Red Sinigang Risotto: Comfort Food on a Rainy Day

By Mylene Chung/July 18, 2013

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DM Sinigang Risotto1

Everybody loves sinigang. All of us have had it numerous times growing up. It’s tasty, it’s familiar, it’s comforting. The one thing it isn’t, though, is new. It’s hard to get excited over something you’ve had two million times before, despite how delicious it already is. When Del Monte approached us with their Red Sinigang recipe, I was excited (and a little bit anxious) for the chance to experiment and to find a twist that can make people fall in love with sinigang in a different light.

Out of all the ideas I came up with, the one that really stuck was to turn the sinigang into a risotto with a bacon sofrito. Since Del Monte’s Red Sinigang recipe already has a creative twist of its own (the addition of Del Monte’s Original Style Tomato Sauce), my variation turned out very similar to tomato-based risottos. I added bacon to the mix, and how can it go wrong?

DM Sinigang Risotto2

The combination worked like a charm! The tomato sinigang broth gave the risotto a pleasant sweet and sour flavor. The tomato sauce actually helped thicken the soup, making it more like a soup-sauce combination that was absolutely bursting with flavor. The bacon sofrito (bacon anything, really) just makes the world a better place.

To make this dish, let’s start with the Red Sinigang Soup. I used Del Monte’s original Red Sinigang recipe, but added a few more cups of water to get a lot more broth for the risotto.

Ingredients for the Red Sinigang Soup

½ kg pork ribs, belly cut into chunks
2 pc small onion, sliced
½ tbsp. patis
3 ½ cup water
3 pcs okra
1 -2 pc siling haba
100 grams radish
1 bunch kangkong leaves
1 tbsp sinigang mix powder
1 pouch 200g Del Monte Original Style Tomato Sauce

Step 1 – Making the Broth

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Combine the water, onion, pork, patis, and Del Monte Original Style Tomato Sauce. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, or until pork is tender.

Step 2 – Add the Vegetables

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Add the radish and sili. Simmer until radish is almost cooked. Add okra. Allow to simmer.

Step 3 – Kangkong & Seasoning

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Add the kangkong and sinigang mix powder. If you want it extra sour, you can add a bit more sinigang powder. Allow it to simmer some more. At this stage, you can turn off the heat and proceed to prepare the risotto

Ingredients for Risotto

3 tbsp parmesan cheese
½ cup picnic bacon(or any thick slice of bacon), minced
⅓ cup minced onion
⅓ red bell pepper
½ cup olive oil
1 tbsp butter
3 tbsp parmesan
1 cup Arborio or short-grain rice

 Step 4 – Make the Bacon Sofrito

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A sofrito is a sautéed mixture of seasonings that is used as a base in many Spanish, Italian, Caribbean and Latin American dishes. It’s usually made of onion, butter or olive oil and other aromatic ingredients depending on the flavors you want to put in the dish. In this case, we’ll make use of some olive oil, bacon, and red bell peppers.

Heat olive oil in a pan. Once oil is hot, add in olive oil, bacon, red bell peppers. Saute for at least a minute.

Step 5 – Tostatura

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Tostatura is the process of toasting the rice in fat before boiling. It helps the rice cook evenly in the broth later on and keeps it firm as well. Add the rice in with the oil and cook it until the grains get a glass-like sheen.

Step 6 – Stock/Broth

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Slowly add the Red Sinigang soup one ladle at a time. Wait until the soup is almost completely absorbed by the rice before adding more soup. If you run out of the broth before the rice is fully cooked, you can just add water until your rice achieves the perfect texture.

 Step 7 – Rest

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Take the risotto off the heat while the rice grains are still a bit al dente, and allow it to rest for a few minutes. This prepares the risotto for the mantecura, which is the final and most important step.

Step 8 – Mantecura

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Mantecura gives the risotto its creamy consistency. In this step, we mix in the cold butter and parmesan until the risotto reaches the right texture.

There you have it, Pepper’s Red Sinigang Risotto. Just like the traditional sinigang, this version still retains the sourness we love, but is consumed in a different way. The bacon is a welcome addition, providing more depth and flavor to the dish. The Del Monte Original Style Tomato Sauce was another pleasant surprise. It completed the dish, balancing all the other flavors while adding its own tomato twist.

Are you getting hungry yet? Try the dish for yourself. You won’t be disappointed.


Like Del Monte on Facebook and follow Del Monte on Twitter or for more #RedMovement recipes using Del Monte Tomato Sauce.

Mylene Chung

Creative Director / Founder

Mylene Chung is a food photographer and prop stylist for Pepper.ph and PhotoKitchen. She’s worked with companies like Resorts World Manila, Reader’s Digest Asia, Manila Peninsula and has been featured in several publications and tv shows. Over the course of her career, she has already gained a whopping 20 pounds, which she has been desperately trying to lose. For more updates from her, you can add her up on instagram @mylenechung. See More.

  • Shelly Ann Itay

    will surely cook red sinigang this weekend! thanks!!!

  • Clarissa

    i dislike sinigang and can’t imagine eating sinigang with tomato sauce. but your risotto… tempted to try! :)

  • Raxenne Dosher Maniquiz

    Whooo parang ong sorooop!!! Will try this! Actually, papa-try ko kay Mama. Hahaha! Nice one Myeee.

  • Miss Khee

    Thanks for the step by step instruction with photos, Mye. Hope you can provide that in every recipes you post esp. for people like me who doesn’t know how to cook but has always been very willing to try. Gracias!

    • Mylene Chung

      Hi Miss Khee! I actually really prefer to do this in every recipe but since we usually shoot our recipes in bulk we don’t have enough time to shoot everything step by step. But I’ll definitely keep this in mind and have more procedural shots for our future recipe posts!:D

  • Jun Madayag

    Mylene hi! I have used ur studio before this is jun madayag! Its so nice and inspiring what you have accomplished. This food mad my tummy go rumble! Kudos to you!