This has now become a classic favorite in my household. Use your corned beef and turn it into this delicious and hearty soup loaded with vegetables with a tangy mouth-puckering flavor that would leave your tastebuds asking for more! Made even easier in the Instant Pot – this Sinigang na Corned Beef (Corned Beef Sour Soup) produces a melt-in-your-mouth tender beef that is oh-so-good!
I first tasted corned beef sinigang in the Philippines about 16 years ago. I cannot remember exactly if it was a few days before my wedding day (November 22, 2003) or a few days after.
I just remember my dear friend Jess highly recommending this restaurant in Makati called “Sentro” which served this delightful soup. So, the entire wedding crew went there based on his recommendation.
When I say wedding crew, that’s me, hubby, his entourage from England, the bridesmaids and best men and some of my friends. There were a lot of us there.
I can imagine how happy the restaurant manager must have been because it was lunch time and there were a lot of us that came in during a not so busy day and hour.
At any rate, since I was already a huge sinigang fan anyway I thought I’d give it a try. I was a bit risking it with my husband and his family and friends ’cause I wasn’t sure how they would like it. Thankfully, everyone loved it!
It’s funny how I never would have given corned beef sinigang a thought. Or, I wouldn’t have thought of making it at all. Sinigang, in case you’re wondering what it is, is a Filipino soup or stew known for its sour and savory taste, the tangy sharp flavor comes from the tamarind fruit.
It is one of the most popular soups in the archipelago. The sourer it is – the better! Oh, I can almost taste it as I write!!!
The reason I would never have imagined making sinigang with corned beef is because it often associated with pork. We would make this soup with pork belly and the fat in the pork belly melts into the soup as it is slowly cooked (can you imagine how delish that is!!!).
But then, so it doesn’t have a greasy kind of texture or taste – we add tamarind juice, loads of it, which balances the fattiness coming from the meat. Of course, to make it healthier, we totally load it with vegetables. It’s just absolutely perfect!
The main souring agent for the sinigang is tamarind which is squeezed to obtain its potently tangy juices. The tamarind, if you want to use it, may be purchased fresh or in concentrate form in Asian groceries. A shortcut, if you can’t find tamarind, is to use a sinigang soup mix like Knorr Sinigang Mix (or Mama Cita’s Sinigang Mix) and this is readily available in Asian stores as well.
But don’t fret, if you can’t find either or live far away from an Asian store – you have fresh lemon and lime to the rescue. Use the juices of 2-3 whole lemons or limes or a combo.
Both would give you the tanginess that this soup is well known for. There is no exact amount on how sour it should be – use your taste buds. I personally love it super sour but hubby doesn’t so I try to find a middle ground.
Of course, serve this with some soy sauce mixed in with some finely chopped red chili for that extra savory-spicy kick!!! Serve with loads of rice, too!
Instant Pot Sinigang na Corned Beef (Corned Beef Sour Soup)
This has now become a classic favorite in my household. Use your corned beef and turn it into this delicious and hearty soup loaded with vegetables with a tangy mouth-puckering flavor that would leave your tastebuds asking for more! Made even easier in the Instant Pot - this Sinigang na Corned Beef (Corned Beef Sour Soup) produces a melt-in-your-mouth tender beef that is oh-so-good!
- 1 2-3 pounds Corned Beef Brisket, cut into large (1.5-2-inch) chunks
- 8 cups water
- 1 1 White or Daikon Radish, sliced
- 3 Plum Tomatoes, quartered
- 1 Japanese Eggplant, sliced (optional)
- 8 Okra (optional)
- 1 packet Knorr or Mama Cita's Tamarind (Sinigang) soup mix or juices of 2-3 whole lemons or limes or a combo, adjust the amount of juice to how sour/tart you want your soup)
- 1 bunch Bok Choy
- 3 green chilis, mild variety (like Banana Pepper)
- Salt or Fish Sauce, to taste
Rinse the corned beef thoroughly (a few times even) under cool water to remove any excess salt from the brine. This is important so you don't end up with a very salty corned beef!
Place the beef chunks into the instant pot. Sprinkle the spices in the packet that comes with the corned beef brisket. This is totally optional. If you prefer the more traditional Filipino sinigang soup, leave out the spices. Pour in the water. Cover the instant pot and secure the lid (make sure it's on sealing position). Select Manual and cook on high for 35 minutes. Alternatively, you can also use the stew meat setting in the instant pot. Once done, allow natural release. for 15-20 minutes. Carefully remove the lid.
Choose the sauté function this time. Add the radish, tomatoes plus the sliced eggplant and okra (if using), entire content of tamarind soup mix or the citrus juice (if using instead). Stir and cook just until the vegetables are done. Add the bok choy and green chilis and continue to cook just until the bok choy has wilted. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if needed. Add more lemon juice or lime, if using citrus, until you reach the level of sourness you like. Use salt or fish sauce (begin with 1 tablespoon of the fish sauce and add more if needed to add extra flavor). Ladle into bowls and enjoy with rice!
Serve this alongside a condiment of soy sauce mixed with some finely chopped spicy red chilis. Add a few drops of the soy sauce as you eat the soup with rice. So good!