For this recipe, you can either buy the soup base or make it yourself out of tamarind pods. That’s what gives it its tang. It takes about 20 minutes to make the tamarind broth. This recipe also calls for taro root. If you cannot find it it is similar to yuca root, green plantain, or just a white potato. But you should be able to find it. Fun fact: Almost no one is allergic to taro. It doesn’t really have its own taste.
Time to Make
- 10 minutes of preparation
- 1 hour to cook properly
- 2 pounds pork belly (or pork with bones)
- 1 bunch spinach
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 bunch string beans cut in 2-inch pieces
- 2 medium tomatoes, quartered
- 3 banana peppers
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 2 liters water
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 2 pieces taro root, peeled and quartered
- 1 pack sinigang mix (good for 2 liters water)* SEE NOTE BELOW
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, sauté the onions in the oil until they start to soften. Add the pork and lightly brown. Stir in the fish sauce. If using the pre-packaged mix, add the water and bring to a boil. Otherwise, add the tamarind broth. Add the taro and tomatoes and simmer until the pork is tender, about 40 minutes.
- Stir in the sinigang mix and banana peppers. Add string beans and simmer 5 to 8 minutes.
- Put in the spinach, cover the pot, and turn off the heat. The spinach will wilt and steam. Serve hot.
NOTE: To make your own tamarind broth to be used in place of the water and sinigang mix is very easy. Simply place a large handful of fresh tamarind pods in 8 cups of boiling water. Boil for about 20 minutes. Strain well through a mesh strainer pushing down to get all the liquid. Strain again through a clean strainer and it is ready to use.