Red Snapper Sinigang
For New York chef and cookbook author Leah Cohen, this beloved Filipino soup is comfort in a bowl.
Traditionally, Filipino sinigang can include pork, chicken, or fish. New York chef Leah Cohen grew up eating her mom’s seafood versions of the tangy, tamarind-laced soup, and still today, this is the only style of the dish that she’ll make or eat. Impressive and colorful enough for a dinner party, Cohen’s sinigang recipe is also easy, mild, and nourishing enough for a soothing sick-day supper.
Look for sinigang powder (Cohen likes Mama Sita’s brand)—at your local Asian grocery store, or otherwise order it online. Make your own tamarind extract from the blocks of cooked tamarind pulp available at Asian and Latin American markets.
- 1 red snapper fish head (optional)
- 1 Tbsp. canola oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed with the side of a knife
- 1 large plum tomato, finely chopped
- 6 cups shrimp, lobster, or fish stock, or substitute water
- ¼ cup tamarind extract, plus more as needed
- 3 Tbsp. fish sauce, plus more as needed
- 3 bird’s eye chiles, lightly bruised with the side of a knife
- 1¼ tsp. sugar
- ¼ cup sinigang powder (optional)
- One 2-lb. red snapper, gutted and cleaned
- 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 small shallots, quartered
- ¼ pound long beans, cut into 1-in. pieces
- 8 okra, sliced on the bias ¼-in.-thick
- 2 medium Asian eggplant, sliced on the bias ½-in.-thick
- ½ cup thinly sliced daikon
- 4 cups trimmed and coarsely chopped yam leaves, or substitute spinach or bok choy
- Steamed jasmine rice, for serving