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Regardless of region, province, or upbringing, perhaps the one constant that encompasses every Filipino is sinigang. Many refer to it as our national dish –– and for good reason. This soup is nothing short of a national treasure, and its broth, wholly unforgettable. There are many versions of the beloved sinigang, but the one we’ll be cooking today makes use of some of the freshest catch in our waters. I’m talking about the one and only Sinigang na Salmon, or Sinigang na Ulo ng Salmon.
Warm but vibrant, Sinigang na Salmon is a comfort food enjoyed by many. While it’s true that Filipinos have a sweet tooth, the only thing that could match it is our affinity for the sour taste. Something about these refreshing notes on our tongue just attracts us; we can’t get enough of our tart pick-me-ups! We’re no stranger to sour stews and soups in Filipino cuisine, and sinigang is the prime example. In a broth of ingredients like tamarind or guava, Sinigang na Salmon is refreshing and comforting all at the same time.
During rainy days or cool nights, a bowl of Sinigang na Salmon soup is enough to get some warmth in your system. The salmon, tender and hearty, goes perfectly with the fresh kangkong and tomatoes you’re using. The sampaloc broth keeps you awake and really ties everything together harmoniously. You’ll be having spoonful after spoonful before you even realize it!
Depending on both region and preference, there are many ways to make this national dish. You’re sure to find sinigang in at least one household across the country at any particular time! With how easy and cheap it is to source ingredients for this dish, it’s no wonder it’s a kitchen staple.
Apart from sinigang na salmon, here are some of the other renditions of sinigang I enjoy.
You can’t beat the classics! With pork belly so tender it melts in your mouth, fewer things bring people comfort more than a warm bowl of pork sinigang, or sinigang na baboy. This refreshing stew pairs greatly with a bowl of patis for you to dip your meat in. The salty flavor of this sauce is a sharp yet welcome contrast to the tartness of the broth. And the additional pieces of chili really give you that extra kick!
If you’re still craving that fresh catch from the sea, this other sinigang rendition may be for you. Sinigang na Hipon makes use of fresh, delicious shrimp, which marries harmoniously with the sour broth. However, there are a few tips you will need if you opt to use shrimp as your main protein. It’s best to cook these prawns with the head on, as it makes your dish more flavorful. But since you’re cooking it with the shell still on, it’s important not to overcook it! While it seems pretty intimidating, the end product is always worth it. You can enjoy this hearty dish with your family in no time!
Other variations of sinigang use beef, miso, calamansi –– and even watermelon as a part of this classic dish! What’s your favorite type of sinigang to cook?
How to Cook Sinigang na Salmon
Let’s cook Sinigang na Salmon together!
Saute onion, tomato, and salmon
In a large pot, sauté your cubed onion and tomato pieces for a few minutes. Then, add in your 2 pieces of salmon heads, letting each side cook for about 3 minutes. We don’t want to overcook our salmon either, causing it to become too tough or chewy.
Add water and sinignag mix
Add a liter of water and bring your dish to a boil. Let your salmon heads simmer for about 10 minutes before adding the Sinigang sa Sampaloc mix. I opted to use a flavoring mix or agent rather than to make your own broth from scratch, as this takes up a lot of time and effort. Using this Sinigang sa Sampaloc mix is the quickest way to achieve all the flavors you love from Sinigang na Salmon.
Simmer, add kangkong, and season it
Once you’ve poured the whole pack in, wait until your sinigang na salmon begins to simmer, and leave it like that for about five minutes. Afterwards, add a tablespoon of fish sauce, then your spinach or kangkong. These leafy greens don’t take too long to cook, which is why we’re adding them last.
Turn the heat off and let residual heat cook it for a few minutes
Turn off the heat and cover the pan for your last 5 to 7 minutes. This will allow your Sinigang na Salmon to blend even more harmoniously together. The different ingredients will soak up each others’ flavors, making it absolutely mouthwatering!
Serve hot with rice
When your time is up, transfer your sinigang na salmon to a serving bowl and enjoy it while it’s hot! Pour some soup into individual bowls as well, if you prefer.
Your Sinigang na Salmon will go perfect with nice, warm cups of rice! Let us know what you and your family think of this ultimate comfort food!
- Sauté the onion and tomato for a few minutes
- Put-in the Salmon heads and let each side cook for 3 minutes
- Add water and bring to a boil. Let this simmer for 10 minutes
- Add the sinigang sa Sampaloc mix and let this simmer for 5 minutes
- Add the fish sauce followed by the spinach
- Turn of the heat and cover the pan for 5 to 7 minutes
- Serve hot. Enjoy!