Saturday, January 11, 2014

Catfish Tamarind Soup

Tamarind based soups are a common dish in Filipino cuisine.  The lightly tangy and sour flavor of tamarind broth is well suited for  many types of meat including: chicken, beef, pork, fish and shrimp.   The soup is traditionally cooked with only one meat type and a variety of vegetables.  Popular ingredients include: onions, tomatoes, daikon radish, mustard greens and spinach.  There is also a popular Chicken Tamarind Soup known as Sinampalukan Manok which uses an even wider variety of vegetables including ginger, japanese eggplant and green beans.

Milkfish is the more common fish used for tamarind soups in Filipino cooking.  In this variation of the fish soup, I chose to use catfish which has a lot of soft fleshy meat, provides its own broth flavor to the tangy tamarind soup and has few fishbones.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Special Ingredient:  Tamarind Soup Mix - available in most Asian Food Markets for $1.50 - $2.00 a packet.  Popular brands include Knorr's Tamarind Soup Mix or Mama Sita's Sinigang Sa Sampalok soup mix.


Tamarind Soup Mix (recommend Mama Sita's - see special ingredient note above)
1 Medium Onion julienned
2 Inch Daikon Radish cut into coins and quartered
2 lb. Catfish Steaks
3 Small Tomatoes quartered
1/2 Bunch Mustard Greens leaves torn

In large 4-6 quart pot bring 6 cups water to a boil.  Reduce the heat to a brisk simmer and stir in the tamarind soup mix.  Add the onions and daikon radish and let the soup simmer for about 15 minutes.

Add in the catfish steaks to the soup.   The fish steaks will cook through fairly quickly (about 8-10 minutes).  Once the fish is fully cooked, add the tomatoes to the soup and the mustard greens on the top layer. Do not stir the mustard greens in, let it float on the surface of the soup. Cover and let cook for about 5 for minutes.   When you lift up the cover, the mustard greens should be wilted and deep green in color.  The soup is done.

To serve, ladle the soup fish and vegetables into large bowls.   The soup can be simply eaten on its own or served with a side of steamed jasmine rice.   Sometimes it is eaten with the rice scooped right in with the soup.   Enjoy.


  1. Highly descriptive article, I liked that a lot. Will there be a part 2?

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. These contaminants consist of microorganisms, disinfectants and their byproducts, inorganic chemicals, and radionuclides.tamarindepasta