Sizzling Sinigang Recipe: How to Make Locavore’s Signature Dish
Not to sound unpatriotic, but I didn’t grow up with a whole lot of Filipino food on our dinner table. If there’s one local dish that I’ve been tight with since childhood, though, it would be sinigang—that is, sinigang made my dad’s way. I’m usually a hipster prick about going the unprocessed route. But I eventually learned to appreciate the subtle complexity of broth made from scratch. There’s a certain sense of nostalgia that comes with the intense, tart jolt of the powdered soup mix. I kid you not when I say I would ask him to make it with thrice (!) as much powder with the same amount of liquid used for one pack. Clearly, my inner Pinoy would come out through my penchant for all things insanely mouth-puckering.
When Locavore opened its doors last year, it made waves for its innovative new ways on homestyle Filipino cuisine—ones not only novel, but also executed well. Almost half a year later, the establishment continues to dominate countless Instagram feeds, with one dish being at the forefront of the hype: their sizzling sinigang. Really, what’s not to love? The humble dish is recalibrated, taken from its modest origins to a fiery, borderline raunchy indulgence worth boasting about. In this food hack, we dish up the crowd favorite with a few tweaks in tow.
Cubes of pork belly are braised until tender, then seared to get the edges caramelized, leaving precious brown bits at the bottom of the pan. The prerequisite vegetables are char-grilled, maximizing their natural earthy sweetness. To bring this sizzling sinigang to a closure, a thick sauce with the piquant flavor of sinigang broth is poured over, eventually picking up the richness of the meat. The result is an intense yet well-balanced stew-like treat; it begs for heaps of white rice, which you can boast of having made yourself. I certainly would. Especially today that it’s Father’s Day, I wouldn’t mind whipping this dish up for Dad for a change.
How to Make Locavore Sizzling Sinigang
There are a couple of steps to making this recipe because the ingredients are mostly individually prepared. Then, later on, they’re just assembled together onto a serving plate.
To start, place the red onions on a piece of foil and season them with salt and pepper. Baby red onions or small red shallots work best for this recipe. But if you don’t have them, you can use regular onions sliced into quarters. Place the onions in an oven (or toaster) preheated to 375F and roast for 15 minutes. This allows the onions to soften while releasing their natural juices. Set aside.
Next, place the cubed pork belly into a pressure cooker with some oil and water, then cook for 20 minutes. This step helps tenderize the pork to prevent it from becoming tough and dry later on. You can also do this step in a pot with boiling water and a little bit of oil, although it will take around double the time.
Remove the pork, then transfer the liquid into a pot.
Add the sinigang mix, seafood cube, and 100ml more water.
Bring the mixture to a boil then blanch the kangkong for 30 seconds.
After that, blanch the beans, too, for two minutes. Blanching, i.e. quickly dropping food in boiling water then placing it in cold water, cooks the vegetables without causing them to lose much of their original texture and flavor.
Reduce the blanching liquid to half. Meanwhile mix the cornstarch and calamansi in a small bowl.
Once the blanching liquid has reduced, add the calamansi slurry. When the mixture thickens, remove it from the heat, then strain. Keep the sauce warm.
In a cast-iron skillet, fry the pork belly until all sides are browned, then set aside.
In the same pan, roast the cherry tomatoes for two minutes. Add the onion and heat up the pan.
You’ll be serving everything here, so assemble the pork belly, kangkong, and beans in the pan. If you’re not using a cast-iron skillet, just place everything onto your serving plate.
Pour the sauce on top of the plated dish and serve.
We originally posted this article in 2015. But we have updated it to include step-by-step instructions and photos.
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