Friday, December 15, 2017

Grandma's Sinigang #SoupSwappers

In January, Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm kicked off her new group: Soup Saturday Swappers. And I love it every month. I always walk away with some great new recipes to try. What a fun year. What a great event.

This month, Wendy is hosting with a theme of 'Thanks for the Memories.' She writes: "Share a soup that has special memories for you. Perhaps it is a soup that was served each holiday season. Maybe the soup your Mom or Grandma gave you when you were sick. A soup from a special dinner date or vacation. Share not only the recipe but the memories associated with it."

Food - tastes and aromas - evoke so many memories. I was excited to put on a thinking cap for this one. Here's what everyone else shared.

I wanted to share a memory of my grandmother. Naturally, my sweetest memory of my grandmother involved food. Here goes. Well, first some photos. I'm grateful that my boys were able to meet - and remember - my grandmother. She was a wonderful woman and an amazing cook.


Sinigang 101
From the piquant tamarind to the bitter mustard greens, Grandma's sinigang was always my favorite. Over the years, I would ask her for the recipe or, at the very least, to let me watch her cook it so I could learn. She would always decline, saying, "No, Cami, whenever you want sinigang, you just come visit." So, I did.

On one visit, I brought my boyfriend Jacob - now my husband and the father of two of her great-grandsons - and Grandma had a pot of sinigang on the stove. Grandma ladled out steaming bowls and we sat down together. Now that I think about it, she didn't start eating right away; she just watched Jacob dig in. He was as smitten as I was, asking if I knew how to make sinigang. I explained that no, it was a secret recipe and that Grandma was never going to give me the recipe because she preferred to culinarily blackmail me: as long as I didn't know how to make it on my own, I would have to come visit to get it

At the end of the afternoon, Grandma walked us to the front door to say goodbye. As she hugged me, she said, "Now, I will show you how to make sinigang. Come back next week."

"Why now?" I asked, equally excited and flabbergasted.

She just smiled and patted Jacob's shoulder. "Don't worry. I will teach her how to make sinigang for you, Jacob."


Sinigang is a sour Filipino soup made with shrimp and tomatoes, characterized by its tangy-sour taste that comes from the use of the tamarind fruit.


  • 6 C water
  • 2 onions, peeled and chopped
  • 3 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 lb shrimp, cleaned but with head and tail intact
  • 2 T fish sauce
  • 1 to 2 T pure tamarind paste
  • 1-1/2 C green beans, cut into 1" pieces
  • 1-1/2 C chopped greens (we like using mustard greens)

In a large pan, bring the water to a boil. Add in the tomatoes and onions and simmer for 30 minutes. Add in the green beans and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the shrimp and season with fish sauce, to taste. Cook until shrimp are opaque, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Fold in the greens until wilted. Season to taste with the tamarind.

Ladle into bowls and enjoy immediately with rice.

So many delicious memories of eating this at my grandparents' house. So grateful that my grandmother finally showed me how to make this.


  1. And I'm grateful to you for sharing this amazing memory with us. I'm so happy I chose this topic.

  2. Aww...what lovely photos, Cam! What a great post and what a fabulous recipe! P~

  3. Love the memories and how special that she finally shared the recipe, every time you make it you can remember all the good times. This soup sounds delicious.

  4. Blubbering over here! What a lovely memory and beautiful photos. I can't wait to try this soup!

  5. Grandma and soup...what could be more comforting! And, wonderful that she shared the recipe with you.

  6. What a wonderful story...your grandma sounds like she was a seriously fun lady and I'm so glad she finally gave you the recipe!!!

  7. What a great memory- how lucky you are to have this and your children too!

  8. Beautiful memories and pics of your Grandma, made me nostalgic. This sinigang soup sounds delicious! I am bookmarking this recipe.


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