Sinigang na Baka sa Bayabas

Sinigang na Baka sa Bayabas

Sinigang is one of the Filipino classic dishes. It’s a sour soup of many variants. It may be of beef, pork, fish or chicken. For this post, we’ll be cooking sinigang with beef (baka). And for this kind of sinigang, guava fruit (bayabas) is the perfect match in making the soup.

Sinigang na Baka sa Bayabas is a refreshing soup made of fork-tender beef, water spinach, and fresh guavas. This Filipino dish is delicious and filling on its own or with steamed rice. It’s a great way to warm up on rainy days or chilly winters.

On a personal note, sinigang na baka is not all sour. There’s a bit of sweetness to it, too. Its soup is heavier than that of sinigang na baboy (pork); perhaps because of the flesh of the guava fruit which adds to the thickness of the dish. It does make a lot of sense that the guava fruit makes this beef dish rich and tasty because it is a sweet fruit (when eaten) and packed with Vitamic C (acid) at the same time.

Honestly though, while I know from menus in Filipino restaurants and dried packets of sinigang mixes that guava may be used in cooking sinigang, I haven’t really tried cooking with guava until my hubby introduced me to it. I’d say this dish is very easy to cook. You just need to have patience as it takes time to tenderize the meat. The procedure is very similar with the other variations of the sinigang, with just a few added steps.

See the ingredients and directions below.

Table Of Contents

  • Ingredient notes
  • Cooking tips
  • How to serve and store
  • More sinigang recipes
  • Sinigang na Baka sa Bayabas

Sinigang na baka sa bayabas is a variation of the classic Filipino sour soup where guava is used as the flavor base instead of the usual tamarind. It’s also known as bulanglang in the Kapampangan regions of the country.

In contrast to the sharp, lip-puckering tartness of the tamarind-based sinigang, this version has a more delicate flavor with a slight hint of sweetness and a subtle note of sourness from the guavas. It has a light and refreshing taste yet is hearty and nourishing.

Ingredient notes

  • Boneless Beef Shank– a tough and sinewy cut of meat that’s best cooked low and slow in moist heat; a common ingredient in soups. You can also use beef brisket, beef short ribs, or spare ribs.
  • Onion– enhances the savory flavors and adds a subtle sweetness
  • Fish Sauce– adds umami, salty flavor
  • Tomatoes– use fresh ripe tomatoes as they’re sweeter and juicier
  • Ripe Guavas– if fresh guavas are unavailable, you can use the guava soup base powder.
  • Kangkong– also called water spinach. You can substitute other leafy greens such as spinach, kamote tops, or pechay
  • Salt and pepper– season to taste.

Cooking Tips

  • Use a combination of ripe and still green guavas for a good balance of sour and sweet taste.
  • To draw out maximum flavor, extract the guava pulp. Scoop the seeds and place in bowl with about a cup of water. Mash with the back of a spoon and strain in a fine-mesh sieve. Discard the seeds and add the extracted juice to the pot.
  • You can add more vegetables like okra, gabi, sitaw (yard-long beans), and labanos (white radish). This will not only extend servings but will add flavor and texture to the soup.

Directions in cooking:
1.    Put the beef in a pot with water and salt.
2.    Scoop out the scum after 10 minutes or just when the water is about to boil.
3.    Put in the garlic, onions, tomatoes and guava.

 No need to cut through the tomatoes and guava. Let them soften and be in one with the dish as it cooks.

4.    Let it boil under low heat for about an hour.

 Depending on the thickness of the meat and the heat, you may need to extend the hour to 10-20 minutes. In my case, I don’t mind the wait because the final product would be meat off the bones tender. Also, avoid opening the pot every now and even. If you feel the need to stir, do so after 30 minutes and that’s it. Leave the dish and let it cook.

5.    When the meat is tender, add in the vegetables.
6.    Season with fish sauce to taste.
7.    When the vegetables change colour into a more vibrant green, they are cooked.
8.    Put the long green chili on top.
9.    Turn of the heat and let it sit for several minutes.
10.  Serve with hot rice.

How to serve and store

  • Beef sinigang with guavas is delicious on its own or as part of a larger meal. Serve it piping hot as a main dish for lunch or dinner with steamed rice and spiced fish sauce for dipping.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Reheat in a pot on the stove or in the microwave at 2 to 3-minute intervals until hot.

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