Sinigang Sa Santol (SSS)

August 25, 2020
Sinigang Sa Santol

One rainy day, our aunt Bettina Prieto de Leon, sent us a huge box of Bangkok Santol. It was the most delicious, delightful bunch of santols that I had ever tasted. I peeled most of it’s skin off but left enough to savor it with the hairy seeds. Heavenly cotton feel! Now, we couldn’t eat the whole box, so I had to think of another way to use it. Our friend Albert deBlas came up with the answer; he said why not Sinigang Sa Santol. And that is what this is all about!

I had already mentioned in other writings about Sinigang, that there are many fruits that can be used to make this Philippine signature dish and santol is one of them.

Make this dish while it is still in season.

Sinigang Sa Santol (SSS)

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By Marianne de Leon Serves: 6-8
Prep Time: 30 minutes Cooking Time: 1 hour Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Pork rib sinigang but using santol as the main souring agent. Give this twist on a classic Filipino dish a try.


  • 2 - 4 pieces of santol - peel lightly and cut into 6 parts (follow the smile of the seed)
  • ¼ cup cooking oil
  • 1 kilo pork spare ribs or soft bone ribs - cut by ribs (2 or 3 inches long by 1 inch)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1 cup sliced onions
  • 1 teaspoon of ginger - sliced julienne
  • 1 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 10 cups of water or broth (chicken or pork) or rice washing
  • 1 piece lady finger chili
  • 4 small pieces of gabi (taro) - peeled
  • 1 small radish - peel and slice into ½ inch rounds
  • 1 bunch of kangkong or mustard leaves - for the kangkong, get leaves with stems; for the mustard, slice into 3-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons patis (fish sauce)
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt



In a cooking pot that can hold about 14 cups of liquid, place pot over medium heat and pour in cooking oil. When warmed, put in the onion, garlic, and ginger and start to sauté for about 2 minutes.


Add the pork spare ribs and continue to sauté for about 3 minutes.


Add in the tomato paste; stir, then add the water or broth, and the santol pieces. Bring this mixture a boil, then turn down the heat to a low simmer.


Add the chili, patis, pepper, and salt. Simmer the mixture for about 30 to 40 minutes.


Put in the gabi and the radish. Simmer for another 20 minutes.


Taste the mixture to see if you want to add patis, salt or pepper.


Once the flavor has been adjusted and the the pork is already tender, add the greens and simmer for another 2 minutes.


Serve with steamed rice.

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