This recipe, like so many of the ones I use, is flexible. I build my recipes mainly on feel, taste patterns, and smell. If things smell 'right' together, I use them together. That's how I decide on vegetables and spices. Sometimes I ask my mom what she puts in each recipe, and then if I know I can't get a certain item, I ask what my substitute options are.
Here's what I've settled on my must-haves for Sinigang:
- 1 pouch Tamarind Soup Base (Knorr brand), in 8 cups of water
- Chicken breasts and thighs, cut into bite-sizes (you can use as much as can fit in your soup pot)
- Daikon Radish slices
- Baby Spinach
- Asian Green Beans (the long, thing kind if I can find it)
- 1/2 or 1/4 White Onion (if I have it)
- Lemon juice, and Lemon Pepper if I'm feeling spicy!
Then, you add your lemon juice and lemon pepper. Half a lemon squeezed into the soup works just fine. Next, chop up the onion and toss it on in. Let the soup get to a boil for about 5-10 minutes, chop up the chicken while you wait, and add the chicken when the daikon slices start to turn a little transparent. The very last thing you add is the spinach, so it doesn't overcook. Wait until the chicken is finished cooking in the broth, and then toss in several handfuls of spinach. Let those simmer for a minute or two, keep stirring, and then you are ready to serve!
If you have steamed Jasmine Rice, make some! I love to add a spoonful or two of rice to the bottom of my bowl before dishing up the Sinigang. It's just the way I always ate it growing up. I love making this dish for my Filipino friends, because it reminds us all of good, Filipino food. Just like mom always made it.