Pork spareribs in guava broth

24 08 2009

WHILE ABC News may have called it an “obscure tropical fruit” in its 2008 listing of “The 10 Best Foods You Aren’t Eating,” the guava is so common here in the Philippines, and in my case, something that I’ve been picking right from the tree out front.  I do remember mentioning here that I’ve had just guavas and sub-zero water for breakfast, a hint that I’ve been snacking on these “obscure tropical fruits” for quite a while now.

Guava - Flower 01

Days away from being another sweet guava to munch on! I took this photo from the tree out front. Sadly, the wind blew this flower away. Huhuhu.

“Guava has a higher concentration of lycopene – an antioxidant that fights prostate cancer – than any other plant food, including tomatoes and watermelon. In addition, 1 cup of the stuff provides 688 milligrams (mg) of potassium, which is 63 percent more than you’ll find in a medium banana.  And guava may be the ultimate high-fiber food: There’s almost 9 grams (g) of fiber in every cup,” says the ABC News article.

Guava - Fruit 00

We'd get plenty of this. Most of the time, I'd really end up snacking on them. Or when I'd have the will, I would wait for enough ripened fruits to whip up my favorite sinigang!

I was so surprised to find this out.  Now, I know of two excellent sources of lycopene – tomatoes that always find their way in my pasta sauces and salads, and now, guavas that I snack on and use to flavor the broth of my favorite pork dish.  And I couldn’t help but take note of the fact that a cup of guavas has more fiber than a sachet of my favorite psyllium fiber supplement that I down with Eight O’Clock mango-orange juice drink.

And probably – just probably – if I’d stuff on guavas enough, I could do better than the 27 minutes 27.37 seconds record I had set for a five-kilometer run.  I wouldn’t be surprised if even Rafael Nadal would consider snacking on guavas instead of bananas in between sets!

Guava - Fruit 01

Four considerably large guavas ripening further inside the refrigerator.


Guava - Fruit 06

This one I gobbled up!

The other day, I was able to gather enough ripened guavas to whip up my favorite “sinigang na baboy sa bayabas” dish (pork in guava broth with fresh vegetables).  For this particular instance, I decided to use spareribs, instead of the usual pork belly.

Guava - Fruit 03

Guavas on a roll...


Guava - Fruit 05

A close shot. These are super sweet!

I’d peel each guava, then cut it in half.  I’d soften the guavas with a quick boil in just enough water to cover.  Once soft – about after 10 minutes from when the water had come to a rolling boil – I’d cool the guava halves, then carefully spoon out the cores.  I’d make sure that I’d remove the cores completely, both the fiber and the seeds (especially the seeds!).  I’d set the guava flesh aside while I mash the cores in the water I boiled the guavas in, and run everything through a fine sieve to get all the guava juice.

In a heavy bottom pot – deeper than it is wider – I’d put the cleaned pork spareribs and water just enough to cover.  I’d bring this to a boil, skimming off any froth that would come to the surface.  Once the meat would become very tender, I would add the guava meat and all the guava juice.  I’d wait for this to come back to a rolling boil, allowing it to simmer until the guava flesh had become really soft.  Sometimes, if my desired level of acidity and flavor hadn’t been reached yet, I’d mash some of the guavas into a paste and add it back to the broth.

Before I add the fresh vegetables, I would check if I’d need to season the broth with a little salt.  Just a little salt!

Of all the many variations of sinigang (dish of meat or fish in a sour broth with fresh vegetables), I really favor the one with guava against all the others – tamarind, calamansi, or mango.

Guava - Pork Sinigang 01

This is the resulting dish. Not really a pretty picture... but surely a yummy one!




One response

25 08 2009

Nice… i really learned lots of things in this article…… i should eat now guavas 🙂 .. hehehe… but i really dont like the “sinigang sa bayabas”, it seems taste different to me…. i don’t know now, I guess I just said that because the first and last when I tasted this dish is when I’m 8 years old… hehehhe.. long…long time ago.. that is the time when most of the kids don’t like veggie.. and others stuff rather than meat… heheh… hope soon i can taste this dish again and see if it will change my perspective 🙂


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