Pork Stew, Filipino style. Well, almost.
Technically, there is two way of cooking pork stew in the Philippines, nilaga and sinigang. I will not deal with difference yet, but I have to point that the kind of veggies kind of made my stew a cross between the two. Eggplant and green chili (see below) is used for sinigang, cabbage is used for nilaga, carrot is not typically used. This is my own concoction, but not bad at all.
Let me give a run down of how i cooked.
Need: pork, veggies, spices (garlic, red union, pepper corns), salt, vinegar.
Boil spices for 5 min to infuse flavor to water. Put the pork slices, add a little salt, simmer for 30 minutes. This dish is best with lots of water, don’t let it dry out, add water as needed. Add salt to taste, drop the veggies. When the veggies are half cooked, add vinegar for slight sourness. Turn off heat before veggies are fully cooked. Done!
Sinigang: Include tomato, drop together with the spices. The vegetables: eggplant, radish, string beans, taro(gabi), green chili. Its made to taste more sour than nilaga: if nilaga needs just a hint of sourness, sinigang ranges from obvious to strongly sour.
I kept saying vinegar because that’s the only thing I have to make it sour. In the Philippines, they use different fruits to infuse sourness. The most popular is tamarind, followed by kamias ( averrhoa bilimbi), unripe carabao mango, and, santol. Interestingly, each fruit will lend the dish different flavors. When times are good, it’s not uncommon to have sinigang on the dining table a few times a week, but soured with different fruit each time.
There were few who use tamarind leaves. Yes, tamarind leaf is sour! To be honest, I found tamarind, kamias, unripe mango or santol too strong. I prefer tamarind leaves. Strange? Well, try it first.