June 17, 2010

Pork Sinigang alla Chef Alcaraz

When I started my new job, I spent a few days in Dallas where my newly married sister and bro-in-law also lived.  They were awesome and fed me dinner those few days - what a treat! :)  On the first night, they took me to the awesome restaurant, Abacus (review here), where they had truffled risotto. ...  Sorry, distracted remembering how plate licking good it was. 

On the second night, Eric made his famous pork sinigang, a classic Phillipino sour soup, which I have never had!  He showed me the steps and also gave me a couple packets of the flavoring - Mama Sita Sour Tamarmind Mix - so I could also make it myself.  It's a tumeric based soup, which if you don't like that sour flavor, you probably don't want to try.  This is served with plain white rice and Eric also adds a little bit of soy sauce.  Hilda and I like it a tad more soupy. 

What is great is that you can add in any type of veggies into this dish. Bok choy, chinese cabbage, asian white carrot, anything!  Since time is needed to simmer and tenderize the pork, I'd recommend making this dish on the weekend.  

Or!  You can make this in the slow cooker!  In the morning, put everything in the pot - pork, water, tomatoes, shallots and mix - and let it cook all day while you're at work.  When you come home, done!!!  If you want to add veggies, you can add them when you get home so they don't get too mushy from 8 hours of slow cooking.  Add and turn the slow cooker to high and let it cook for 20 minutes.  How easy is that?  Easy.

Pork Sinigang Soup alla Chef Alcaraz
Serves 4

1/2 pack of Mama Sita tamarmind mix (go to any asian store and they will have some type)
1 rack of pork ribs
2 roma tomatoes sliced
2 shallots sliced

1. Clean and cut up the pork ribs into invidual ribs. Put in a big large pot with 5 cups of water.  On low heat, let it simmer for roughly 45 minutes to tenderize the meat.  Don't try to cheat because when you actually eat this, you'll love how the pork just falls off the rib with your fork. Can you say happy? 
2. Add in the shallots and the tomatoes.  Turn the heat up to medium and let it cook a little more.  Here, you can add in those additonal veggies I mentioned - white carrots, bok choy, whatever you have in your fridge. Let this cook until those veggies are cooked. 

3. Then add in 1/2 pack of the seasoning.  You can add 1/3 first and taste, then add more if you like.  I like a very strong sour flavor so I tend to put 1/2 to 3/4 of the packet.  

4. Serve in a bowl with a scoop of white rice. Pour some delicious soup over and add two ribs and veggies.  Done!  So good!  With a fork and spoon is the best way to eat this in my opinion - if you didn't cheat on the tenderizing, the pork will fall off with your fork and you can pile a scoop of rice, soup and a piece of pork on your spoon for one delicious bite.   

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