Sinigang na sugpo

24 11 2014

OUR HABITS become our character.  The thought hits me first thing Saturday morning when, after hitting snooze on my alarm for the fifth time, I darted through the door and elbowed my way through fresh seafood at the weekend wet market.  I only mean to say that it’s fast becoming a habit.  The profundity of the opening line was purely unintentional.

One of my weekend market basket stuffers: Prawns (10/12 Count), fresh, wild–caught, 500 g (SGD 24.00/kg).

One of my weekend market basket stuffers: Prawns (10/12 Count), fresh, wild–caught, 500 g (SGD 24.00/kg).

 

This one told me she was ready for her close-up!  Haha.

This one told me she was ready for her close-up! Haha.

 

But if I would be so profound – however unintentional – then I would be better off if I’d cook not only for myself but for a couple of my closest friends as well.  We’ve been moving in very different circles since moving to Singapore.  But that didn’t mean we had to lose the friendship.

My resuscitated fascination for blue crabs seems to be something I shall enjoy in solitude.  Something about having to work really hard for one’s meal – all those legs, claws and shell one has to go through – makes people think twice.  So staring at the day’s catch, showcased no better way than spread on white tiles so pedestrian yet so fitting, I had a thought:  maximum pleasure for minimum effort.  Prawns win over crabs.

I made my way through the biggest, fattest fresh prawns, S$ 24.00 for a kilo, making sure that while I work out my ingredients list in my head, I wouldn’t be making my dearest blue crabs feel left out.  I snapped up a couple of those too.

I thought my friends would appreciate a taste of home.  So the prawns just had to be made into “sinigang” – meat or fish in a broth soured traditionally with tamarind pulp, to which are added lots of fresh vegetables.  My previous posts about it are here.

I realize I haven’t really put up a proper recipe of it here though.  Here is exactly how I make it.  This being the batch I brought to my friends, blanching the vegetables is a must to preserve their color and crunch as the dish travels.

 

KNORR® Sinigang sa Sampalok Mix Original (20 g), or “Sinigang na may SiliRecipe Mix (22 g)

Onions, one medium–sized, finely sliced

Tomatoes, two medium–sized, seeded, blanched, peeled, quartered

Prawns (10/12 Count), fresh, wild–caught, 500 g (SGD 24.00/kg)

String Beans (Long Beans), exactly 10, cut into 3” pieces

Daikon Radish, one medium–sized, cut into thin rounds

Swamp Cabbage (Water Spinach), one bunch, just the tops, cut from the stems and roots

Green Finger Chilies, four, stemmed, seeded, cut in half

MORTON® coarse Kosher salt, to taste

 

  1. In a stock pot, bring one liter of water, the onions and tomatoes to the boil. Simmer for about five minutes to break the onions and tomatoes into the broth.

 

  1. Add the KNORR® Sinigang sa Sampalok Mix Original (20 g), or “Sinigang na may SiliRecipe Mix (22 g).
As a kid and as my mother's kitchen apprentice, I used to prepare the sour broth using fresh tamarind that had to be boiled, mashed, and strained.    I call these the convenience of modern times:  KNORR® “Sinigang sa Sampalok” Mix Original (20 g), and “Sinigang na may Sili” Recipe Mix (22 g).

As a kid and as my mother’s kitchen apprentice, I used to prepare the sour broth using fresh tamarind that had to be boiled, mashed, and strained. I call these the convenience of modern times: KNORR® “Sinigang sa Sampalok” Mix Original (20 g), and “Sinigang na may Sili” Recipe Mix (22 g).

 

 

  1. Plunge the prawns in.

 

  1. When the prawns start to curl, add the blanched vegetables – string beans, daikon radish, swamp cabbage, and, the green finger chilies. Three minutes after the dish has come back to the boil, turn the heat off.

 

  1. Sinigang na sugpo” is ready to serve! Preferably, with heaps of freshly cooked, steaming hot Japanese pearl rice.
I packed the "sinigang" as beautifully as I could.  This batch was made for a VIP clientele and will have to travel from my flat to theirs.

I packed the “sinigang” as beautifully as I could. This batch was made for a VIP clientele and will have to travel from my flat to theirs.

 

I poured the broth and it's ready to be delivered!

I poured the broth and it’s ready to be delivered!

 

In this IKEA® bag are the "sinigang" and lots of steamed Japanese pearl rice.  Just a 10-minute train ride to the VIP client.

In this IKEA® bag are the “sinigang” and lots of steamed Japanese pearl rice. Just a 10-minute train ride to the VIP client.

 

One of the nice things about living in Singapore.  Even a homecooked lunch could be enjoyed with an awesome view.

One of the nice things about living in Singapore. Even a homecooked lunch could be enjoyed with an awesome view.

 

Copyright © 2014 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved.





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!