Sinigang is a popular sour soup made with pork, beef, fish or seafood (mostly shrimp). The usual souring agent is sampalok (tamarind), but other souring agents, such as kamias (bilimbi?), calamansi, even green (unripe) mango, can be used. I’ve even heard of sinigang using bayabas (guava).
But in my mom’s hometown province, they use batwan! What is batwan???? Mmmm, there’s a few articles of it online – just type batwan or batuan in Google.
I got lucky when A-te J brought some with her when she came back.
Even luckier when she cooked sinigang with it!!!
How is it used as a souring agent in sinigang? Well, according to A-te J, just throw 5 to 10 pieces of batwan into the pot with all the other ingredients (half kilo pork, water, tomatoes, etc.) and let it boil until the batwan is soft, then lightly mash the batwan to bring out even more sourness…
We usually start by sautéing ginger and tomatoes then stirfrying (cleaned, rinsed) pork rib pieces. Broth or water is added, as well as the batwan and gabi (taro) if using. Let the pot boil and add the veggies as desired (sitaw, kangkong, puso ng saging, labanos, etc.). When the batwan is soft, mash lightly and stir. The soup will thicken slightly. Adjust seasonings as desired. Serve hot!