Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sinampalukang Manok (Chicken in Tamarind Broth)

Just 3 more days and fall is officially here. I am really enjoying the weather! The temperature nowadays only stays in the mid 80's which is a big relief from the scorching 105°F! Though my family love soup all year round, it's during days like this when we enjoy it more....and Filipino soupy dishes like nilaga, sinabawan, sinigang and tinola are very often seen on our dinner table. 

This recipe that I have for you today is what many call the chicken version of sinigang. Sinigang (as some of you may know) refers to any dish with sour broth. The main ingredient that makes it sour can be tomatoes, guava or tamarind, though tamarind (or what is know in the Philippines as sampalok) is most commonly used. This dish here is one of those that make use of tamarind and it is called Sinampalukang Manok.
Unlike in other sinigang wherein only the tamarind fruit is used, in this dish, tamarind leaves plays an important part. Tamarind leaves have subtle tart flavor and is a good addition to this dish. It can be released by stripping them from the stems and then crushing them a little using mortar and pestle. Fresh tamarind leave aren't available here so I content myself with bottled pickled tamarind leaves. They're good enough when it comes to flavor...but they are bottled with the stems which are too hard to eat so I still have to remove them one by one. But that's all right! This delicious and comforting Sinampalukang Manok is worth the effort! ;)


Ingredients:
  • 1 whole chicken (about 2 lbs.), cut into serving pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups tamarind leaves
  • 3 tamarind cubes
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 thumb-sized ginger, julienned
  • 1 medium-sized onion, sliced thinly
  • 2 cups spinach leaves
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 6 cups water
  • 3 Tbsp fish sauce
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
Procedure:
1. Sprinkle chicken with about 1/2 Tbsp salt and 1/4 tsp ground pepper. Let sit in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes. In a pot over medium heat, saute garlic and ginger in olive oil until light brown. Add onions and continue sauteing until onion is almost translucent. Add tamarind cubes and saute until melted. 
2. Add chicken and saute until there's no more red part showing. Add water and fish sauce. Stir and cover. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked. Add tamarind leaves. Season with salt and pepper to suit your taste. Simmer for another 3 minutes.
3. Add spinach. Simmer for a minute or two. Remove from heat. Serve with steamed rice.
 

23 comments :

  1. Looks yummy & delicious..:-)
    Tina,hope u'll drop by & join my space dear..am following your space:)
    Join my ongoing EP events-Oregano OR Paprika @ Foodomania

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  2. Me too, I am really getting tired of the summer torch. I've had enought of it and it is really burning my already dark skin! LOL! I love this chicken soup. It reminds me of my lola who used to cook this for us everytime we come home to visit from Manila. Fresh Sampalok leaves and fresh chicken. Sarap! :)

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  3. awww, can I have some? lol.. i got so hungry when I saw your food

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  4. Tina, I haven't cooked anything with tamarind leaves. But I use tamarind a lot also cubes are new to me. I use fresh juice by extracting from them. Delicious chicken dish. Tamarind makes everything delectable.

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    1. I use fresh tamarind whenever it's available. It tastes a lot better but cubes, powder and paste are good substitutes. :)

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  5. Tina, what a lovely chicken! never heard about it. Too delectable.

    Today's recipe:
    http://sanolisrecipies.blogspot.com/2012/09/rulang-date-aluwa.html

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  6. This chicken looks fantastic. I wonder if I can buy tamarind leaves in Melbourne... got to check out Asian grocery soon :D

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  7. That chicken looks very delicious!

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  8. Tina, I'm looking at your food while waiting for mine, can you imagine how hungry I feel right now? LOL ... It looks delicious!

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  9. Yum! I love when you make such a comfort food Tina. I love fall too, but it's getting too cold all the sudden and my kids are getting sick... one thing I don't look forward to!

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  10. What a healthy and delicious looking chicken dish! I'm not familiar with the flavor of tamarind and not sure where I could find the leaves. Any suggestions on where to find some? this is such simple comfort food that I'd like to try it.

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    1. Hi MJ! Haven't found fresh tamarind leaves here in TX, but bottled pickled ones are available in most Asian stores. Maybe there's one near you that you could check out.

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  11. This recipe is better than any restaurant version..Absolutely delicious!!

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  12. I love your food pictures. Nakakagutom talaga. I'm a new reader. Keep up the great work!

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  13. I don't think I've ever seen anything except tamarind concentrate in the stores - but I'll keep an eye out for the leaves =)

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  14. Hello Tina! My son (who eats chicken) would absolutely love this dish. I so admire that you take the time to show step-by-step cooking techniques. Speaking for myself, it's not an easy thing to do.

    Alaiyo

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  15. Oh yum, such a great dish! I have to use tamarind paste when I make this since I've never been able to find cubes but I love how comforting it is.

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  16. One of my favorite chicken recipes! I am craving Sinampalukang Manok!

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  17. I am drooling. Making this tonight for dinner. This is perfect for a cold winter night, or any time. Thanks for the recipe idea! Happy Holidays!

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  18. Hi Ms Tina! Where can i buy tamarind leaves in texas? Im from Plano... Thanks

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    1. Got it from Carrollton Plaza. Maybe it's also available at Asia World Market in Plano.

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  19. hi tina,

    so ginger is the secret. i tried your recipe last, last Saturday, and it was a hit. i didn't use ginger the first time i cooked sinampalukan, kaya parang may kulang.
    and lucky for me coz tamarind trees grow abundantly here. tamarind leaves unlimited :)
    Take care.

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    1. Thanks for trying the recipe, Leah! Glad to know it was a hit! :)

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