In the time since moving out of my parents’ house, I have only had a few opportunities to cook Filipino or Bengali dishes. Even white jasmine rice seems like a luxury sometimes. E doesn’t really like to eat the things I grew up eating, mostly because of the smells they create when cooking. So, I usually try to choose opportune moments to have these special dishes. E is gone for a few days, so I am taking advantage of me time, and making my favorite home cooked meals. My most favorite is sinigang, a tamarind based soup from the Philippines. It’s like the Filipino version of hot and sour soup. I have recently started making this soup in a Crock Pot while I am away at work. And the best part about this soup is that you can’t overcook it! Want the recipe?
1 lb cubed stew meat
2 serrano chiles slit
1 daikon peeled and sliced
1 medium tomato sliced
1 medium onion diced
1 eggplant cubed (or 2 Japanese eggplants cubed)
1 or 2 handfuls of green or string beans (however many fit in your pot)
2 handfuls of spinach (whatever fits in your crock pot)
1 packet of Knorr Sinigang sa Sampalok mix (the magic of this dish)
6 cups of water
Place the beef at the bottom of the crock pot with the two chiles. Pour the soup mix on top. Then add the onions, tomatoes, daikon and eggplant. Add the water, and see how much space you have in the pot for the green beans. Add what fits, leaving a little bit of room for the spinach later. Set it on low for 7 to 8 hours. (I have left it on longer, and it is still wonderful!) In the last hour, add the spinach. Mix it in to the soup so that it cooks properly.
Serve over white or brown rice.
I like mine a bit more sour, so I add a little (just a little!) more powder. In my house, we would each add powder to our bowls to flavor it to our own tastes.
If it all doesn’t fit in your Crock Pot, and you are at home, go ahead and put it in a stock pot on simmer for a few hours. My coworker did this and it worked out perfectly!
This dish makes me feel all warm inside, and it tastes even better the next day! What are your special meals from home? Are they for special occasions? Or do you get to eat them whenever you want?