My family loves this dish and it is also one of their favorites and it has often been requested when they come to visit.
- 1 lb. pork loin with some fat (country ribs style) cut 3” long
- 1 bunch mustard greens (to use in lieu of kangkong)
- 1 Japanese eggplant (cut diagonally)
- 1 Jalapeno pepper
- A few daikon radish slices (optional)
- 2 taro roots, skinned (optional)
- 1 TBS Sinigang sa Sampalok Instant soup base (more or less to your taste) We like it very tart.
- 6 to 8 cups water
Place the meat in a soup pot and add enough water to submerge the meat (4 cups or more). Heat to boiling but lower the heat so it will just simmer. Skim off the foam and simmer until the meat is tender, about 1 hour or so.
Wash the greens and tear the leaves in pieces from the midriff. Or you can just slice them in strips. I usually add some tender stems cut 2” long. Drain and set aside.
Add the pepper, mustard greens and taro (if using) in the simmering pot. Simmer for a few minutes until the taro is cooked, the pepper has turned to pale green and the mustard greens are tender. Add the radishes and the eggplants. Simmer until the eggplants are cooked and the radishes are crisp tender. Add the Sinigang instant seasoning. Taste and adjust to your liking. You can add more water if you like more broth.
Mustard greens tend to be bitter if not cooked for a long time that’s why I cook it with the hard to cook vegetables first like the taro. If you are not using taro then cook the greens alone until tender then follow with the rest of the ingredients.
Traditionally, Kangkong leaves and stems, with a few slices of daikon radish, and sometimes with 2 or more pieces of taro roots including eggplants are cooked in all sinigang.
I always use mustard greens for sinigang in the absence of kangkong. My husband prefers mustard greens over the kangkong and my children grew up eating it with mustard greens and every one of them liked it. I had tried using some other greens including bok choy, Swisschard and even lettuce to substitute for kangkong when I first came here many, many years ago and decided the mustard greens is the best and tastes more like sinigang at home. Most of the time it is the only vegetable I put in the dish and not an assortment of what is shown here besides the peppers for which, I use the readily available fresh jalapenos. If mustard greens is used, it has to cook until it is very tender. Otherwise it may be a little bitter and tough.
Another substitute for kangkong or mustard greens is spinach.