Galay Recipes: Sinigang sa Mustasa

As a Tagalog family, the Galays have more variations to Sinigang – the quintessential Tagalog sour soup – than is normal. Our Sinigang  is also considerably sourer than most other families’ – we often complain that what is Sinigang to others is nilaga to us. My branch of the family in particular has amplified the sourness so much a housemaid once complained she’d get anemia from it (I have no idea where she got that medical prediction).

It’s a relatively easy dish, made even simpler by the invention of instant Sinigang mix in sachets. But among our many varieties of Sinigang, the one with mustasa (mustard leaves) is both the most complex and most sought after. Unlike most Sinigang varieties in which you just boil ingredients together in water, Sinigang sa Mustasa begins with sautéing the pork in the beginning spices (lamas in Cebuano). It is also the only dish in our traditional menu that may use miso paste, although to my dismay we rarely add miso to Sinigang these days.

Here is the recipe.


Sinigang sa Mustasa



Pork cubes (fatty)
Mustasa (mustard leaves)
Sampalok (Tamarind) (or Sinigang mix, or both)
Patis (fish sauce)
Cooking oil

(quantity for all ingredients is estimated, you get better at it with more experience)



  1. Boil sampalok in water until soft. Crush when soft. Strain the sampalok pulp from the resulting broth. Skip this part if using Sinigang mix.
  2. Sauté minced garlic, onion, and tomatoes with oil
  3. Add patis
  4. Add pork cubes. Simmer until the meat releases juices.
  5. Add sampalok broth /Sinigang mix with water and simmer until meat becomes tender.
  6. Add mustasa stalks. Simmer until these stalks soften.
  7. Season with salt and seasoning to taste.
  8. Add mustasa leaves and kulikot shortly before turning fire off.
  9. Serve

with sili

Traditional sawsawan and partner

  • Patis with kulikot (the kulikot from the dish)
  • Any fried fish



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