This month's Kulinarya Cooking Club theme is Sinigang...come to think of it, I don't remember if I already posted a Sinigang recipe here on my blog aside from that it's also perfect for this stormy weather we are experiencing at the moment...Sinigang weather!
For the uninitiated, what exactly is Sinigang? It's a sour soup filled with vegetables--the most common being sitaw (string beans), labanos (white radish) and kangkong (water spinach) and also fish or other kinds of seafood or meat (pork, beef etc.) This soup is made sour by sampalok (tamarind) or bayabas (ripe guava), but these days for the sake of convenience, we have Knorr Sinigang Mix which comes in a packet and all you have to do is pour it boiling water with all the other ingredients to produce Sinigang. I've been thinking what kind of sinigang I wanted to cook, well there's my favorite Sinigang na Buto-buto made of pork spareribs or Sinigang na Hipon (Shrimps) but I wanted to try making another kind so I experimented with beef. And here is my Sinigang na Baka.
There's a restaurant here in the Philippines (Sentro) that serves their Sinigang na Corned Beef and they've gotten very popular because of that dish. I wanted something similar, but I didn't realize I needed at least a week of lead time so I can make corned beef from scratch. I only had one day so this is what I did. I pricked 1/2 kilo of Beef brisket with a fork and rubbed salt on it and left it in a covered glass bowl overnight in the fridge, rinsed it in the morning and tenderized it for 30 minutes in the pressure cooker with water, 3 cloves of crushed garlic, 2 bayleaves and a spoonful of peppercorn. When it was tender already, I fried it in garlic and onion and a little bit of oil until it was brown. And this is what I used for my Sinigang :)
Oh and I didn't want to use Sinigang Mix, so I made my own Sampalok juice for souring. To produce about 1/2 cup, I boiled fresh tamarind in water until softened and mashed it with a fork and strained the juice. I can still remember the commercial jingle "Sampalok ay iyong nilalaga, pinipiga..sinasala..." and that's exactly what I did.
I don't usually measure when I cook (as opposed to when I bake) but this is the recipe for my Sinigang na Baka:1/2 kilo of prepared beef brisket (see recipe above)
3 ripe tomatoes, diced
2 white onions, diced
1/2 cup of Sampalok Juice (see recipe above)
Rice washing (for my liquid)
Broth from the pressure cooker
1/2 Radish, peeled and sliced into rings
1/4 kilo String Beans
Kangkong leaves, handful
Patis (Fish Sauce)
Boil the rice washing, broth and sampalok juice with the tomatoes and onions. When the tomatoes are soft (can be mashed with a spoon against the side of the pot) add the beef brisket and the radish. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the string beans and season with patis (I didn't use salt at all). Cook for another 5 minutes then add the kangkong leaves, cook just until they are wilted. Serve hot with steamed rice. Enjoy!
Kulinarya was started by a group of Filipino foodies living in Sydney, who are passionate about Filipino culture and its colorful cuisine. Each month we will showcase a new dish. By sharing these recipes, we hope you find the same passion and love for Filipino food as we do.
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