Vegan Sinigang (Filipino Tamarind Soup)

June 13, 2022

Entree

By: Jasmine Briones 

This vegan Sinigang is a Filipino tamarind-based sour soup packed full of vegetables and greens, cooked in an aromatic broth. Don’t let the word vegan fool you, this vegetable-based recipe will fulfill your cravings and still hit the spot; it’s the perfect comfort meal for any time of the day.

horizontal photo of vegan sinigang in a white bowl with a spoon

Sinigang is one of the foods I miss from before going vegan, so my mom and I worked to put together a vegan version for you, and let me say WOW, this recipe brings some back! 

ingredients for vegan gulay sinigang

Ingredients

  • Oil: The oil used in this recipe is to cook down our aromatics. We prefer olive oil or avocado oil, but any oil should work well.
  • Aromatics: Including garlic cloves, onion (yellow, white, or red onion works), and banana peppers. These simple yet essential ingredients give this dish the perfect flavor base.
  • Tomatoes: Tomato sauce can also be used, but traditionally fresh tomatoes are used in sinigang. 
  • Plant-based Protein: This ingredient is optional as the recipe tastes great without it, but you can add a vegan protein (vegan pork, beef, or even tofu) to your liking.
  • Vegan Fish Sauce: This is an optional ingredient but will help add some additional flavor. Some brands sell vegan fish sauce online if you’re unsure where to find vegan fish sauce. You can also find recipes online if you want to make your own. Here’s one worth trying! 
  • Tamarind Paste: Warm up the tamarind paste in water until loose, then mash together and strain to get a smooth broth for the soup. We recommend adding half first and then adding more to taste, depending on how sour you like. Most large Asian supermarkets will carry it, but if y9o9u can’t find it locally, you can order it online HERE.
  • Vegan Beef Broth: Believe it or not, beefless beef broth is a thing! It has all of the flavors of beef broth but without animal products. We like to use the Better than Bullion No Beef paste. If you can’t find this, any vegetable broth should work. We have found that the broth adds enough salt to season the soup, but you can always add salt to taste if needed.
  • Vegetables: You can use whatever vegetable combo you would like in this recipe; we opted for white radish (labanos), okra, eggplant, zucchini, green beans, and spinach
  • Black Pepper: Finish the soup off with black pepper to taste. 
a close up of vegan sinigang in pot

A Few Facts About Sinigang

  • The name “sinigang stems from the verb “sigang,” meaning “to stew.”
  • Sinigang is one of the more popular dishes in Filipino cuisine and is sometimes considered to be the unofficial National Dish.
  • Sinigang is served as a main dish rather than a side soup and is perfect for a family gathering.
  • It is one of the Philippines’ oldest dishes. It has indigenous origins and existed long before colonization.
  • In 2021, TasteAtlas rated sinigang as the world’s best vegetable soup.
  • Sinigang is most associated with tamarind (sampalok), but other dish variations use other souring agents, including unripe mangoes, butterfly tree leaves, citrus, and guava.
vertical photo of vegan sinigang and rice in a white bowl with a spoon

More Vegan Filipino Recipes

a close up of vegan sinigang in pot

Make sure you tag us on Instagram @sweetsimplevegan and @consciouschris and hashtag #sweetsimplevegan if you recreate any of our recipes; we love to see your photos!

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vertical photo of vegan sinigang in a white bowl with a spoon

Vegan Sinigang (Filipino Tamarind Soup)


  • Author: Jasmine @ Sweet Simple Vegan
  • Yield: About 6 large servings
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This vegan Sinigang is a Filipino tamarind-based sour soup packed full of vegetables and greens, cooked in an aromatic broth. Don’t let the word vegan fool you, this vegetable-based recipe will fulfill your cravings and still hit the spot; it’s the perfect comfort meal for any time of the day.


Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, peeled and quartered (red onion also works)
  • 2 medium tomatoes, quartered
  • Optional: 1 cup plant-based protein, such as vegan beef chunks, vegan pork, or tofu
  • 200g tamarind paste
  • 7 cups water, divided
  • 4 cups vegan beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons vegan fish sauce
  • 12 pieces of okra, ends removed
  • 2 banana peppers * (see notes)
  • 1 medium eggplant, trimmed, cut into rounds
  • 1 zucchini, trimmed, cut into rounds
  • 1/2 large daikon radish, peeled, sliced into half-moons
  • 1 heaping cup green beans or long beans (sitaw), ends removed and cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 2 big handfuls of spinach or kangkong (leaves and tender stems)
  • Salt and black pepper, as desired

Instructions

  1. In a medium pot, add tamarind paste along with 4 cups of water. Bring the mixture to boil, then remove from heat and cover. Allow it to sit for at least 10 minutes. Remove lid and mash with a potato masher. Pour the mixture through a strainer or a mesh bag (be careful, allow it to cool first). Reserve the strained mix for the soup, and discard or compost the seedy pulp.
  2. Over medium heat in a large pot, add in oil. Once heated, saute onions, garlic, and tomatoes until fragrant and softened, about 4 minutes.
  3. Optional: Add in the plant-based protein of your choice and saute for 4 more minutes.
  4. Pour in half of the tamarind broth, along with the vegan fish sauce, the remaining 3 cups of water, vegetable broth, okra, banana peppers, eggplant, zucchini, and radish.  Taste the broth and season with black pepper as needed. Add more of the tamarind broth to taste, until the broth is to your desired sourness. 
  5. Bring to a rapid boil, then lower to a simmer. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add the green beans and cook for another 5-10 minutes, or until everything is tender, and the okra is soft. Lastly, add in the spinach or kangkong and stir through. Cover for about 1-2 minutes more to help soften it up fully
  7. Taste the broth and season with additional salt if needed. Serve with steamed rice and enjoy!

Notes

  • Vegan Fish Sauce: Some brands sell vegan fish sauce online if you’re unsure where to find vegan fish sauce.
  • Tamarind Paste: Most large Asian supermarkets will carry it, but if y9o9u can’t find it locally, you can order it online HERE. 
  • If you would like it even sourer, add more tamarind broth, lemon juice, or calamansi juice when serving.
  • Banana Peppers: You can slice open or chop the peppers if you want more spice in the recipe. We could not find banana peppers so we opted for yellow caribe peppers and they worked perfectly. You can also opt for any other spicy pepper of your choice. 
  • Vegan Beef Broth: We like to use the Better than Bullion No Beef paste. If you can’t find this, any vegetable broth should work. We have found that the broth adds enough salt to season the soup, but you can always add salt to taste if needed.
  • Vegetables: You can use whatever vegetable combo you would like in this recipe; we opted for white radish (labanos), okra, eggplant, zucchini, green beans, and spinach
  • This dish is best served fresh but can keep in the fridge in an airtight container for 5-7 days.
  • Category: Entree, Soup
  • Cuisine: Filipino

Keywords: soup, stew, tamarind, sour, entree, lunch, dinner, filipino

Disclaimer:This page may contain affiliate links, which simply means that we earn a commission if you purchase through those links, but your price remains the same. Thank you for supporting Sweet Simple Vegan!

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