Salmon sinigang – Filipino sour soup
I am not familiar with Filipino cooking (I don’t even know how to pronounce sinigang) and my ignorance led me to believe that their cuisine was more sweet than sour. It turns out I was completely wrong. After reading through some popular Filipino recipes, it became evident that sour ingredients (such as calamansi or vinegar – e.g. chicken adobo) are just as commonly used as sweet ones (sugar, condensed milk). And it does make sense since Filipino food is a melting pot of mixed cuisines influenced by countries such as Spain, America, Japan, China and Malaysia. You would need a lesson in history to pinpoint its origin and I am not one who is very knowledgeable in that area. I slept through most of my high school classes and even got my mother to sew a pair of shorts for home ec. I was a parent’s nightmare when it came to studying as I hated school. As far as cooking goes, it’s something I picked up and fell in love with in my 20s once I began traveling. South East Asian cuisine opened my eyes to a myriad of new flavors and made eating a fun adventure (like this yummy spicy Thai mango and apple salad). Only someone like Marvin Galputos, who was exposed to a library of spices and condiments from a young age could think of mixing miso with wine, lemon, fish sauce, daikon and tomatoes. It’s brilliant! And boy does it taste good! Remember how I said I could literally taste and smell the soup from just reading the ingredients? I was right; it had a very familiar aroma and tasted exactly like I hoped it would. Fragrant, sour, fishy and pungent just like I want my South East Asian food to be. Flavors that are in your face, unafraid to be so loud and strong they might burn your eyes and tongue. De-li-cious. Salmon Sinigang can be served as a main with a side of rice. It’s filling but not heavy.