What’s the best vegetable soup in the world? According to the food website TasteAtlas’ recent tier list, it’s sinigang. (We Filipinos have known it all along, though.)
“With its sour lightness perfectly matching the harsh tropical heat of the country, sinigang is a unique soup that is a true representative of Filipino cuisine,” notes TasteAtlas. And like most dishes in our very diverse cuisine, there are many variations of this local favorite that we can enjoy. Some of them can be quite unconventional, but are delicious and contain the spirit of sinigang, nonetheless.
We’ve made a list of different restaurants’ unique takes on sinigang before, but you might want to try these ones out if you’re in the mood to cook instead.
Sinigang sa ube
We’ve seen ube become the star ingredient in pandesal, Basque burnt cheesecake and even liqueur. But did you know that it makes a great substitute for taro (a fellow tuber) in sinigang? Using ube makes this dish a bit less sour and adds creaminess to the broth. Plus, it produces a pretty purple tint–a sweet bonus, if you ask us.
People who frequently visit Baguio may have already heard of or tried strawberry sinigang from some restaurants in the area. To recreate it at home, just follow your usual sinigang recipe and add fresh strawberries around the same time you put eggplants, tomatoes, and sili in the pan. We guarantee you’ll love the sweet and tangy twist to sinigang that this fruit provides.
Kimchi isn’t just a side dish, y’all—it can also be an ingredient to sinigang. You can opt to use store-bought kimchi or make your own if you’ve got extra time. As expected from this Korean meal staple, it adds a spicy side to the traditionally sour Filipino dish. If you want to further kick up the heat, you can also add a bit of gochujang or red chili paste when you put kimchi in the pan.
If you simply need a replacement for tamarind or guava, we recommend using native alibangbang, rattan, and katmon. For a non-soup take on sinigang, you can also try our sinigang egg recipe (tip: it goes really well with tutong na kanin!).