The egg sacs from a large tuna were cut into rings then cooked with vegetables for a new twist on a Filipino classic. Tuna fish roe/eggs sinigang is a winner!
If you’re new here and need a little introduction to sinigang, it is a traditional Filipino vegetable soup with a tart broth. The tartness is the result of either adding a sour fruit directly into the cooking liquid or by adding fruit extract. The most common fruits used for cooking sinigang include sampalok (tamarind), bayabas (guava) and kamias. Seafood — from whole prawns to salmon belly — pork, beef or chicken go into the pot with the vegetables.
Yes, there are so many variations. Sinigang cooked with sampalok will taste different from sinigang cooked with bayabas or kamias. And the flavor will vary even more with the seafood or meat you’re adding to the vegetables. A most versatile soup, no doubt.
And I am going to add another still another variation. This time, it’s sinigang with fish roe.
We bought two large sacs of tuna roe and, even before we paid for them, I had already decided I was going to cook them into a new version of sinigang. Timely, it turned out, because monsoon season came early this year and we’ve been experiencing lovely cool days and nights which are always cozier with a piping hot soup.
Tuna Roe/Eggs Sinigang
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 onion
- 1 large plump tomato
- 2 finger chilies
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- patis (fish sauce)
- 4 cups fish stock (see notes below)
- 6 to 8 young okra
- 1 bunch sitaw (yard-long beans)
- 1 eggplant
- 1 radish
- 1 to 2 cups tamarind juice
- 700 to 800 grams tuna roe (or the eggs of some other fish), cut into thick rings
- Lightly pound the garlic cloves; shake off the skins and discard.
- Peel the onion and slice thinly.
- Dice the tomato.
- Halve the finger chilies.
- Heat the cooking oil in a pot. Saute the garlic, onion, tomato and chilies for about a minute.
Pour in about two tablespoons of fish sauce. Stir. Set the heat to low, cover the pot and cook until everything softens and starts to liquefy. It'll take about ten minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the rest of the vegetables. Halve each okra. Dice the eggplant. Rinse the sitaw well then cut into two- to three-inch lengths. Peel the radish and slice into 1/4-inch rings.
Pour the fish stock into the pot and bring to the boil. Taste and add more fish sauce, if needed.
Add the vegetables, starting with what takes longest to cook. My preferred order is okra, sitaw, and eggplants and radish together with two- to three-minute intervals.
Finally, add the fish roe and tamarind juice. When the soup comes to a hard boil, turn off the heat, cover the pot and leave to cook the fish roe in the residual heat for five minutes.
- Give the tuna roe/eggs sinigang broth a final taste. Add more fish sauce, if needed. Serve immediately.
Because fish eggs have no bones to flavor the broth, use fish stock instead of plain water for a tastier sinigang.