This is a healthy version of a Filipino dish called sinampalukan manok (chicken with tamarind). Instead of doing the traditional soup with chicken, I steamed the chicken and used the same sinampalukan manok ingredients as a dry rub.
This recipe is under the category "I can't believe it's that easy." You can also prepare chicken soup stock with tamarind and serve it on the side, making this a deconstructed version of the traditional dish.
*Note: Sinigang mix is sold in standard 1- to 1 ½-ounce packages and is also called tamarind soup base or tamarind soup mix. You can find it in Asian supermarkets and may be able to find it in the international foods aisle of your grocery store. You can also purchase it online.
**Note: For a healthier and more filling meal, use brown rice which has more nutrients and fiber than white rice.
- One 1-ounce package sinigang mix*
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- One 1-inch piece ginger, grated
- One 5-pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces or whole
- 1 lemon, cut into 8 wedges (optional)
- 1 cup rice**
- Grape tomatoes and spinach leaves, for garnish
Place the sinigang mix, garlic, and ginger in a bowl and mix well to combine. Pat the chicken dry and rub the chicken all over with the mixture. If you are cooking the chicken whole, rub inside the cavity and underneath the skin. Place the lemon wedges in the cavity.
Place a steamer basket snugly in a pot and fill with water, making sure it doesn’t touch the bottom of the basket. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add the chicken and cover with a lid. Steam the chicken until fully cooked, about 45-60 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the rice according to package directions. (For more flavor, you can make the rice after the chicken is done using the cooking liquid, just make sure to skim off any visible fat. If there is not enough cooking liquid left over, add water as needed.)
Serve the chicken and rice garnished with grape tomatoes and spinach leaves.