Sinigang na baka (beef stew) is a mildly sour, tamarind stew, with lots of delicious vegetables. It’s often served with rice, and a side of patis (fish sauce). It’s flavorful and tender, and the broth itself is overall an enjoyable experience. Filipinos make and eat sinigang year round, and it just hits the spot on any cold day.
Though the dish itself is simple to prepare, the beef is what takes time to cook because you want it to be nice and tender. I usually begin with adding the beef in a pot of water and letting it come to a boil. While it’s in the pot, I’ll begin to prepare the vegetables. You can also use pork, shrimp, other fish, and chicken, but I grew up eating it with beef. You can also create your own broth base using beef broth and taro root, but for this recipe, I am using pre-made mix by Knorr or Samana.
- 2 lbs. beef chucks
- 2 medium tomatoes
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 10-12 pieces okra
- 1-2 medium eggplants
- 1 bundle of sitaw (long string beans)
- 1-2 bok choy
- 1 daikon radish
- 8-10 cups water
- 1-2 packets of Sinigang mix
- Fish sauce to taste, optional
- Pour 6 cups of water into a pot and let it come to a boil. Add the beef, and boil on medium heat. Every 25-30 minutes, add another cup of water.
- Preparing the vegetables: Everything is to your preference. It is up to you on how little or how many vegetables you like to eat.
- Cut the tomatoes into fourths.
- Cut the onion into fourths.
- Cut off the tips of the okra, or leave as is.
- Slice the eggplants evenly.
- Cut off the tips of the sitaw, and cut into 3 to 4 inch lengths.
- Cut off the ends of the bokchoy.
- Peel and slice the daikon radish.
- After the beef has been cooking in the boiling water for about 1 hour 30 minutes, add in the onions and tomatoes. Let it boil for another 5-10 minutes; the onions and tomatoes will help accentuate the sour flavor. You can also add in the daikon radish and sitaw now if you want to eat them softened. (I personally add 1 packet of Sinigang mix here to let it all begin to marinate in the flavor; OR you can skip to step 5)
- When the onions and tomatoes are tender, add in the remaining vegetables and 1 packet of Sinigang mix for another 3-5 minutes. (You can also add fish sauce to taste)
- You can add 1 packet of Sinigang mix AND the vegetables all at once, and let it boil for 10-15 minutes. Then, add extra Sinigang mix OR fish sauce to taste.
Serve it with a side of white rice, and that’s it!
I always have a small side of fish sauce so I can add it to my own serving, or to dip the beef in. I love the extra sour taste which is why I keep mine on the side, but Jesse is satisfied with the broth as is. You can also use beef ribs because the bones add in even more flavor, but beef chucks is easier to eat. Either way, it’s still delicious and we absolutely love this dish. What makes this dish sour is the tomato; you’ll know that the soup is ready when the tomato is really soft and tender.
I shared the instructions via Instagram stories in a pre-recorded video, and saved it into a highlight reel titled “sinigang”, which you can view here.
Let me know if you have any questions, and what other Filipino food dishes you would like for me to share. See you in the next post!