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Easy Filipino Sinigang na Hipon at Sampalok (Prawn Tamarind Soup)

As a child, Edwin's mom told him, "If you want to eat, you should cook it yourself." And that's exactly what he's been doing ever since.

Filipino tamarind soup with prawns

Filipino tamarind soup with prawns

Sinigang na Hipon at Sampalok (Filipino Prawn Tamarind Soup)

Tamarind (called sampalok in Tagalog) is a tropical fruit that is found in Asia and Africa. The fruit is somewhat sweet and sour. Ripened tamarind can be used to flavor main dishes, such as this sinigang (soup) recipe, and it can also be used in sweets or desserts.

This particular dish features prawns (called hipon in Tagalog), but meat can be substituted. Traditionally, sinigang soup contains okra, gabi (taro root), labanos (Japanese daikon radish), and peppers. Most of the ingredients in this dish should be available at your local Asian market, but if you can't find them you can substitute any vegetable you like.

If you love Thai tom yum soup or Chinese hot and sour soup, give this Filipino soup a try!

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Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

15 min

30 min

45 min

4 servings


  • 1 pound frozen fully-cooked prawns
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup daikon radish, sliced into rounds
  • 5 cups water
  • 6 small taro roots, peeled and quartered
  • 1 chili pepper, whole
  • 1 Chinese or Japanese eggplant, sliced into rounds
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Mama Sita's tamarind soup mix
  • Salt and ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon oil


  1. Prepare the vegetables as described in the list of ingredients.
  2. In a soup pot, saute the vegetables in oil for about 4 minutes.
  3. Add fish sauce to the vegetables.
  4. Add water to the pot of vegetables, cover, and bring to a boil.
  5. Add Mama Sita's tamarind seasoning mix and the chili pepper to the pot. Lower the heat and simmer for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add the frozen cooked prawns and simmer for 1 more minute.
  7. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


  • Protein: Traditional sinigang also uses fish or pork.
  • Vegetables: You can add other vegetables, as well, such as green beans, okra, bok choy, or spinach.
  • Spice level: If you use the spicy variety of tamarind soup mix, you should omit the chili pepper.

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