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

Updated on June 3, 2020
Edwin Alcantara profile image

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!

5 stars from 1 rating of Filipino Sinigang na Hipon (Prawn Tamarind Soup)

Cook Time

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 30 min
Ready in: 45 min
Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 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

Asian Vegetables

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Japanese daikon radishJapanese eggplantTaro root
Japanese daikon radish
Japanese daikon radish
Japanese eggplant
Japanese eggplant
Taro root
Taro root

Instructions

  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.

Photo Guide

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Step 1a: Peel and slice the daikon radish.Step 1b: Peel and cut taro root into quarters.Step 1c: Slice the eggplants.Step 2: Saute vegetables in oil.Step 3: Add the fish sauce.Step 4: Add water and bring to a boil.Step 5a: Add tamarind seasoning mix.Step 5b: Add the chili pepper.Step 6: Add the prawns.
Step 1a: Peel and slice the daikon radish.
Step 1a: Peel and slice the daikon radish.
Step 1b: Peel and cut taro root into quarters.
Step 1b: Peel and cut taro root into quarters.
Step 1c: Slice the eggplants.
Step 1c: Slice the eggplants.
Step 2: Saute vegetables in oil.
Step 2: Saute vegetables in oil.
Step 3: Add the fish sauce.
Step 3: Add the fish sauce.
Step 4: Add water and bring to a boil.
Step 4: Add water and bring to a boil.
Step 5a: Add tamarind seasoning mix.
Step 5a: Add tamarind seasoning mix.
Step 5b: Add the chili pepper.
Step 5b: Add the chili pepper.
Step 6: Add the prawns.
Step 6: Add the prawns.

Variations

  • 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.

Tamarind Soup Mix

Mama Sita's Sinigang Sa Sampalok Tamarind Seasoning Mix 1.76oz (50g) 4 Pack
Mama Sita's Sinigang Sa Sampalok Tamarind Seasoning Mix 1.76oz (50g) 4 Pack
While you can make the tamarind paste yourself, you can also buy ready-made tamarind soup mix. There are many brands out there, but the most common brand used in the Philippines and in the U.S. is Mama Sita's. Other sour soup bases incorporate guava or kamias, which is the fruit of the sorrel or cucumber tree. If you don't have an Asian market nearby, you can easily order this product online.
 

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