Shrimp in Sour Soup (Sinigang na Hipon)

Living in an island archipelago surrounded by waters can have a lot of advantageous! For me this is the top reason – fresh seafood! So when I went back to the Philippines for a holiday, I asked my mom if she can cook for me Filipino dishes that all involve seafood especially shrimps and prawns which are my ultimate favorite. Of course, I was also thinking that I only have one shrimp recipe on the blog and it’s about time I add another one, after all I am from the Philippines where shrimp dishes of different varieties truly abound.

When you ask a Filipino what is his or her favorite shrimp dish is, chances are this Shrimp in Sour Soup will be on top of the list or at least a near second. The reason why we love this dish, apart from we all love shrimp (except those with allergies naturally, like my Dad, though nowadays his system seems to tolerate one or 2!), is because we love this kind of soup – the sour soup. In fact, adding shrimps is just one of the alternatives as you can also do a version featuring pork, beef, chicken or fish. What actually makes this soup so versatile is that you can choose the souring agent you prefer. In this particular recipe I used freshly squeezed tamarind juice as I wanted to be quite authentic, after all I was at home. Have no fear though – there are other options to fresh tamarind that you can find in stores like powdered tamarind sold in small packets, tamarind concentrate or even fresh lemon juice (perhaps the easiest to find) and the latter I have actually used in my Pork sinigang version and it came out really well. So, if you cannot find tamarind – do use fresh lemons (about 3 or more depending on how tangy you want your soup). Well, without further ado here’s an easy and satisfying soup that will make your winter days more comfortable! Serve with rice and perhaps a little fish sauce on the side!

Shrimp in Sour Soup (Sinigang na Hipon)

Recipe by Manila Spoon

A classic Filipino soup made with shrimps, tomatoes, mild green chili peppers, radishes and okra often seasoned with fish sauce and characterized by its tangy-sour flavor usually from the tamarind fruit or from local lemons.

Prep time: 10min
Cook time: 20min
Total time: 30min
Yield: 6

  • 6 cups
  • 1 lb
    Shrimps (with skin and head), seasoned with a little salt
  • 3
    Plum Tomatoes, quartered
  • 2
    Onions, chopped
  • 1
    White Radish, sliced
  • 2
    mild Green Chile Peppers
  • 6
  • 1-1/2 cups
    freshly squeezed Tamarind juice or to taste*
  • 2 Tablespoons
    Fish sauce or use Salt instead, to taste
  • 1 (10 oz) pack
    fresh Spinach or 1-2 bunches of Kangkong

Cooking Directions

  1. In a large pan, bring the water to a simmer (almost boiling).

  2. Add the tomatoes, onions and sliced radishes and cook until the latter are tender-crisp (half-cooked).

  3. Add the green chili peppers, okra and tamarind juice and continue to cook for another 3 minutes.

  4. Add the shrimp and season with salt or fish sauce, to taste. Cook for another 4-5 minutes or until shrimps are cooked and veggies are all tender. Check the seasoning at this point – add more souring agent, fish sauce or even water, if necessary – whatever your taste buds tell you!

  5. Turn off the heat. Stir in the Kangkong or spinach and then cover and let it wilt and cook for a couple of minutes. The steam from the hot soup should cook it quick. Ladle into bowls and enjoy immediately!

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  1. April 13, 2015 / 3:16 pm

    I don't know much about the Philipines but I've tried Filipino food and love it. This soup looks easy and seems like it is packed with flavor – a real winner.

  2. April 13, 2015 / 3:47 pm

    This sounds so good! I love the addition of okra and radishes! Love going home to have my mom make her specialties!

  3. April 13, 2015 / 3:51 pm

    Our family loves Asian soups and this one looks like a winner. Can't wait to try it.

  4. April 13, 2015 / 9:58 pm

    Thank you for sharing this! I am part Filipino however, I don't have much experience with authentic Filipino food. I make lumpia, adobo and sometimes pancit but that's the extent of it. I must try this!

    • abigail
      May 25, 2018 / 7:31 am

      Thanks, Tanya! I need to make this again as I surely miss it.

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