HOUSTON – May is Asian and Pacific Islander American Heritage Month, and we’re celebrating it with some fun and of course, some food. All month long, we’ll be sharing some unique cooking demos featuring authentic Asian dishes made by Houstonians and their parents.
This week, I’m sharing a classic Filipino dish I made with (A LOT OF) help from my mom, Susan Endaluz.
First, here’s a little background info. My mom was born in the Philippines. She raised two children (my older siblings) there. Then, 14 years after having her second child, I was conceived. After which, she, my father and my older siblings immigrated to the United States while she was pregnant with me. Can you imagine that - moving to a different country, away from your family and support system, while carrying another child 14 years after your last pregnancy? It’s nuts.
I was born shortly after their arrival in the states, making me the first natural born American citizen in my immediate family. Since then, we’ve lived all over the country, always finding Asian grocery stores with the ingredients needed for our Filipino dishes.
My two younger siblings were born in Houston, where I currently reside. My mom now lives lives in San Diego, California. Both areas, like much of the country, have booming Asian populations. Though we didn’t necessarily choose these cities because of that, I personally could not fathom living somewhere that didn’t have access to really good Asian food. Ask anyone who knows me. I can PUT. IT. AWAY.
Unfortunately, my ability to cook Asian food pales in comparison to my ability to eat it. So, I sought the aid of my mother to make a comforting and familiar dish that my much ravaged quarantine body and soul needed: sinigang na hipon - a sour soup filled with greens, root vegetables and shrimp. There are many variations of this dish, some with different protein like pork or different vegetables like eggplant or okra, but this is the recipe my mom always makes, which of course makes it the superior recipe.
SINIGANG NA HIPON
- Sinigang/tamarind soup mix (can be found in Asian grocery stores)
- 1 lb. shrimps or prawns (with head and shell)
- 1 c. sitaw a.k.a. Japanese long beans (substitute green beans if needed)
- 1 c. fresh spinach
- 5 small taro roots
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1 roma tomato
- 1 small yellow onion
- 1 tbs. fresh sliced ginger root
- Cook rice with your preferred method
- Bring 5 cups of water to boil in a large pot, then set to medium heat
- Clean and peel the taro roots and set aside in a medium sized microwave safe bowl
- Clean and slice the tomato in half and place in the same bowl as taro roots
- Fill 1/3 of the bowl with water and microwave for 3 - 4 min.
- Clean, peel and slice the onion into bite-sized pieces
- Clean, core and slice the bell pepper into 8 pieces
- Clean and chop the sitaw into 2-inch pieces; de-stem where needed
- Clean and slice the ginger into thin rounds
- Clean and prep the shrimp by removing antennae
- Add the soup mix into the pot with boiling water and stir
- Add sliced ginger, onions, bell pepper, and sitaw to pot
- Remove tomato and taro roots from microwave and mash one taro root; add all to pot
- Stir until all vegetables are tender
- Add spinach and shrimp to pot
- Simmer until shrimp is full cooked (opaque pinkish white color)
- Remove from heat, serve with rice and enjoy!