How to Cook a Sinampalukang Manok

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Sinampalukang manok is a hearty soup made with chicken, tamarind and vegetables. Tamarind pods grow on tall tamarind trees that thrive in tropical areas. The pods appear as grayish-brown at first and then dry out. When they've dried, the pulp within the pod also loses moisture becoming a sticky paste. This paste imparts a sour flavor that compliments poultry and seafood. When making sinampalukang manok, cooks use young leaves from the trees for additional flavor.

Things You'll Need

  • Cutting board
  • Chef knife
  • Tomato
  • Onion
  • Chinese eggplant
  • Stock pot
  • Olive oil
  • Chicken thighs with bone in
  • Tongs
  • Thai fish sauce
  • Chicken stock
  • Tamarind leaves
  • Sinigang mix
  • Frozen green beans
  • Spinach
  • Place cutting board on counter. Using the chef knife, chop three tomatoes in half, and then cut each half into four pieces. Chop one onion in half, and then slice each half into six pieces. Slice the Chinese eggplant into half lengthwise, and then slice each half into two long strips. Chop the strips into 1-inch-thick pieces. Set the vegetables aside.

  • Measure 3 tbsp. olive oil into the stock pot. Turn heat to medium and place stock pot on burner. Saute chicken thighs until skin is golden. Use tongs to lift and check the color of the chicken thighs. Add tomatoes and onions and saute for five minutes stirring frequently with a mixing spoon.

  • Add 2 tbsp. Thai fish sauce to the stock pan and stir to coat the vegetables and chicken thighs. Pour 4 cups chicken stock into the pot. Add 1 1/2 cups tamarind leaves and 1 tbsp. sinigang mix. Stir well to incorporate the ingredients. Turn burner to low and simmer for one hour.

  • Mix 8 oz. frozen green beans and the eggplant pieces. Simmer for another 10 minutes. Turn off heat and add 2 cups spinach. Let the soup sit for five minutes to allow the spinach to cook.

  • Ladle the sinampalukang manok into soup bowls. Make sure each bowl gets a piece of chicken and the assortment of vegetables. Serve while hot.

Tips & Warnings

  • Sinigang mix is available in Asian markets. If you cannot find it, substitute tamarind paste or make your own. The amount you use depends on the variety you purchase and your personal tastes. Start with 1/2 tsp. and mix into the soup. Increase by 1/2 tsp. until you feel that the soup has the right level of tartness for your tastes.

References

  • Photo Credit Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images David De Lossy/Photodisc/Getty Images
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