When I go to Tiendesitas, there is one store I never fail to visit and buy something from–ECJ Farms. It sells produce from the farms of Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco, Jr. It has jams, fresh fruits and vegetables, preserves… it even has green mango puree that is really, really good. The last time I was there, I saw this Batuan Puree. I asked one of the salespeople there what batuan was and was told it was a tree with a sour fruit. In the Visayas, I was told, the fruit of the batuan tree is used the way we from Central Luzon often use the sampalok (tamarind)–as a souring agent for soups like sinigang. The guy said just add three tablespoonfuls of Batuan Puree to a kilo of meat and that’s that.
I bought a jar of Batuan Puree and cooked sinigang but, well, the three tablespoonfuls didn’t give the level of sourness that I like in my sinigang. It was good though. The broth turned out thick and richly colored. Next time, I’ll use five tablespoonfuls of batuan puree and see if that’s enough.