Pork Bulanglang Kapampangan using ripe guavas to sour the soup is simply delicious in my book. Tender pork belly with pork ribs and vegetables in a rich sour broth just hits the spot!
Growing up in Pampanga made sure I got a generous dose of this sinigang sa bayabas version of Kapampangans. I’m pretty sure my mom made this provincial version of Filipino sour soup dish at least twice a month.
This bulanglang recipe may not be the usual sinigang dish that you’re used to, but just a taste of the soup will keep you coming back for more. A hearty, comfort food that goes well with steamed rice and dipped in spicy fish sauce.
What is Bulanglang?
Originally, bulanglang is a dish of Batangas in the Southern Tagalog region in the Philippines. It’s essentially a vegetable stew using “rice washing” (water used to rinse rice when steaming) as the soup base with bagoong.
When visiting Pampanga, bulanglang takes on a different meaning. It’s basically sinigang na bayabas where tamarind is replaced with guavas as souring agent to the soup. Adding protein like pork, bangus (milk fish) or shrimps is another notable difference from the Batangas dish.
Each province has their own variation and goes with a different name. In Ilocos, it’s called “dinengdeng” or “inabraw” but is made by adding grilled or fried fish. Another difference is the use of bagoong isda or fermented fish.
Laswa that is an Illongo version, doesn’t use fermented fish in its recipe but uses salt instead as seasoning. It also uses regular water to make the stew and not “rice washing”.
What does Sinigang sa Bayabas taste like?
It’s slightly more subtle in sourness unlike the sinigang cooked in tamarind. You will also notice a touch of sweetness from the guava fruit. Personally, I find both kapampangan bulanglang and tamarind sinigang hearty and flavorful.
Notes on some ingredients
How to serve and store
Tips for an amiable experience
- 5 pcs guava (cut in wedges)
- 1 kilo pork ribs or belly
- 6 cups water
- 2 tbsp fine salt
- 1 bunch spinach
- 2 pcs taro (peeled and quartered)
- 1 pc radish (peeled and sliced)
- 1 pc tomato (cut in wedges)
- 1 cup green beans (tips removed)
- 2 pcs long chili
- 1 medium red onion (cut in wedges)
- Soak pork for 30 minutes or overnight in water to remove dried blood. Rinse thoroughly in running water.1 kilo pork ribs or belly
- In a large pot, place pork then add water and salt. Boil in medium heat while removing the scum that rises on top until pork is tender.6 cups water, 2 tbsp fine salt
- Add the guava wedges and cook until a bit tender. Remove guava using a spoon then transfer in a bowl and set aside to cool down.5 pcs guava
- Add green beans, tomato, onion, taro, radish and simmer in medium heat until vegetables are soft.2 pcs taro, 1 pc tomato, 1 cup green beans, 1 medium red onion, 1 pc radish
- When guava is cool to touch, scoop out the guava meat and return the skin into the pot. Mash the guava meat using a fork then tip it back into the pot.
- Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Tip in spinach and long chili, cook for another 5 minutes or until spinach are limp. Serve and enjoy. Bon appetit!1 bunch spinach, 2 pcs long chili