If you haven’t heard yet, culinary professionals from Taste Atlas ranked sinigang as the world’s best vegetable soup with a rating of 4.8 stars out of 5. We couldn’t agree more, right? Its sour and savory taste never fails to satisfy our taste buds and hunger!
In the Philippines, there are many ways to cook this versatile dish– and you can experiment with various souring agents. Aside from sampaloc or tamarind, there are many alternative souring agents you can use to make your sinigang deliciously maasim!
Here are some alternative pampaasim you can try to enhance the flavor of your sinigang! (Read: 5 Underrated Sinigang Varieties and Recipes)
Sinigang Pampaasim: Green mangoes
More than just a dessert, mangoes can be used as an ingredient in many dishes as well! Green or unripe mangoes can add a tropical flavor and pungent zing with a little sweetness to sinigang. Since the Philippines has a wide variety of mangoes, it’s accessible to everyone. If you have some green mangoes at home, you already know where to use them!
Sinigang Pampaasim: Guava
Several Filipino restaurants serve sinigang sa bayabas. Wouldn’t it be more exciting to try it in your own kitchen? Guava may not be as sour as tamarind, but it still works as an alternative souring agent! This is the perfect sinigang pampaasim for those who only prefer a mild sourness in their sinigang.
Sinigang Pampaasim: Calamansi
Calamansi is a citrus fruit rich in vitamins and minerals that is usually used to add flavor to some Filipino staples like lugaw, palabok, pansit and many more. It’s no surprise that it is considered as an alternative souring agent too! Make sure to prepare at least one kilo of calamansi if you’ll use it as pampaasim to your sinigang! (Read: Which is the more Filipino dish, adobo or sinigang?)
Sinigang Pampaasim: Watermelon
This juicy summer fruit can perfectly balance the sweet and sour taste of sinigang! You can also mix it with tamarind, but watermelon alone can do all the work as it complements the broth of beef, pork, or shrimp sinigang.
Sinigang Pampaasim: Santol
Another option is santol or cotton fruit! It is a common ingredient in many Filipino dishes. This may be an unpopular alternative sinigang pampaasim, but it’s still worth the try, especially if you want an exact level of tanginess that is not too or less sour. (Read: 3 Pinoy Recipes That Do Not Require Pork as an Ingredient)
Sinigang Pampaasim: Kamias
Kamias or bilimbi is more difficult to buy in the markets. So, if you find some, it is best to use it as an alternative souring agent! Boil it separately and extract its tart juice to add a strong tangy flavor and a mild sweetness to your sinigang. You can use it for any sinigang variations, but it is often used for fish or miso and shrimp.