How to Cook Sinigang, A Filipino Recipe

How to Cook Sinigang, A Filipino Recipe

This post demonstrates how to cook Sinigang. Sinigang is a Filipino soup which I love because, other than being delicious, is jam packed with healthy ingredients.

It is also really easy to cook as I discovered from my Filipina friend who was happy to cook it for me (she got to eat it to 🙂 ) while I took pictures.

Note: I rarely follow cookbooks or use accurate measurements so if you need an exact recipe this will not suit you. Everything is done by taste testing as you go which I personally feel is the best way to cook.

How to Cook Sinigang

I am a big fan of soups and try to have one as a main part of a meal at least once every other day, preferably more often. The first time I tried Sinigang was in Bagasbas and I instantly pegged it as one of my favorite Filipino foods. That first one had pork in it. Sometimes I ask for it at small restaurants and they have a fish version which I don’t like (although I never actually tried it), but I know I am not a fan of fish, especially fish soups. The version we cooked (by we I mean my friend cooked it while I watched) was with chicken. I suppose you can just put whatever meat you want. Chicken is my meat of choice so I was more than happy.

Anyway, let’s get onto how to cook Sinigang.


I have had Sinigang many times and every time the ingredients are different. Here’s what we put in ours.

How to cook Sinigang 1 - Ingredients - Survive Travel

Our ingredients.

On the plate to the left is garlic, ginger, onion, tomato, chilli and lemon-grass. The bowl to the right is moringa which is my all time favorite vegetable. The two packets are Magic Sarap which is basically chicken bullion powder and the other packet is Sinigang recipe mix which contains tamarind (amongst other things). The tamarind is the important part.

The sour taste is important. It is what gives the Sinigang flavor. I’m no expert but I am guessing the tamarind is the key player here. Maybe some people add vinegar but we did not. The lemon grass and tomato helped but I don’t always see it in other Sinigangs I’ve had. Ginger (a fair whack of it) and chilli are the two ingredients I see in every Sinigang I have.

The lemon grass is something we just plucked of a tree from the backyard, as was the moringa.


First get a pan (or wok in our case) and fry up the onions and garlic.

How to cook Sinigang 2 - Garlic Onion - Survive Travel

First fry up the onions and garlic.

Add in your meat (chicken in our case) and ginger and brown the meat a bit.

How to cook Sinigang 3 - Chicken - Survive Travel

Next add in the chicken and ginger.

Then add a little water to get it to stew. Add the Magic Sarap and the Sinigang Mix. Be careful, these ingredients are strong. My friend added some salt which I personally would have left out (the Magic Sarap and Sinigang Mix both have loads of salt). We put the lid over it for a little while (a couple of minutes).

How to cook Sinigang 4 - Water and ginger - Survive Travel

A little bit of water and our two “cheat” ingredients, Sinigang and Magic Sarap powders.

Next we transported it all to a pot and added more water to it. In hindsight we should have put more water but it still turned out great. Chuck the lemon-grass and chilli in and then cook it until your sure the meat is cooked.

How to cook Sinigang 5 - Pot Chilli Lemongrass - Survive Travel

Add more water, lemongrass and chilli.

Just before serving throw in the moringa.

How to cook Sinigang 6 - Moringa - Survive Travel

Moringa cooks fast! I usually stir it in just before serving.

Here is the finished product. Almost all Filipino/a’s will have it with rice but I find it pretty filling just on its own. YUM!

How to cook Sinigang 7 - Finished - Survive Travel

Finished product. Rice optional 😉 .

Got any other tips on how to cook Sinigang? Let us know them (or anything else you want to say) in the comments 😀 .

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