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Recipe Development: Seafood Sinigang

Budgie guides you through how he layers flavours and textures in this iconic Filipino soup. Prevalent across the country, Sinigang is known for its sour broth, and while the base is simple and satisfying, it lends itself to constant experimentation! Budgie’s version is the classic: seafood with crunchy vegetables!

Development Stages

Key Components:

Broth - as much for the texture as for the taste - soups require broth! Budgie emphasises this as the foundation of the flavour of the dish, so in the case of Seafood Sinigang, you will want an umami rich broth that sets up the palate for the rest of the dish with a strong fish stock.

Souring agent - Sinigang is SOUR so arguably the most important component is an ingredient that brings a nice bit of tang and acidity to the dish. Every family has a different recipe, some using different fruits and vegetables, but the classic addition is tamarind. Whether it’s a paste, extract or powder, this delicious sour seed is truly what gives Sinigang its wow factor.

Protein and Vegetables - These components are here to absorb the flavours of the broth and to add varying textures to the dish. If you are making a seafood-based broth then it makes sense to use various seafood such as prawns and white fish, but you could just as easily pair a chicken broth with different meats. The vegetables are really what gives structure, as they should have a nice amount of bite to them.

Rice - As the saying goes, a filipino dish isn't complete without rice - so a customary bowl of steamed jasmine rice on the side is the norm for Sinigang.


  1. Flavouring a broth
  2. Staggering cooking times
  3. Souring agents

Make It Your Own:

Vegetarian - to make this dish vegetarian-friendly you can replace the fish stock with vegetable stock and instead of seafood you can play around with different vegetables, mushrooms, tofu or plant proteins.

Meat - you can just as easily substitute the seafood for different meats as well such as pork or beef.

Souring agents - As Budgie mentions, there are as many Sinigang recipes as there are families in the Philippines and while Tamarind is the traditional favourite, you can experiment with different ingredients to give that sour flavour for instance - rhubarb, green tomatoes, citrus fruits or various sour tropical fruits like guava or green mango.

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Budgie Montoya
I'm the chef & owner of Sarap BAon and Sarap Bistro, bringing the bold Filipino flavours to London.