August 10, 2010


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My kids fondly call this dish Sour Soup.  It's probably because of the sour broth that the meat stews in while cooking.  This is a Filipino dish that have different variations as far as the meat and vegetables go.   You can find this dish with pork, shrimp, beef or fish.  As far as the vegetables go, it can vary depending on what you can get your hands on.  Growing up the Philippines, you would normally find Water Spinach (Kang Kong), Taro Tubers (Gabi), Green Peppers and Radishes.  However, here in the US, Water Spinach and Taro Tubers are hard to come by so I've been making do with long Green Beans, Bok Choy and Radish in the dish.  I personally think they are good substitutes.  The broth can be made from Tamarind or Guava, but Tamarind is the most popular soup base used for the broth.  If you can't find Tamarind juice, you can substitute by using a pre-packaged seasoning made by Knorr.  Both can be found at Asian markets.

This is a one pot dish and already incorporates the vegetables with the meat so trying to find veggies to pair up with is not even a question entertained.  But, if you are in a typical Filipino home, this may be one of the five dishes available to you.  Yeah, we Filipinos not only love to cook but we also love to have options when it comes to our meals.

The degree of sourness for the soup varies by taste.  Some people like it on the super sour side while others like it with just a hint of it.  More tamarind juice or vinegar can be added if you are on the super sour side of the fence.  I like it just in the middle with a hint of saltiness.  This is why I keep a small serving of fish sauce handy while I'm eating this wonderful dish.

Here's the recipe...

Pre & Cook Time: 1 hr
Serves: 6-8 (I make extra because my kids have 2 servings min)
You will need:  Large pot
Estimated cost: $15

***measurements are approximates***
2 lbs boneless Pork Loin Country Ribs cut in 2-3in cubes
1 small onion chopped
1 medium tomato, seeds removed and chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 tbsp vegetable oil
3 tbsp fish sauce
1 cup tamarind juice (or 1 pack seasoning packet but start slow and taste broth before adding more)
2 cups water
10 pieces long beans cut 2-3 inches long
1 small pack/bunch radish sliced
10 baby bok choy, separated (make sure you wash it thoroughly to removed any presence of soil)
Salt for taste

Heat oil over medium high heat.  Add onion and stir until translucent.  Add tomato and stir until it softens then add garlic and stir until it starts to brown, 1 minute.

Add pork and stir in fish sauce.  Stir occasionally until pork starts to brown on sides.

Slowly add tamarind juice and water. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer on medium low for 30 mins.


Add green beans and return to simmer for 5 minutes.

Add radish and return to simmer for 10 minutes.

Add bokchoy and return to simmer for 5 minutes.

Stir and taste broth.  Add salt if necessary.  Serve with steamed rice.  Fish sauce on the side is optional.

Oh, and this is what was left for the evening...NOTHING!

Enjoy this SARAPLICIOUS! dish.

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