Keep warm with a comforting bowl of Sinampalukang Kambing! This Ilocano delicacy made of goat meat, unripe tamarind, and chili peppers is hearty, tasty, and delicious as an appetizer or main dish.
Sinampalukang Kambing is a hearty sour soup made from goat meat cooked low and slow until tender with unripe tamarind for sourness and green chili peppers for a kick of spiciness. Also known as Up and Down, the goat’s head (Up) and feet (Down) are traditionally used in the soup.
This popular Ilocano delicacy is commonly served during fiestas and special gatherings either as a viand or appetizer (pulutan) with an ice-cold beer. It is also believed to help reduce the effect of alcohol intoxication and even relieve hangovers.
It’s somewhat similar to the popular sinigang, minus the vegetables. And like the sinigang, this Sinampalukang Kambing is best-enjoyed piping hot, either on its own or with steamed rice, for lunch or dinner and especially during those cold, gloomy days.
What you’ll need
Goat Meat – the soup is traditionally made with goat head and feet, but you can also use other parts of the chevron as they’re meatier and more accessible.
Vinegar and salt- used to marinate the meat to remove the unwanted stench and draw out the gamey flavor
Onion– gives the dish a rich umami flavor and subtle sweetness
Ginger– gives a peppery, spicy, and warm taste to the soup. It also helps tame the gamey odor and taste
Unripe Tamarind– green tamarind is the souring agent and base flavor of the soup. If fresh unripe tamarind is unavailable, you can use tamarind powder or tamarind paste.
Fish Sauce– adds umami, savory flavor. You may replace it with salt if preferred.
Finger Chili Peppers– also called siling haba or siling pangsigang; adds a mild heat
Green Onions or scallions- adds freshness, flavor, and color
Soak the meat in vinegar to remove the gamey taste and speed up cook time. But don’t marinate for too long as vinegar is a strong acid and can dry out the meat, making it tough.
You can also boil the goat meat in pandan leaves to remove the smell.
Instead of vinegar, you can also marinate the meat in buttermilk or milk for 1 to 2 hours to manage the gamey flavor and help tenderize the meat.
The older the goat, the longer it cooks. The meat is done when the skin is soft and gelatinous but still firm.
Some recipes include young tamarind leaves for a sour-bitter flavor; feel free to add if you have any on hand.