Recipe #45: SINIGANG NA ISDA SA MISO (Fish in Tamarind & Miso Soup)

Sinigang sa Miso is to the Philippines what Seafood Tom Yum is to Thailand. A type of tamarind-based soup (although sometimes guavas or kamias are used), Sinigang is arguably second to the Adobo in the popularity hierarchy of Filipino cuisine, and probably as ubiquitous as the Chicken Tinola.

However, the countries that have more similar dishes to Sinigang are perhaps from our next-door neighbors; Malaysia’s Singgang and Indonesia’s Sayur Asem also use tamarind as a souring agent unlike Thailand’s Tom Yum which uses lime.

Sinigang na Isda sa Miso 1-2

It’s apparent that sampaloc or tamarind is a very popular ingredient in many tropical countries as a souring agent in a number of savory dishes and as candied snacks. For example, one of the key ingredients of the popular Thai stir-fried noodle dish Pad Thai is tamarind paste. In the Philippines, aside from Sinigang and tamarind candies, we also have a dish called Sinampalukang Manok which uses tamarind leaves.

Today’s Sinigang na Isda sa Miso recipe is a popular variation of this national dish which you will surely enjoy especially if you love fish. Miso, a fermented soybean paste typically associated with Japanese cuisine, is an important element of this recipe. The sourness of tamarind adds a tangy counterpoint to miso‘s umami flavor which creates an outrageously delicious soup base.

Please enjoy the recipe below:


Sinigang na Isda sa Miso Recipe

You will need:

  • 400 g samapaloc (tamarind pulp), washed
  • 5 cups rice wash (water used to wash uncooked rice)
  • 1 kilo large fish, such as salmon or tanigue, cut crosswise and salted
  • 5 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 medium-sized tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 medium-sized onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 1/2 cups miso
  • 3 tbsp patis (fish sauce)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 bundle sigarilyas (winged bean), chopped
  • 1 bundle mustasa (mustard leaves), chopped
  • 5 pcs siling pangsigang (green finger chilis)

How to prepare:

  1. Boil tamarind pulps in a pot of water. Cook until the pulps are soft and and the skin has broken apart. Mash the pulps with a fork or spoon to fully extract the flavor. Strain the broth and discard the seeds and skin. Set the tamarind broth aside.
  2. Add oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Panfry fish until outside is seared and cooked. Set aside.
  3. In a large sauce pan or pot over medium heat, put 1 tbsp of oil and sauté tomatoes, garlic, and onion. Mashed the tomatoes using the back of your ladle while cooking.
  4. Add miso. Continue cooking for about 3 minutes while stirring occasionally.
  5. Add tamarind broth and patis. Bring to a boil. Simmer for about 5 minutes while stirring occasionally.
  6. Add salt and pepper to your taste and liking. Add more water if needed.
  7. Turn down the heat, Add sigarilyas and chili. Simmer for another 5 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked. Protip: If you prefer a spicy sinigang, chop up the chilis before adding them.
  8. Turn off the heat. Add the mustasa leaves and fried fish. Cover the pan.
  9. Serve with rice.

Sinigang na Isda sa Miso 3-2

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  1. Awesome. Frying the fish beforehand really makes the difference. Ever wonder what’s the difference between local miso (the ones sold in wet markets in the Philippines) and Japanese miso?

    It’s seen in a lot of palengkes, but I don’t really have a clue where they get it from and how they make it.

    1. Hi Rich! I’m glad you liked it. I don’t really have a lot of details about the local miso. But I do know that it’s made from fermented soybean and rice, kinda similar to the Japanese miso. Many soybean by-products, such as soy sauce, tofu, taho, and soy milk, are produced locally, so it’s safe to assume that miso is one of them.

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