Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More
Salmon Sinigang with Emma and King Phojanakong

Salmon Sinigang with Emma and King Phojanakong


A couple of years ago, I was writing a story
about the Filipino community in New York City, and I had the pleasure of meeting Emma Phojanakong. She grew up an orphan in the Philippines,
became a nurse, and came to the US, saved a bunch of lives and made a life for herself
too. She’s a lovely home cook, and she’s also the
mother of a terrific chef, her son King. So when we started planning this show, we
wanted to get at the food the Filipinos cook at home, and one of the easiest and most delicious
is a savory and sour soup called sinigang. Emma and King agreed to teach us how to make
it. [Emma] We’ll make a seafood sour soup out of shrimp
and salmon head. It’s original the way they make it sour. They use tamarind; they use guava, and sometimes
calamansi. [Frances] King, you emailed me and said this is absolutely
one of your comfort dishes growing up. [King] Oh yeah, my mom-she used to cook it here at
least once a week. Not always with seafood. A lot of times we would have it with pork, even
beef, ribs. My mom would do pork ribs. But what I really loved about it, I remember,
is you get a hot bowl of rice and you put the soup on the rice. It has that sourness just keeps you wanting to go
back and have more and more. You can never have enough.

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