Get warm and cozy with a heartwarming bowl of one of the top-rated soups! Sinigang with Chicken, or Sinigang Na Manok, is a super easy Filipino soup known for its tamarind broth that creates a refreshing yet hearty dish that feeds the soul.
Sinigang is a loved Filipino dish, so much so that it even took the number 1 spot as Best Soup in the World in 2021. It's perfect for cold weather (but I also can't deny enjoying it in the summer when I need something comforting and nostalgic!).
This version includes using tamarind paste, which is unbelievably easy to make for complete control of flavor. Easily adjust the sourness, saltiness, and know exactly what's going into your soup. Plus it's healthier than using seasoning packets.
Yes, the seasoning packets are super convenient in a hurry (trust me, I use them too. Like in my Miso Salmon Sinigang recipe), but the downfall is that if you like your soup extra sour (SO good!), then you typically risk a saltier soup too because the seasoning packets can be pretty salty.
Luckily, making the tamarind paste is super simple and you'll have options on how to make the best soup ever!
- Chicken: I'm using chicken wings and drummettes for this recipe because it cooks very quickly. Chicken thigh and breast will work as well, just keep in mind that it'll take longer to cook, especially with bone-in.
- Chicken Stock: Water is commonly used in Sinigang to make the broth, however, I like using chicken stock as an easy way to pack in more flavor! I also recommend using low-sodium so you have more control of the salt. If you only have regular stock, slowly add fish sauce and salt as needed.
- Tamarind Paste: This is what gives the Chicken Sinigang that signature sour taste! Fresh tamarind is hard to come by in Las Vegas (go figure *shrug* haha), so tamarind paste it is! You can also swap it for a Sinigang seasoning packet, but don't forget to check the "Variations & Substitutions" section first for important notes!
- Onions and tomatoes are an absolute must for Sinigang since it's used to develop flavors in the broth.
- String beans, baby bok choy, and taro, or gabi, are a couple of my favorite veggies and are easy to find at local Asian markets, but this is customizable to your preference! Again, don't forget to check the "Variations & Substitutions" section 🙂
Learning how to make Sinigang with Chicken is really simple. We'll make a quick tamarind paste that'll give the soup that signature lip-puckering sour taste, then the delicious cozy soup itself!
Make Tamarind Paste
Making tamarind paste may sound complicated, but trust me, it's super easy!
Start by gently separating the tamarind concentrate into smaller chunks then soak it in hot water for about 30 minutes to soften.
Use a fork to smash and loosen up any remaining tamarind bits from the fibers, then pour it through a sieve. You can pour more water on top of the tamarind and press smash it through with a fork to help filter more of the paste.
Then voila! You have your tamarind paste!
Soak tamarind concentrate in hot water for 30 minutes.
Push through a strainer, pouring on extra water to drain through more paste.
Develop deeper flavors right from the start of your Sinigang na Manok. Season and sear the chicken skin-side down in a large pot on medium-high heat until golden. It doesn't need to be fully cooked through at this point since it'll finish cooking in the broth.
Also, remember not to overcrowd the pan, otherwise, your chicken will steam instead of sear and the extra flavor is in the browning! Once evenly golden, but still not cooked through, remove the chicken and set aside.
Add a little more oil to the pot, then saute onions and tomatoes until they begin to turn tender. Pour in the chicken stock and add the chicken back in.
Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
Saute tomatoes, onion, & salt until tender.
Add low-sodium chicken broth, seared chicken, cover, & cook chicken through.
Season & Cook Veggies
Now for the key ingredient - tamarind paste! Add in the tamarind paste and fish sauce, then stir and taste. If you like your Chicken Sinigang sourer, add more tamarind paste. If you want it saltier, add more fish sauce and/or salt.
Add the taro slices and string beans, then cook for a couple of minutes, or until tender but still crisp. Turn off the heat, add the baby bok choy, then stir it in the broth until the leaves are tender and wilted.
Serve your Chicken Sinigang with hot fluffy rice and enjoy!
Season with tamarind paste, fish sauce, & salt. Stir in taro (gabi) & string beans until tender but still crisp.
Turn off heat then stir in baby bok choy until tender & wilted.
📖 Variations & Substitutions
This Sinigang na Manok is super versatile - that's why it's really easy to find so many variations of Sinigang! Here are a few ways you can switch up your soup:
- Sinigang Seasoning Packets: Instead of using tamarind paste, you can swap it out with Sinigang seasoning mix, which is super popular and easy to find at local Asian markets. Keep in mind, the level of salt varies from brands, so season, taste, then add fish sauce if needed.
- Seared salmon belly/fillets
- Pork ribs, belly, or shoulder
- Beef ribs or chuck
- Kangkong (water spinach)
- Chilies (finger, jalapeno, or other hot chilies)
- White radish
Store any leftover Sinigang Na Manok in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
👩🏽🍳 Key Tips
- Save Time Making Tamarind Paste: Make the most of your time by first soaking the tamarind concentrate while you prep all of your veggies and chicken. You could even make the taramind paste days ahead of time and store it in the fridge until you're ready to use it.
- Best Browning Tips: Moisture is the enemy of browning, so make sure to pat dry the chicken thoroughly before seasoning. Work in batches in the pot, if needed, otherwise your chicken will steam instead of brown. A good rule of thumb is that you should be able to easily see the bottom of the pot.
- Various Cooking Times for Veggies: If you decide to swap out / add in other veggies, cook them in stages. Start with the vegetables that take the longest to cook, then the fastest cooking time (such as leafy vegetables).
- Chunky Tomatoes: If you like your Sinigang with more tomato chunks instead of it all dissolved into the broth, you can saute half of the tomato initially, then add the remaining half with the taro and string beans.
Singang is a traditional Filipino soup iconic for its sour tamarind broth. It's cooked with protein, such as salmon, chicken, beef, or pork, and a variety of veggies. And, of course, it wouldn't be complete without a bowl of hot steamy rice!
It's savory because of the chicken and veggies, but what makes it unique is the sourness that comes from the tamarind.
🥗 More Filipino Recipes You'll Love
Let's Get Cooking!
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🧾 Sinigang Na Manok (with Chicken) Recipe
- 4 ounces tamarind pulp broken into chunks
- 8 ounces boiling water
- 1 ½ pounds chicken wings/drummettes pat dry
- 2 teaspoon salt divided
- ½ large onion diced
- 3 roma tomatoes diced
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth or water
- ⅔ cup tamarind paste (from recipe above) plus more if you like it extra sour
- ⅓ cup fish sauce
- 1 cup string beans cut in 3-inch pieces
- 1 cup taro sliced
- 3 cups baby bok choy leaves separated
- Fresh cracked pepper to taste
Make Tamarind Paste
- In a heat-proof bowl, combine the tamarind pulp and boiling water. Use a fork to gently mash the tamarind pulp. Allow to soak for at least 30 minutes.
- Use a fork to smash and loosen any remaining tamarind the fibers. Pour the tamarind paste through a sieve, using a spatula to help push it through. You can pour more water on the tamarind to help extract more of it, if needed. Set tamarind paste aside.
- Season the chicken with fresh cracked pepper and ½ teaspoon of salt.
- Heat a large pot on medium-high heat, then add about a tablespoon of oil. Add the chicken, working in batches if needed to avoid overcrowding. Sear the chicken until golden - they don’t need to be cooked through since it’ll finish in the broth. Once browned, remove chicken and set aside.
- In the same pot, add onions, tomatoes, and ½ teaspoon of salt, then saute until they begin to soften.
- Pour in the low-sodium chicken stock and add the chicken back in. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes depending on the size of the chicken.
- Increase the heat to medium-high, then add in the tamarind paste, fish sauce, remaining 1 teaspoon of salt, and fresh cracked black pepper. Stir and taste. Feel free to add more tamarind paste if you like it more sour or fish sauce or salt if you’d like it saltier.
- Add the taro and string beans. Stir and allow to cook for a couple of minutes, or until tender to still crisp. Turn off the heat then add the baby bok choy leaves. Stir into the soup until they’re wilted. Serve with hot steamy rice and enjoy!
Exact calculations may vary. For the most accurate nutritional information, use your preferred nutrition calculator, actual ingredients, and quantities used for the recipe. Please consult with your physician or registered dietitian if more precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.