Sinigang is one of the most popular meals in the Philippines, with a side of rice to complete it. Most Filipinos consider it to be their all-time favorite dish, and their lips pucker in anticipation of the refreshing, mouth-watering sour soup.
Because of its widespread availability and lengthy history, sinigang is often referred to as the national dish of the Philippines, if not one of the top ten Filipino specialties, among dishes such as Lechon, Adobo, and Lumpia. This meal is named sinigang because the word translates to stew in Tagalog, which is precisely what this dish is. This stew may also be used to soothe a sore throat or even to keep you warm on a chilly night during the rainy season.
So, what is it about Sinigang? Why is this dish made sour?
Filipinos think that adding a sour ingredient to their food is one of the most effective methods to keep it fresh for a more extended period; hence, the creation of Sinigang.
During the hot and humid tropical weather, the sour broth not only helps in preserving the food but also helps keep the body cool and rejuvenated. Filipinos have plenty of souring agents to select from the Philippines’ abundant natural resources. Everything from tamarind to calamansi, including green mangoes and Kamias, has a distinct sour punch, yet they all have an extraordinary sourness result.
Even if spices are used in making the Sinigang, the sour flavor of the dish has remained consistent. While various ingredients have been added in the past, this has always been the case; there are different methods to prepare Sinigang depending on whatever area of the Philippines you are from, but nothing has changed dramatically for this popular Filipino meal.