I am feeling pressured to keep up with the bounty of my CSA during the peak of summer production, and that is especially true now that my own garden has started producing tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and enough basil to cover my whole block in pesto! Thankfully, experimenting with Filipino food has been a great way to keep my seasonal bounty interesting while using a ton of fresh produce. This week, I experimented with sinigang, Filipino sour soup. I came across the idea while looking for Filipino preparations for the Alaska King Salmon in my freezer. I decided to hybridize two versions of the soup that I found online, and then modified it to make it spicy and sour. The results are reminiscent of one of my favorite soups on the planet, the hot and sour soup from Fu Man Dumpling House in Seattle, Washington. R.I.P.
Fu Man Dumpling House is now closed, so the soup’s deliciousness is preserved and, perhaps, augmented in my mind. But I do not think I am deluding myself when I say it is one of the best soup’s I have ever had. The soup was divine. The soup was a spicy, tangy broth, with the silky mouth feel that is more commonly associated with ramen, not the semi-gelatinous goop that is the norm for most hot and sour soups. The broth, which I am certain required hours of simmering various meats, bones, and other bits and bobs, covered five pork and chive dumplings and was topped with a fistful of cilantro. Seriously, I dream about this soup. And I know I am not alone. When I texted my little sister about whether she remembered that dumpling house with the hot and sour soup we went to more than five years ago, she instantly texted me back with a crying emoji, lamenting that Fu Man’s is no more. 😩
Anyway, enough about Fu Man’s. It is gone, I just have to focus on being thankful that I ever experienced it at all, so that I may now develop new soups in its honor.
And so I offer this salmon sinigang in tribute. If you do not have salmon or are wary of eating salmon in a soup, form tofu will do. Feel free to add or substitute in seasonal vegetables. It strikes me that kale, mushrooms, broccoli, and corn would all be very good additions.
1 lb. salmon, cut into pieces
2 cups tomatoes
2 spring onions, whites and green tops, sliced
3 inch long piece of ginger, peeled and sliced
2 small zucchini sliced into 1/2 inch round
1 bunch greens, sliced (I used swiss chard, but any hardy green will do)
1/4 cup tamarind concentrate
1 cup dry white wine
6 cups water
2 tbs fish sauce
2 tbs calamansi juice
3 cloved garlic, minced
2 tbs white miso paste
1 cup cilantro, chopped, plus more for garnishing
1 lime, cut into wedges
Steamed rice for serving (optional)
Sauté the onion whites, tomatoes, and ginger on medium high heat in a large pot until onions begin to turn translucent. Add garlic and cook for about 1 more minute, or until garlic becomes fragrant.
Deglaze pan with white wine, scraping any browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Simmer to reduce liquid by half.
Add water, calamansi, fish sauce, and tamarind concentrate. Turn up heat to high until boiling, then turn down to simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove 1/2 cup of liquid from pot and mix miso paste into it until miso has completely dissolved. Return miso liquid to pot.
Add greens, green tops of onions, zucchini, salmon, and cilantro. Simmer for 3 minutes or until salmon is cooked through.
Serve over steamed rice with lime wedges and cilantro.