Sinigang na Baka sa Bayabas is a refreshing soup made of fork-tender beef, water spinach, and fresh guavas. This Filipino dish is delicious and filling on its own or with steamed rice. It’s a great way to warm up on rainy days or chilly winters.
Sinigang na baka sa bayabas is a variation of the classic Filipino sour soup where guava is used as the flavor base instead of the usual tamarind. It’s also known as bulanglang in the Kapampangan regions of the country.
In contrast to the sharp, lip-puckering tartness of the tamarind-based sinigang, this version has a more delicate flavor with a slight hint of sweetness and a subtle note of sourness from the guavas. It has a light and refreshing taste yet is hearty and nourishing.
Boneless Beef Shank– a tough and sinewy cut of meat that’s best cooked low and slow in moist heat; a common ingredient in soups. You can also use beef brisket, beef short ribs, or spare ribs.
Onion– enhances the savory flavors and adds a subtle sweetness.
Fish Sauce– adds umami, salty flavor.
Tomatoes– use fresh ripe tomatoes as they’re sweeter and juicier.
Ripe Guavas– if fresh guavas are unavailable, you can use the guava soup base powder.
Kangkong– also called water spinach. You can substitute other leafy greens such as spinach, kamote tops, or pechay.
Salt and pepper– season to taste.
Use a combination of ripe and still green guavas for a good balance of sour and sweet taste.
To draw out maximum flavor, extract the guava pulp. Scoop the seeds and place in bowl with about a cup of water.
Mash with the back of a spoon and strain in a fine-mesh sieve. Discard the seeds and add the extracted juice to the pot.
You can add more vegetables like okra, gabi, sitaw (yard-long beans), and labanos (white radish). This will not only extend servings but will add flavor and texture to the soup.
How to serve and store
Beef sinigang with guavas is delicious on its own or as part of a larger meal. Serve it piping hot as a main dish for lunch or dinner with steamed rice and spiced fish sauce for dipping.
Store leftovers in an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Reheat in a pot on the stove or in the microwave at 2 to 3-minute intervals until hot.
In a pot over medium heat, combine beef shanks and water. Bring to a boil, skimming scum that floats on top.
When the broth has cleared, add onions and fish sauce.
Lower heat, cover, and cook for about 1 /2 to 2 hours or until meat is tender.
Meanwhile, peel the guavas and cut in half. With a spoon, scoop out the seeds and combine with one cup water of in a bowl. Mash with the back of a spoon to extract pulp and strain in a fine-mesh sieve. Discard seeds and set aside the juice.