Spring is upon us, so of course that means that my allergies are trying to kill me. This week in particular I keep waking up coughing. So I thought it was time to bring in a little chicken soup for the soul. Hence, sinampalukan: the chicken soup of my little Filipino soul.
Whenever I get sick, all I want is a big bowl of chicken noodle soup and some crackers. When I got surgery earlier this year, I spent weeks eating only chicken soup, crackers, and jell-o. Sinampalukan isn’t chicken noodle soup, but it still does the trick.
Tamarind is the main flavor in the soup. Similar to sinigang, this dish uses tamarind powder but also has an extra zing with the addition of tamarind leaves in a brine. I pick mine up from my local international grocery store. The tamarind makes the soup taste sour and tangy while the patis (fish sauce) gives it that extra saltiness. My mom also told me to use “rice water” instead of just regular water to give another layer of flavor and texture to the soup’s broth. I’ve tried cooking it with and without rice water, so try it and see what works best for you!
This recipe is super easy and simple. It takes no time at all to prepare, and less than hour to cook. It’s one of the first ones I ever learned and one of the ones I always cook. This one is a household staple, in case that wasn’t clear. So, of course, in my struggle to overcome yet another horrendous allergy season I’ll eat sinampalukan as much as I can. Hopefully it can bring you some comfort as well.
How do you get over your allergies? What’s your favorite soup when you’re feeling under the weather?
- 2 lbs chicken wings
- salt + pepper to taste
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 3 cups water
- 1/2 packet tamarind powder
- 1 cup tamarind leaves in brine
- 1-2 tsp patis
In a soup pot or dutch oven, saute the garlic and onions in oil.
Add the chicken and saute until lightly brown on the outside. Season generously with salt and pepper.
Add water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium high and add the tamarind powder. Simmer the chicken until cooked, about 20-25 minutes.
Add the tamarind leaves and a little brine (optional) and let simmer for 5 more minutes. Add the patis to taste. Serve with rice!