Hello friends and Happy Wednesday!
I hope you all have had a wonderful week so far!
I am currently curled up under a blanket with a hot steaming mug of tea.
Why? I got my Pfizer booster yesterday. Well, late last night, more accurately, around 8pm.
And I woke up this morning, feeling great! (Other than a super sore arm)…I went jogging but them – *bam* as soon as I got home, I was hit with the chills and joint aches. So I took, literally an hour long hot shower to raise my body temperature (I couldn’t feel my fingertips or toes)…and now here I am with my coziest sweater on and candles lit!
Anywho – tonight I’ve got an amazing AMAZING recipe for you. One that I made for my handsome gentleman right before I left for Christmas. (Consider it a little parting gift for when I was gone).
Filipino Sinigang Soup!
It is his all-time favorite food. A traditional Filipino recipe, this pork rib-vegetable soup is hearty, and perfect for the cold, when you want a hug in a bowl.
I’ve made this dish before: (Filipino Sinigang! (2 Ways!)) however…I made it from scratch. Meaning, I hunted all over God’s green earth in Manhattan to find the tropical Asian fruit/seed: Tamarind pods, so that I could extract the pulp from the shells, steep them in boiling water, squeeze all the juice out of the pulp, strain the seeds…etc, etc, etc. You get the picture: it was a laborious task…that I did in love, of course. I would do that 12 times over for that man.
However…since that initial soup preparation, I have learned that…you can buy tamarind all processed and ready to go.
AKA — this takes making this soup from an all-day labor task, to an easy weeknight meal you can whip up in just about 1.5 hours!
Traditionally, the veggies used are: eggplant, snake beans (which in America are like string beans), okra (I omitted in this batch), taro root (I couldn’t find this, so I used sweet potatoes), water spinach (which, in America is much like bok choy, or even spinach *not baby spinach*), and tomatoes!
But the secret is the broth. It is sooooo flavorful with the sour tamarind and all the veggies!
You eat this over rice. So you have all the big chunks of veggies and the fall-off-the-bone meat, on top of your pile of rice. And then you spoon the broth over the rice, and it soaks it up. MMM!!!
I wanted to share my updated recipe for Filipino Sinigang, and boy, was this a winner!
PLUS, it’s gluten free, paleo and keto! (And Specific Carb Diet friendly if you follow my initial directions from the first time I made this soup)
Here’s What You Need (Serves 4)
1 1/2 lbs pork spare ribs (if you can get your butcher to chop them into small pieces, that is ideal — but I just used the whole ribs, and it was just fine)
Several generous pinches of salt
1/2 large red onion, roughly chopped
2 roma tomatoes, roughly chopped
3-4 Tbsp fish sauce (you can get gluten free fish sauce!)
1 sweet potato – large cubes
2 heads baby bok choy
1 cup of green beans cut into 1″-2″ pieces
3 long green peppers
1 Japanese eggplant, chopped into medium pieces
2 Thai chilies split open
1 cup Jasmine rice per person, cooked according to the package directions! (Or, cauliflower rice!)
Huge Stock Pot, or Dutch Oven
Good Chef’s Knife
Liberally season your pork ribs with salt and pepper.
Heat a large, heavy bottomed stock pot – or dutch oven – over medium – high head. Add a small amount of oil to coat. Once hot, add the ribs in a single layer, to sear. They should sizzle as soon as it hits the pan. Do not crowd the pan – do this in batches if you need to. Sear both sides, about 3 minutes per side — you want a really nice, golden brown color.
Once the pork ribs are seared, add them back into the pot and cover with water — about 1 cm over the ribs. Simmer for about 15 – 20 minutes, until a layer of foam from the ribs has formed on the surface. Skim off the foam.
Then, add your onions and tomatoes and simmer for another 45 minutes, until the pork is fork-tender.
Now is also the time to start cooking your rice, according to the package directions!
After the 45 minutes and the pork is fork tender, add the sweet potato, long green peppers, and the Thai chilies. Let simmer for 7 minutes.
Then, add the green beans and egg plant and cook for 2 more minutes. Then add the bok choy and let soften. Check the sweet potato by piercing it with a fork — it should be tender.
Season the soup with your fish sauce and tamarind puree. It should be sour! Stir well for about 2-3 minutes, to make sure that the tamarind puree “melts” into the soup and gets into incorporated into the broth.
Serve with jasmine rice!
This soup saves for 4 days in the refrigerator. When serving leftovers, refresh the sourness by adding a squeeze of lime to taste!
OMIT the Fish Sauce. Substitute with 1.5 tsp salt. (More or less to taste)
OMIT the Okra
Substitute carrot for the sweet potato.
Substitute cauliflower rice for regular rice. (I sauté my cauliflower rice in 1 Tbsp EVOO with salt and pepper for about 6 minutes over medium-high heat, until golden brown and tender. This makes a huge difference!)
OK – wow, you guys, this soup is amazing! Honestly, I can’t believe this came out of my kitchen!
The flavor was truly unlike anything you’ve ever tasted before! This whole ~soup soup~ phenomenon is…phenomenal! haha But seriously — it is like a party in your mouth! There’s a beautiful savoriness from all the veggies and the pork, and then this *POW!* punch of tang from the tamarind. But then there was a sweetness from the sweet potatoes…it was addicting, and had me going back for bite after bite!
First of all, it is a beautiful dish: all of the colors from the veggies. And then this truly magnificent broth. It was beautifully cloudy and swirling with flavor. And spooned over the rice, it was rich and luxurious, and the perfect seasoning for sticky and spongy rice!
And the textures were marvelous — from the chewy rice, to the fall-off-the-bone pork. To the eggplant that had wonderfully absorbed that glorious broth. It was absolutely delicious.
I can’t say enough good things about this dish!
One last thing about this dish: don’t try to skip time by using instant rice or pre-cooked Trader Joe’s frozen rice. I may or may not have originally served this with “minute rice” (aka: shredded cardboard.) I have learned my lesson! Cook real, jasmine rice. Rinse it for 2 minutes to wash all the starch off. Let it steam for 10 full minutes after you cook it. I promise, the rice is the vessel for this dish, and after spending your day making this soup, you don’t want to ruin your efforts with terrible rice!
So there you go! Do yourself a favor and make this dish! You will be glad you did!
And let me know how it goes! I love seeing your culinary creations on Instagram or Pinterest (Where over 3 million people view my recipes!). Tag me and I’ll repost! *@beauty.beyond.bones
“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5
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