In 5 simple steps, make this heartwarming authentic vegan/vegetarian Sinigang! It’s easy, tasty, and will satisfy any meat lover! Some of the notable ingredients are kangkong, taro, and vegetarian fish/salmon.
I love Sinigang and I grew up eating this dish ALL THE TIME- including the hot summers of California! I wasn’t vegetarian then, so this dish was made with fish at the time which I ate on occasion.
This vegan Sinigang is amazing- it has all the taste minus the fish which is awesome for me because I missed the flavor of this soup.
What is Sinigang?
Sinigang is a stew dish that almost all Filipinos love. Even on a regular day, Filipinos cook sinigang of any variations. Some love pork sinigang, beef, fish sinigang (mostly used fish is Bangus or milkfish), shrimp or prawns sinigang, and some even use chicken for this delicious stew dish.
Filipinos love sinigang because it is so comforting to sip a bit of sour soup with all the goodness of the vegetables in it. Different regions in the Philippines have their own way of cooking sinigang and their unique way to make the soup taste sour. Some use tamarind, batuan, santol (a native fruit found in many areas of the Philippines), and kalamansi. Actually, almost all citrus fruits can be used in this delicious dish. Filipinos are creative with cooking, especially in the early times when instant sinigang mixes are not yet available.
Truly, sinigang has evolved in many ways. From the vegetables that are included in the cooking to the ingredient that is used to make the soup taste sour. However, the love of this sour stew dish by Filipinos and even foreigners that have the opportunity to taste Sinigang is always there. Truly a comfort food and will always be included in the top ten most popular dishes in the Philippines!
Tips and Tricks for Making This Vegetarian Sinigang Recipe:
- To test the doneness of the taro, poke the taro with a fork and if it’s tender- it’s ready.
- Always slice and prepare your vegetables ahead so that your cooking time would be stress-free.
- Slicing ahead the eggplant would its flesh brown in color. To avoid that, soak the eggplant slices in water after slicing and just take it out when you are ready to cook it.
- Do not overcook the vegetables, especially the soft ones like the kangkong. When you see that the vegetable is at its darkest or brightest color, that means it is perfectly cooked.
- If you love to add a little healthy fat to this sinigang dish, pour in some pure coconut milk and it will give your vegetarian sinigang a slightly sweet taste!
How to Make this Vegetarian Sinigang Recipe:
Gather the ingredients for this Vegetarian Sinigang and once the ingredients are all ready, let’s begin!
- taro, cut 1-inch cubes
- radishes, sliced into 2-inch wedges
- string beans, sliced into 3 inches
- eggplants, cut into 2-inch wedges
- batuan fruit or tamarind
- red tomato cut in half
- red onion cut in 4 pieces
- ginger, peeled and cut in halves
- bell pepper, sliced in strips
- green onions, sliced into 1-inch pieces (don’t include the roots)
- vegetarian soy salmon
- kangkong or spinach
- mushroom powder, optional
- salt & pepper to taste
In a large pot, boil 4 cups of water on medium heat. Once it’s boiling, add the taro and wait about 8-10 minutes for it to soften.:
Next, add the radish and allow it to boil for 2 more minutes. Add the string beans, eggplants and lower the heat, and cover with the lid to allow it to simmer for 2 minutes:
Next add batuan or tamarind, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers and ginger, cover with the lid and simmer for 2 more minutes:
Next, add the okra and vegetarian salmon fish and make any final seasoning adjustments with salt and pepper or mushroom seasoning, if needed. Cover with lid for 3 minutes:
Finally, add the kangkong and green onions. This dish is best when served hot and eaten with rice (especially in the Philippines wherein every meal, there has to be rice)
There you have it! A very nutritious and vegetarian version of the authentic Filipino dish, Sinigang!
Frequently Asked Questions for the Vegetarian Sinigang Recipe:
Q: What is kangkong? And where can I get it?
A: Banana blossoms are also known as banana heart. It is actually the flower of a banana trunk, which is edible and good to use in any vegetable soup or dish. Filipinos have a lot of recipes using banana blossoms.
Q: What is Batuan or Tamarind? And where can I get it?
A: In a nutshell, it gives the sourness of the soup. It’s difficult to find batuan in the states, but tamarind can be found at your local Asian Market. In some specialty stores, I’ve seen tamarind, but it’s a bit more pricy.
Q: Where can I find mushroom powder?
A: You can find it at your local Asian market or Trader Joes.
Q: Where can I buy vegetarian fish/salmon?
A: Most Asian Markets sell them or your local grocery specialty store. I’ve been fortunate enough to find them easily. I live in California. 🙂
More Filipino Dishes and Desserts:
Sinigang – Best & Delicious
- 4 cups of water
- 1 cup taro cut 1-inch cubes
- 2 radishes sliced into 2-inch wedges
- 3 string beans sliced into 3 inches
- 2 eggplants cut into 2-inch wedges
- 3 -4 batuan fruit or tamarind
- 2 medium-size red tomato cut in half
- 1 small red onion cut in 4 pieces
- 1- inch ginger peeled and cut in halves
- 1 large bell pepper sliced in strips
- 3 okras
- 2 pieces green onions sliced into 1-inch pieces (don’t include the roots)
- 4 pieces of vegetarian soy salmon
- 2-3 cups of kangkong or spiniach
- 1 pinch mushroom powder optional
- salt & pepper to taste
- In a large pot, boil 4 cups of water on medium heat. Once it’s boiling, add the taro and wait about 8-10 minutes for it to soften.
- Next, add the radish and allow it to boil for 2 more minutes.
- Add the string beans, eggplants and lower the heat, and cover with the lid to allow it to simmer for 2 minutes. Next add batuan or tamarind, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers and ginger, cover with the lid and simmer for 2 more minutes.
- Next add the okra and vegetarian salmon fish and make any final seasoning adjustments with salt and pepper or mushroom seasoning, if needed. Cover with lid for 3 minutes.
- Finally, add the kangkong and green onions. This dish is best when served hot.
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Mary S. says
Trader Joe’s doesn’t have pure mushroom powder, never have, hard to find, and the mushroom flavor powder they’ve got currently has a lot of other ingredients and a lot of added salt. Why not just suggest people find something easy like dried or fresh shiitakes. Every mushroom, even buttons and criminis, both easily available,, add umami. I’ve been vegetarian for 51 years and I’ve never heard of soy salmon, and I do shop at the local Asian and Indian markets regularly and have seen all the vegan “fish and meats” they sell. Some are actually pretty good, but they’ve all got additives and are expensive. Why not just suggest chick’n seitan, or firm/suoerfirm tofu, or readymade baked tofu? No one is going to find soy salmon unless they live in a place like San Francisco or NYC, somewhere huge. You can use any kind of vegan protein, or even none at all. With tomatoes and mushrooms, you’ve got plenty of umami, because each provides one of the two amino acids that create umami. I’d also suggest adding Better Than Buillion Sodium-Reduced Vegetable Broth paste, which keeps forever in the fridge and adds a lot of flavor to soups and stews. Don’t go through the trouble of making homemade stew and then just toss in a chemical powder package or a salty broth cube! Lastly, add some soy or sodium-reduced tamari sauce, for even more umami, rather than the fish sauce which non-vegetarians add. And the flavor profile of Filipino stews often includes heat, so I add part of a sliced little hot red pepper, or some dried red bird peppers which are always easy to find at Asian and Indian grocery stores, and I always have them on hand. And I also like to add about half a daikon rather than red radishes, it adds texture and tends to soak up the broth flavor. And you can consider adding nutritional (torula) yeast for more umami flavor and body, too. It’s a staple in my kitchen, just delicious, and your guests won’t know how you created something so delicious and memorable. Everyone thinks “authentic” is what they ate with their families, but this recipe usually includes ginger, soy or fish sauce, sour elements like tamarind or lemon, and some source of heat. Green beans and some types of cabbage seem common, too, but I use Japanese eggplants because they’re firmer with less seeds, and the skin is edible and thin, they add purple to the dish.