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Saturday, October 18, 2008

Sinampalukang Manok (Chicken in Tamarind Soup)

This is a dish of chicken cooked in a soup usually made sour using young tamarind leaves. It is a typical Filipino dish, the light soup eaten with the staple food rice, or sometimes simply served as a soup.

shown here inundating a bowl of hot rice

Just like any other home-cooked meals, there are different recipes based on the household that one has grew up in. This particular recipe is made from a pickled tamarind leaves picked up from an Asian store somewhere in Richmond (where Asian stores abound and Vietnamese restaurants are plenty) as there are no fresh ones readily available.

To make this you would need:
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium sized onion, minced
1 medium sized ginger, minced
around 300g of chicken, cut into bite sized pieces
750ml water
1/2 cup tamarind leaves
fish sauce or salt to taste
1 cup of morning glory, or chopped eggplants or radish
2 pcs green chilies (optional)
1/2 cup of tamarind water (made by adding hot water to dried tamarind fruit, or 2 tablespoons sinigang mix)

fresh tamarind leaves, Tamarind soup base (present in every Pinoy household) and pickled tamarind leaves
option to use whole bird chilies in the soup if preferred, or crushed with fish sauce for dipping

Saute garlic, onions, and ginger until fragrant and onions are translucent.
Add chicken and stir fry until chicken is browned on all sides. Season with fish sauce or salt.
Add water and bring to a boil.
Add the vegetables (if using) and tamarind leaves, until vegetables are half cooked. The young tamarind leaves provide a very delicate flavor, hence if a slightly stronger taste of tamarind is preffered, add tamarind water or the sinigang mix (also available from the Asian store).

Serve hot, best with rice, and a dipping sauce of fish sauce with chilies :)


fresh tamarind leaves photo credit here


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