Use the slow cooker to make this Filipino favorite soup – Sinigang na Corned Beef (Corned Beef in Sour Soup). The meat comes out so tender and tasty with that unmistakable tangy and zesty flavor! Serve with rice!
We love our soup soup in the Philippines commonly known as sinigang. It is considered true comfort food! It’s so tasty and full of that sharp tang which traditionally comes from the tamarind juice added to it. While normally, sinigang is made with either pork or shrimp a few years ago a popular restaurant in Makati (central business district in Metro Manila) introduced sinigang with beef and not just beef – corned beef! When my friend invited me to this restaurant, I was hesitant to try it at first ’cause I thought it sounded weird and unpalatable. Corned Beef in sour soup, seriously? But, oh boy, was I wrong. It was so good that I knew I have to re-create it somehow.
The attempt to re-create Sinigang na Corned Beef happened to be this year! Yay! I saw that a lot of corned beef brisket were available at the grocery store because St. Patrick’s Day was approaching so I got a 3 pounder for my family. I thought that instead of making the usual corned beef and cabbage this year, why not corned beef sinigang – that way I can celebrate 2 cultures in one occasion – Filipino and Irish!! Win-win!!
Now, as to the question of how sour the dish should be – it is a matter of taste or preference – there is no right or wrong here, no exact measurement. Use your palate as a guide. It can be as sour as you want. If you cannot find Tamarind, no worries you can replace it with with either lime or lemon juice. I have used citrus before and it works perfectly fine.
You can also cook the beef whole like the usual corned beef and cabbage or try it like sinigang, cooked in chunks, which I did. It doesn’t matter what size of shape as it’s cooked in the slow cooker and provided it’s cooked long enough it should come out tender.
If you need to adjust seasoning, salt may be used but in the Philippines we usually use a little fish sauce to flavor it. Or some simply have fish sauce flavored with a bit of bird’s eye chili on the side and sprinkle the dish a little here and there as they eat, just to give it that extra kick. It’s all up to you. Certainly enjoy with rice!!
Sinigang na Corned Beef (Corned Beef in Sour Soup)
Use the slow cooker to make this Filipino favorite soup - Sinigang na Corned Beef (Corned Beef in Sour Soup). The meat comes out so tender and tasty with that unmistakable tangy and zesty flavor! Serve with rice!
- 3 pounds Corned Beef Brisket or regular Beef Brisket, sliced in 2-inch chunks or left whole
- 2 tablespoons Tamarind Paste (or concentrate) or fresh Lime Juice from 1-2 limes, or to taste
- 8 cups Water
- 1 White or Daikon Radish, sliced
- 10 Okra
- 3 Plum Tomatoes, quartered
- 3 Green Peppers, mild variety (like Banana Pepper)
- 4 cups Spinach leaves
- Fish Sauce or Salt for seasoning, if needed
If using regular corned beef, make sure to rinse the meat thoroughly (a few times even) under cool water to remove any excess salt. This is important so you don't end up with a very salty corned beef!
Place the beef in the slow cooker. Add the tamarind paste or lime juice, if using this instead. Pour water all over. Cook on low for 8 hours or until beef is tender.
When the beef is already fork tender, add the radish, okra, tomatoes and mild peppers and cook just until the vegetables are done but not mushy about 30 minutes to 1 hour. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed and use salt or fish sauce to add flavor. Add the spinach leaves just before serving. Ladle into bowls and enjoy with rice!
Adjust the level of sourness to your taste preference. I love it really sour so I use citrus juices from 2 limes or lemons but that's me. Begin with one at the beginning and if it needs some lift, add the extra juice later. The same if using tamarind, begin with 1 tablespoon tamarind paste and adjust later if needed. You can also add extra water if it's too tangy to your taste.
The use of the spice packet is optional. For a more authentic Asian taste, leave it out. Make sure to rinse the meat several times (thoroughly) to remove any excess salt. It should still be tasty but not salty.