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It was just a few days since we arrived from Philippines for a vacation, and my husband can't get over this dish. So as per his request, I made it come true. Next time I knew I went to the nearest Asian store and gather all the ingredients. 

Sinampalukan, is a Filipino soup consisting of meat like chicken or beef cooked in a sour broth with tamarind, tamarind leaves (optional), ginger, onion, garlic, and other vegetables.

Sinampalukan is prepared by first sautéing the meat with garlic, ginger, and onions. Water is then added with tamarind pulp, young tamarind leaves and usually siling haba or labuyo chilis and tomatoes. Other vegetables can also be added if desired, including green beans, pechay, cabbage, eggplant, and others. It is served over white rice. Sinampalukan is regarded as a comfort food, usually served to sick people or during cold days.

Sinampalukan is very similar to sinigang and is sometimes regarded as a mere variant of the latter. However, sinampalukan differs most obviously in that it uses tamarind leaves as one of the main ingredients. It is also restricted to tamarind as the souring agent, unlike sinigang which can also use a variety of other sour fruits. [1]

Contrary to what is mentioned above I will make my own version. Instead of sauteing the meat I will boil the meat directly to avoid too much grease and I will use the preferred ingredients that I have. What is also good with this dish is you can use variety of vegetables that is available to your resources or whatever that suits your palate.

Without further a do, lets start the cooking!

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1/2 - 1 kg beef, cut into chunks with buto - buto
3 - 5 gloves of garlic - skin peeled & crushed
1 medium onion - half cut into 4 parts
1 inch ginger - cut thinly
1/2 - 1 tablespoon pepper corn
Salt - depends on how savoury you like your soup ( start with 1/2 teaspoon ) 
3 - 4 long sampaluk (tamarind fruit) - can add more if you like it quite sourly
1 - 2 tablespoon patis (fish sauce)
few pinch of black ground pepper
1 cup sting beans -  cut into 2 inches
spring onions - cut into 2 inches
1 cup white radish - peeled and cut diagonally 
1 pc gabi (taro root) -  peeled & quartered (optional) - to make soup thicker
water - depends, you can prepare at least 2 litres

  1. Prepare the meat. Wash and place it inside the pot.
  2. Add water. Level it just above the meat. Do not put too mush as this could dilute the soup.
  3. Put the garlic, ginger, onions, pepper corn and salt. Just be careful adding the salt. Start it with a small measurement only if you are unsure, how savoury you would like it to be. Then you can adjust little by little along the way. 

  4. Bring it to boil. Put it in a high heat setting initially and once it boils, you can lower the heat. Boil it for at least an hour or until the meat become soft. Stir in between. You can remove the extra oil floating on the top of the soup if you prefer doing it. 
  5. While simmering the meat, prepare your tamarind base. Boil the tamarind fruit in 1 - 2 cups of water until it is very soft and can be crushed easily. Drain/strain the crushed liquid and set aside. This will serve as the base of the beef soup.

  6. After an hour or when the meat is already soft, add the tamarind liquid to the beef. Mix and add the fish sauce ( add small amount initially and taste if it is just right). Adjust according to your taste. Also, you can put the black ground pepper at this time. Let is boil once again.
  7. Then you can add the string beans, spring onions and radish. Simmer until cook. Then remove from heat.

  8. Transfer to serving bowl and serve it with white steamy rice. A perfect combination. Enjoy!
NOTE: If you prefer to add a taro root, add it after 45 mins of simmering of meat. Let it cook until very soft. Mash is very well until it blended with the soup properly. Then, follow the instructions from 5 to 8. 

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