Thursday, April 3, 2014

Bring On Some Classic Filipino Food: Sinigang with a Twist

Sinigang, a classic Filipino dish but with a twist in this recipe; uses crawfish, clams and Paella rice.

Sinigang: A Classic Filipino Dish

A traditional Filipino dish to enjoy is Sinigang.  It is a soup that has a tangy sour flavor.  Tamarind (sampalok = tamarind) is the base for the broth.  I usually use the tamarind powder packet mix that can be found in Asian food stores for easy cooking.  

Cooking Sinigang: Seafood, Pork or Beef

This recipe can be prepared several different ways.  Sinigang is typically cooked with seafood, pork or beef and various green leafy vegetables.  The choice is up to you.  If I did not already plan to make it, then I usually just use what vegetables I already have in the house!  

Filipino Comfort Food

This is an easy dish to make and is a good comfort food.  Every time I eat it, it reminds me of my childhood days living with my mom who liked to cook several traditional Filipino recipes on a regular basis.  Growing up as a Filipino-American, eating classic Filipino food like Sinigang soup helped me embrace my Filipino culture.  I'm trying to cook more Filipino food at home now with my own kids so they can appreciate their Filipino heritage, as well. 

Sinigang, a classic Filipino dish but with a twist on this recipe; uses crawfish, clams and Paella rice.

Sinigang ...with a Twist

This week, I wanted to eat crawfish and my son wanted some clams.  I still had some Sinigang mix and some vegetables.  I also had some Paella rice I  decided to cook them both.  Needless to say, dinner was delicious!
Sinigang, a classic Filipino dish but with a twist on this recipe; uses crawfish, clams and Paella rice.

These are the Ingredients I used this week to cook up some Sinigang:

  • Sinigang packet mix (I only used half the packet so it wouldn't be too sour)
  • Box of Zatarain's Paella Rice
  • 1 lb. crawfish, thawed
  • 1 dozen clams, thawed
  • 1 cup, cabbage shredded
  • 1 cup lettuce, shredded
  • 1 medium size onion, sliced thinly
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced
  • Pepper to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • Lemon juice, optional

Other vegetables (that are the more traditional ways) you can use for Sinigang:

  • Spinach
  • Eggplant
  • String beans
  • Radish
  • Broccoli 

Instructions to cook Sinigang:

  1. In a large pot, boil about 6 cups of water
  2. Add in tamarind mix, vegetables, seasoning and crawfish.  Let cook on medium heat for 10 minutes. 
  3. Lower heat to medium-low and add in clams.  (The clams will be removed from their shell if you cook them in for too long at a high heat, so add this in last).  Taste a sample of the broth to be certain it is the desired taste you want.  Add in any extra seasoning if you need to.
  4. Let cook for 5-10 more minutes.  
  5. Serve with rice.

 Instructions to cook Paella Rice:

  1. In a medium size pot, cook Paella rice as instructed on box.  
  2. It should only take about 15 minutes to cook.  The Sinigang and Paella rice should finish cooking around the same time. 
  3. You can add in the rice in the same bowl as the Sinigang soup, which is what I did, or place it separately on a plate.  The flavors from both ended up blending nicely.  
I recommend this recipe if you are looking for a new soup or stew to try, especially if you enjoy seafood like crawfish.  I love how the flavor from the crawfish really comes out and combines well in the soup while the Paella rice drives the good, comfy and warm-feeling home.  

Whenever I am feeling under the weather, this is one of those dishes that I think about and start to crave because it was one of my favorite comfort foods.  

Sometimes, all it takes is a little bit of comfort food to make you feel better and at home!

What are some of your favorite comfort foods? 

Happy cooking!


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