A lot of people would kill me for saying this, but I am not too excited about the food to be featured right now. I have mentioned it a couple of times, and the only reason it’s going up in my blog is the repeated mentioning of this national dish that’s another common household meal: sinigang.
What is sinigang? (All definitions and explanations that follow are all from my head, so don’t quote me) Sinigang essentially is a tamarind based soup, that is sour, and sometimes, a bit spicy. Any meat can be cooked using this soup base from pork to chicken (called sinampalukang manok – chicken cooked in tamarind) to fish and to other seafood. It is flavored with tomatoes and onions, and is usually served with vegetables cooked in the same broth like kang kong, long green beans, and horseradish.
Though we, like any other homes here (or where Filipino families reside) have this meal often, I remember the days when I had my first sight and first taste of this meal. My reaction (as I remember) of this was, “It looked raw.”
Accustomed to seeing my meals in sauce, slightly brown, or fried, I looked at the clear soup with the pale meat as raw. It doesn’t matter that the chicken in Tinola is as pale, but this was meat! I didn’t eat it. After when it was served as leftovers, the meat fried to a nice brown, I remember saying I liked it. And after that, that’s how I eat sinigang.
My first taste was in school with one of my best friends. We were having our first few lunches (since up to third grade, we had half days only). I ordered liempo (pork belly, fried), she had sinigang. I found my meal a tad too dry and requested for some of her soup. I was hesitant. But when I tried, it was okay. So I ate it. I was not excited over it, but it was okay.
The odd thing was, I remember eating sinigang na bangus ever since, it’s just the meat dish that took me so long to try. I like the sour taste from the tamarind, the sometimes spicy dish from the green chiles, and the endless amount of tomatoes and onions I can just pick out. But the meat, even now, I want it fried.
I guess it is a bit unfair of me to demean the pork into lowly status when in other ways prepared, I come to think of its greatness. But I still am biased against it.
Will I post a recipe out? I think I find it unjustified to have it cooked from a packet. When my recipe calls for fresh tamarinds, then I’ll post a recipe. 🙂