Philippine Sinigang

Philippine Sinigang This Philippine Singing was published in this months BBC Good Food Magazine and was written by the Hemsley sisters and based on their mother’s recipe. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the pak choi anywhere so I replaced it with four sticks of celery. Pak choi has a really mild flavour but a nice crunch that I thought the celery could mimic. Celery needs more cooking than pak choi though so just add it with the first batch of vegetables.

Another change that I think I would make is to trim the fat before cooking. The recipe says to leave it, that the fat will flavour the broth but there was still a bit of boiled, unrendered fat on my beef which I could have done without. Maybe cows in the Philippines are a bit leaner than our Irish heifers but either way, trim it off if it suits yourself.

I also poked a few holes in the chillies to let the heat permeate. They were only given 5 minutes of simmering and they’re supposed to be left whole so I thought they could do with a little help.

This is a dish that packs a load of flavour but is still really healthy! Piles of vegetables, a little meat and ,if this is important to you, no carbs. Only a little fat too, very little if you trim the beef, as there is no added oil used here.

Philippine Sinigang


  • 700 g ribeye beef
  • 1.2 L water
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 6-8 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 5 cm piece of ginger, finely sliced
  • 400 g pan choi roughly chopped, alternatively 4 celery sticks roughly chopped
  • 20 cherry tomatoes
  • 3-4 tbsp fish sauce
  • 3 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 400 g green beans, ends chopped off
  • 2 large red chillies
  • 400 g spinach


  1. Trim excess fat off the beef and chop into 3 centimetre chunks. Add to a large pan with the water and bring to the boil before lowering the heat to medium-low and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. 20 minutes later, add your onions, garlic and ginger and your celery if you're using it.
  3. Add the tomatoes, fish sauce, tamarind and pepper. Stir and allow to simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. 5 minutes later, add the green beans, chillies and pan choi if you have it. If you'd prefer a little extra heat, poke the chillies with a knife before adding them. Allow to simmer for another 5 minutes.
  5. 5 minutes later, add the spinach and serve. The heat in the pan will wilt the spinach.
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