Whether you’re in need of a new recipe for dinner tonight, looking to explore Filipino cuisine in the comfort of your own home, or just want to listen to a college kid talk about his life, you’ve come to the right place!

Mabuhay! Hello and welcome to Pinoy Kitchen folks! Now before we dig in, here’s a lil’ rundown on me.

For starters, I’m a North Jersey native — so it’s Taylor Ham, not pork roll — but my second home is in the lovely city of Boston, Massachusetts where I currently study at Northeastern University (go Huskies!). I grew up in a Filipino household with my older brother and our Filipino parents, both who were born and raised in the Philippines. It was in our suburban household where my foodie roots were planted, and later thrived.

My mom and my lola (which means grandma in Tagalog) were the kickstarters to my foodie journey. Both were amazing cooks and made sure we were never short on good food in the house. As I grew up, I watched them, I helped them, and I learned from them while they cooked delicious meals for my family and our friends.

Flash forward a few years and I began hitting the stove, and cooking my own meals to prepare myself for college — aka the point in life when my mom’s food wouldn’t be sitting there, ready to eat, every time I came home from class. Flash forward a little more, and in came COVID-19 feat. my pandemic hobby: food photography, for which I (finally) started an Instagram account  this summer!

Now I’m here, feelin’ like a Pinterest mom and prefacing a dinner recipe with my life story (I’m sorry but it had to be done). I am hyped to be starting this series, in which I’m developing my family recipes and putting Filipino food at center stage. Pinoy Kitchen will expose you to Filipino cuisine, stimulate your cravings, and help you bring the flavors and foods of my culture straight to your own kitchen, all while I reminisce about my childhood and talk about my obsession with food. So, without further ado, let’s get cooking!

I’m kicking off the series with Salmon Belly Sinigang! This is one of those comfort meals my mom would give me when I was under the weather, and not gonna lie, it had some remedial (albeit temporary) effects. The steamy broth would open up my nose, the sour and warm broth soothed my throat, and the broth soaked veggies and tender, slow-cooked meat served over rice provided my body with lots of nutrients, and provided me with a delicious meal! Sinigang is a sour stew that is cooked with lots of meat and veggies, and served with rice to make a super filling, wholesome meal.

This recipe reflects the version of sinigang I grew up eating, and consists of four distinct components: lots of leafy greens (like bok choy, spinach, or kale), a starchy root vegetable (like potatoes or eddo root), meat (most commonly pork, or a seafood like shrimp or fish), and the broth which gets its iconic sour flavor from the use of tamarind and tomatoes. Tamarind can be a hard ingredient to find, so for this recipe, I substituted it with tamarind powder and recommend using Knorr's Tamarind Soup Mix! Sinigang is a riffable dish, and the choice of vegetables and meat varies from person to person, so if you don’t vibe with an ingredient or an ingredient isn’t available in your area, feel free to customize it to your liking! 

Salmon Belly Sinigang

  • Prep Time:15 mins
  • Cook Time:45 mins
  • Total Time:1 hr
  • Servings:4
  • Medium


  • 3 plum tomatoes
  • 4 pieces eddo root
  • 1 white onion
  • 2 pounds salmon belly
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 long green peppers
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons tamarind powder
  • 3 cups leafy greens
  • rice for serving
Joseph Labrador
  • Step 1

    Dice the tomatoes, eddo root, and onion into 1 inch cubes, and mince the ginger. Set these aside.

    Joseph Labrador
  • Step 2

    Prepare the salmon belly. Wash it with clean water and then season it with salt and black pepper. Afterwards, divide the salmon belly into eight pieces by cutting it in half, lengthwise, and then cutting each half into fourths. Set these aside.

  • Step 3

    In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add in the onion and ginger, and sautee them until they are softened and aromatic.

  • Step 4

    Next, add in the salmon belly pieces into the pot and cook them just until the edges begin to lighten in color. Make sure not to cook the salmon all the way through at this point — this step is just to cook down some of the fat in the salmon.

    Joseph Labrador
  • Step 5

    After lightly cooking both sides of the salmon belly pieces, take them out of the pot and set them aside on a plate or tray.

  • Step 6

    Add 8 cups of water to the pot, along with the tomato and edo root cubes, two long green peppers, 3 tablespoons of fish sauce, and 3 tablespoons of tamarind powder.

  • Step 7

    Bring this mixture to a boil, and allow everything to cook until the tomatoes are softened (about 10 minutes).

    Joseph Labrador
  • Step 8

    Once the tomatoes are soft, scoop them out of the pot, and in a separate bowl, mash them with a fork in order to release the tomatoes’ juices. You should end up with a pulpy mixture of juice and mashed tomato flesh. Add this mixture back into the pot.

  • Step 9

    Add the salmon pieces back into the pot, along with the greens and a generous pinch of salt. Allow everything to continue cooking over medium heat.

    Joseph Labrador
  • Step 10

    Once the greens are wilted and the salmon belly is cooked through (it should be light pink in color) remove the pot from heat.

  • Step 11

    Serve the sinigang in a bowl, along with a plate of rice, and enjoy!