe with Pork Belly
Below are some key and optional ingredients for this recipe:
- Pork belly: Pork sinigang is typically the most common using either pork belly or pork spareribs. This type of cut gives an incredible flavor to the broth and will be super tender as it boils with the other ingredients in the soup. Like my mouth is watering thinking about it…
Vegetables and Herbs
- String beans: You will need one bunch of string beans in this Filipino sinigang recipe! Sting beans is pretty common in Filipino cooking and requires the same prep needed as my Chicken and String Beans Recipe. Make sure you wash the bunch, cut the ends off, then cut into pieces about 3-4 inches in length.
- Broccoli florets: Love using broccoli florets as I buy a 12-ounce bag, wash it, and throw it in the pot. The broccoli will boil with the other ingredients and makes it a breeze to cook. That’s it!
- Spinach: More spinach the better! Grab 5 handfuls to throw in the pot the last two minutes of cooking. You’ll be amazed how much this leafy vegetable shrinks when cooked!
- Chinese okra: Okra makes this sinigang ingredients list as it gives a different texture to the soup. Once boiled, this will be one of the softest vegetables in the broth. A plus is that its also rich in antioxidants and vitamins. Yay!
- Garlic: 4 cloves of garlic are minced to add to the incredible broth flavor. The garlic will be boiled with the onion, tomato, and pork belly first to give a nice, herbed flavor to the meat.
- Onion: Dice an onion and have this boil with the pork belly to add to the rich flavor!
- Tomato: Use one LARGE tomato in this Filipino sinigang recipe. Remember, tomato will release its juice when boiled and it totally adds to the taste of the soup.
Seasoning and Broth
- Knorr Tamarind Soup Mix: As discussed in the Tips section above, I used the Knorr Tamarind Soup Mix for the best flavor! One packet is already enough in combination with all these ingredients!
- Water: Water is added to create the soup base. You can do a half and half option with beer broth for more flavor but is not needed.
- Fish sauce: Treat the fish sauce as the seasoning to the soup. You can add as much as you like, but usually a little already gives a big flavor boost!
- Lemon: Just to make sure you’re really getting that sour flavor, the juice from ½ a lemon will be used to kick it up a notch!
- Habanero (optional): Spice this pork sinigang recipe up with a habanero for a spicy kick! Or use green chili peppers for something milder. The pepper totally adds to the soup and compliments the tamarind soup mix well!
More Variations to this Filipino Sinigang Recipe with Pork Belly
There are a few ways you can variate this Filipino sinigang recipe. Here’s how:
- Alternate the vegetables! Once you learn how to cook this pork sinigang recipe, the vegetable options are endless! You can use taro root, white radishes, or even Chinese mustard greens. Nutritious and delicious!
- Give it a try with beef, chicken, or even seafood! Make this a beef sinigang recipe using short ribs or even shrimp! I can guarantee that either option will taste great with the broth! (If you choose any of these options, let me know in the comments below!)
- What can I pair with this dish? This soup can be spooned over rice of course or eaten by itself! Or for other nutritious soups to add to your dinner table, our 8-Ingredient Classic Filipino Arroz Caldo Recipe and Savory Chicken Tinola with Spinach are loaded with ginger and chicken perfect during cold weather.
To make sure you’re always prepared for these recipes download our Top 5 Crazy-Cheap Ingredients You Need for Filipino Cooking and Where to Find It from my free resource library! (Get the password to the library in the form at the bottom of this post).
- Savory Chicken Tinola with Spinach | Filipino Ginger-Chicken Soup
- Tortang Talong Recipe with Giniling | Grilled Eggplant Omelet with Meat
- Filipino Beef Giniling to Warm the Soul | Meat Stew
- Hot and Crispy Fried Smelt Fish Perfect with Vinegar
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Filipino sinigang healthy?
Filipino sinigang is a healthy soup loaded with vegetables and meat in a sour broth. Depending on the vegetables used, this soup can help boost the immune system and be rich in vitamins and antioxidants.
How much juice can you get from one lemon?
Usually, 1 lemon can yield 3 tablespoons of juice depending on the size of the lemon.
How long does sinigang last?
This Filipino sinigang recipe can last 3-4 days in the refrigerator and should be consumed within this time frame for optimal flavor.