A bowl of tamarind sinigang
TypeSoup or stew
CourseMain course
Place of originPhilippines
Serving temperatureHot
Main ingredientsMeat, vegetables, tamarind, fish sauce, onions, siling mahaba, tomatoes
VariationsPork, beef, shrimp, fish, chicken
Food energy
(per serving)
~120 kcal
Similar dishesPinangat na isda, paksiw, kansi, kadyos, baboy, kag langka
Other informationCan be served in many different forms

Sinigang is a Filipino soup or stew characterized by its sour and savory taste. It is most often associated with tamarind (Filipino: sampalok), although it can use other sour fruits and leaves as the souring agent. It is one of the more popular dishes in Filipino cuisine. The soup is usually accompanied by rice. In 2021, sinigang was rated as the world's best vegetable soup by TasteAtlas.[1][2] In December 2023, the website project's TasteAtlas Awards 2023/24 included sinigang among its "100 best dishes in the world".[3]


Sinigang means "stewed [dish]", it is a nominalized in the form of Tagalog verb sigang, "to stew".[4] While present nationwide, sinigang is seen to be culturally Tagalog in origin, thus the similar sour stews and soups found in the Visayas and Mindanao (like linarang) are regarded as different dishes and differ in the ingredients used. Fish sauce is a common condiment for the stew.


Fish sinigang

Sinigang is most often associated with tamarind in modern times, but it originally referred to any meat or seafood cooked in a sour and acidic broth, similar to but differentiated from paksiw (which uses vinegar).[5] Other variations of the dish derive their sourness from native ingredients. These souring agents include unripe mangoes, butterfly tree leaves (alibangbang), citruses (including the native calamansi and biasong), santol, bilimbi (kamias or iba), gooseberry tree fruits (karmay), binukaw fruits (also batuan), and libas fruits, among others.[6][7] Guava, introduced to the Philippines via the Manila galleons, is also used.[8] Seasoning powder or bouillon cubes with a tamarind base are commercial alternatives to using natural fruits.[9][10]

Sinigang typically uses meat or seafood (e.g., fish, pork, beef, shrimp, or chicken) stewed with tamarind, tomatoes, garlic, and onions. Other vegetables commonly used in the making of sinigang include okra, taro corms (gabi, which serves as a starchy broth thickener[11]), white radish (labanós), water spinach (kangkóng), yardlong beans (sitaw) and eggplant (talóng). Most Filipinos like to cook sinigang with long green peppers (siling haba) in order to enhance the taste and add a little spice to the dish. Another variation includes adding locally made miso.

Sinigang variations

Sinigang na hipon (shrimp) with unripe guavas
Sinigang na isda with milkfish (bangus) and santol
"Bule Baluga king Pata"

Similar dishes

Main articles: Sinampalukan, Pinangat na isda, and Linarang

Sinampalukang manók or sinampalukan is technically not a variation of sinigang, as the chicken has to be sautéed in ginger first instead of all the ingredients being placed simultaneously into the pot and brought to a boil. Sinampalukan is also distinguished by its use of shredded tamarind leaves, and is usually made together with ginger, onions, tomatoes, eggplant and other vegetables.[16][17]

Other Filipino dishes that are similar to sinigang but distinct include pinangat na isda from Southern Luzon and linarang from Cebu. Both of which also use sour fruits but are restricted to fish or seafood and differ in the other ingredients used.[18][19][20]

There are also similar soured beef stews. They include the cansi from the Western Visayas islands which use beef and breadfruit and is soured with batuan or bilimbi fruits. Because it resembles a cross between bulalo and sinigang it is sometimes known as sinigang na bulalo.[21] Another soured beef stew is sinanglaw from Ilocos which is soured with bilimbi or tamarind, but is unique in that it also includes bitter ingredients like bitter gourd or bile, as is common in Ilocano cuisine.[22]

Beyond Philippines


Beef sinigang

Around the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, particularly in the states of Kelantan and Terengganu, there is a dish called singgang that is considered as a close resemblance to sinigang.[23][24] The common ingredients found in singgang are lemongrass, galangal, garlic, chili and asam gelugur as souring agent. Either budu or tempoyak would also sometimes be added to further flavourize the dish.[25][26] Terengganu's singgang and Kelantan's singgang differs through an addition of turmeric into the former.[26]

Meanwhile, on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia, another dish that is thought to be similar to singgang is called pindang.[25]

See also


  1. ^ Arnaldo, Steph (August 3, 2021). "Taste Atlas rates sinigang the world's 'best vegetable soup'". Rappler. Retrieved October 30, 2021.
  2. ^ "The world's best: Sinigang is top-rated vegetable soup on TasteAtlas". ABS-CBN News. August 3, 2021. Retrieved October 30, 2021.
  3. ^ "These are the 100 Best Dishes in the World to try in 2024 - TasteAtlas Awards 23/24". Retrieved December 20, 2023.
  4. ^ "sigang". Retrieved December 16, 2018.
  5. ^ Pamaran, Maan D'Asis (October 12, 2016). "The Filipino-Spanish food connection". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved December 16, 2018.
  6. ^ "The Souring Agents of Sinigang". Our Philippine Trees. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  7. ^ "Sinigang na Salmon at Bauhinia Filipino Cuisine". Flavours of Iloilo. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  8. ^ The Souring Agents of Sinigang
  9. ^ Sinigang Recipe
  10. ^ Sinigang na Baboy Recipe
  11. ^ "Sinigang na Baboy". Kawaling Pinoy. January 27, 2013. Retrieved August 29, 2021.
  12. ^ Sinigang na Hipon Recipe - Pinoy Recipe at Iba pa. Retrieved March 30, 2019
  13. ^ Seafood Sinigang Recipe - Pinoy Recipe at Iba pa. Retrieved March 30, 2019
  14. ^ "Bule". Steamy Bain Marie. Retrieved November 29, 2019.
  15. ^ Daez, Mikael (November 3, 2013). "Saksi: Bule baluga, sinigang na pinasarap ng patani". Saksi (in English and Tagalog). GMA. Retrieved November 29, 2019.
  16. ^ Manalo, Lalaine. "Sinampalukang Manok". Kawaling Pinoy. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  17. ^ "Sinampalukan Manok (Tamarind'd Chicken)". 80 Breakfasts. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  18. ^ "Pinangat na Isda Fish Poached in Kamias and Tomatoes". Retrieved January 10, 2019.
  19. ^ Belen, Jun. "How to Make Fish Pinangat (Fish Soured in Calamansi and Tomatoes)". Junblog. Retrieved January 10, 2019.
  20. ^ Fenix, Michaela (2017). Country Cooking: Philippine Regional Cuisines. Anvil Publishing, Incorporated. ISBN 9789712730443.
  21. ^ Reyes, Gladys. "Ilonggo Food: Bacolod Cansi Recipe". Experience Negros. Retrieved October 23, 2019.
  22. ^ "Sinanglaw". Ang Sarap. Retrieved October 17, 2020.
  23. ^ "NCCA's 'Sinigang versus Adobo' poll divides the nation". GMA News Online. May 18, 2016. Retrieved January 15, 2022.
  24. ^ Reggie Aspiras (October 8, 2009). "'Sinigang' and 'asocena' aren't exclusive to Filipinos". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved January 17, 2022.
  25. ^ a b "Khasiat ikan singgang dari sudut saintifik yang sangat wow". sinarplus+ (in Malay). Retrieved January 15, 2022.
  26. ^ a b "Singgang Ikan Tongkol Terengganu, Lauk Lejen Kesukaan Ramai". rasa (in Malay). Retrieved January 15, 2022.

Further reading