Using Tamarind Pulp for Fish Sour Soup (Sinigang na Isda sa Sampalok)
To cook sinigang (sour soup) conveniently, many use the instant sinigang mix in powdered form. It’s very easy to prepare your sinigang but you may end up adding up too much salt on your soup. Also, you will be able to get away with MSG. Instant sinigang mix contains a lot of salt since it is the primary base to prepare the mix.
Traditionally, sinigang is prepared from fresh sour fruits like tamarind, guava, kamias or even unripe mango. Sinigang na manok for example uses young tamarind leaves to make the soup sour. Meanwhile, if you don’t have readily available fresh sour fruits, you can also opt for tamarind pulp. Many South and South-East Asian countries uses this to prepare various dishes that need to be sour. Tamarind pulp is also convenient to use and is very flavourful with intense sour taste.
In this recipe of fish sour soup (sinigang na isda), we will try to use the tamarind pulp. The pulp is soaked in hot water to extract the acid and be used as the broth. The liquid is then strained to remove excess pulp. The final liquid can then be used for the sinigang.
1/2 kg fish of choice (Maya-Maya, Bangus or Tilapia)
1/4 cup tamarind pulp, soaked and strained in 1 cup hot water (this will be the tamarind broth)
2 cups water
1 large ripe tomato, quartered
1 medium onion, quartered
1 thumb size ginger, sliced
1 stalk of lemon grass, crushed
mustasa or mustard green leaves
salt and fish sauce to taste
- Layer the ginger and onions in the pot and topped with the fish.
- Apply heat for few minutes until you smell the fish and the ginger and onions.
- Add water and the tamarind broth from the pulp.
- Add the lemon grass and tomato.
- Let simmer for 5 minutes or more until the fish is cooked.
- Season with fish sauce and salt to taste.
- Add the branched green beans and mustasa before serving hot.