Last Thursday was the coldest day in Sydney since 1984. In the Blue Mountains, many areas were blanketed in snow. It’s no wonder that all around NSW, kitchens are steaming up as families prepare their soup of choice to ward off the chill.

One of the top 10 Filipino dishes perfect for the wintry season is ‘sinigang na hipon’ or shrimp and vegetable soup in sour broth.

Many Filipinos know this dish for its distinct tamarind taste. In Australia, Filipino stores sell tamarind powder in packets for convenience although fresh tamarind can now be found on some Asian stores.  It is a relatively easy dish to cook and recipe variations can be found on the net. Here we include the recipe of Vanjo Merano as sourced from

The reason we featured this dish in our healthy cooking series ‘Kain Tayo’ is because it is one of the popular dishes that is light yet nutritious. For a country famous for its meat dishes (pork chop, beef steak and adobo), this one requires six types of vegetables – okra, snake beans, eggplant, radish, tomato and kang kong (water spinach). Of course, you can cook it without all of these vegetable ingredients but if you follow the recipe to the letter, you’re more likely to fulfil your daily fiber and nutrients requirements for the day.

This dish is also good for Filipinos who are cutting down on how much chicken or pork they eat on a weekly basis. Shrimps or prawns are a healthier alternative and just as delicious.

One thing to consider however when cooking any of the sinigang dishes is to make sure you are not using reactive cookware such as pots made out of aluminum, iron or non-stainless steel material. Use non-reactive cookware such as pots made of stainless steel or glass.

It’s because the tomatoes used when cooking sinigang dishes are highly acidic and would react with the metal surface of your cookware. The result is called ‘metal leaching’ and can either be unhealthy for you or affect the flavour of the dish.

By getting all the vegetable ingredients, swapping prawns for the red or white meat, and using non-reactive cookware, you’ll be able to enjoy traditional Filipino dishes with confidence. Kain tayo!

The Australian Filipina is proud to launch the ‘Kain Tayo’ series, tips on healthy cooking for the modern Filipino palate, in partnership with Nutricraft Cookware, Nutrition In Every Meal.

Sinigang na Hipon

Shrimp and vegetable soup in sour broth.

 Prep Time10 minutes

 Cook Time20 minutes

 Servings  4 people

 Calories 283kcal per serving

 Author Vanjo Merano


  • 1 lb. shrimp cleaned
  • Sinigang sa Sampaloc Mix (either from Knorr, Mama Sita or other brands)
  • 1 bunch kangkong
  • 15 pieces snake beans
  • 5 pieces okra
  • 1 piece eggplant
  • 1 cup daikon radish sliced
  • 1 piece tomato sliced
  • 3 pieces long green pepper
  • 1 piece onion
  • 7 cups of water
  • Fish sauce and ground black pepper to taste

Start by boiling around 2 quarts of water in a pot. I add the daikon radish, tomato, and onion once the water starts to boil. Continue to cook for 5 to 8 minutes.

The fresh shrimp is added afterwards. Make sure to clean the shrimp before cooking. Wash the shrimp thoroughly and devein, if possible. Fresh shrimp with head attached is perfect for sinigang. The head is full of flavorful. It helps improve the taste of the broth.

Add the souring agent and then continue to cook the shrimp for 3 minutes. I am using Knorr Sinigang sa Sampaloc Recipe Mix whenever I cook sinigang. It is convenient and it provides the right amount of sourness to the dish.

Add the vegetables next, except for the kangkong. Cook for 5 minutes. I usually add kangkong last. Season with patis and ground black pepper.



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