Agnes Abuel-Guda pork sinigang

It’s a wet, winter’s day in the Philippines. Agnes Guda, aged 10 is with her Uncle in the kitchen, learning how to cut eggplant, okra, onion, radish, taro and tomatoes for the Pork Sinigang they are making. Today, Agnes no longer lives in the Philippines, but she still cooks her favourite meal Pork Sinigang, a healthy soup like dish, from her Rolleston kitchen and enjoys it, especially on a cold winter’s day.

“I remember my Mum would normally cook this on rainy days, I remember the warmth and the love of my Mum and the passion she had, when cooking our favourite dishes, so that brings back my memories in the Philippines when I was younger with my Mum.

And now I pass the same warmth and the recipe to my children who also enjoy sinigang.”

Agnes Abuel-Guda cooking

After living in the Philippines for 35 years, Agnes made the move to Singapore in 2006 before moving to Christchurch, New Zealand in 2008 and settling in Rolleston in 2016.

She says Selwyn is a very good place to live, because it’s got a good mix of urban and rural feel, meaning it’s peaceful, yet still active and vibrant.

Despite living 5167 miles from the Philippines, Agnes is passionate about her culture and ethnicity. She is one of the founders of Pinoy CARES, a community group which delivers programmes and services that help Filipino migrants settle in New Zealand and celebrate Filipino culture and traditions.

Listen to Agnes Abuel-Guda podcast

Pork Sinigang recipe

“My all-time favourite Filipino dish is pork sinigang, it is a very healthful one and is so popular in the Philippines and almost all Filipinos know how to cook this dish. I told my son that I could eat sinigang almost every day. Sinigang can be beef, pork or shrimp, but my favourite is the pork sinigang.”

Agnes' pork sinigang


  • Spinach or kangkong leaves
  • Eggplant
  • Tomatoes
  • Onions
  • Okra
  • Radish
  • Taro
  • Green beans
  • Long green chili pepper
  • Tamarind sinigang mix packet or substitute for lemon or vinegar
  • 1kg of pork
  • Fish sauce

Boil the pork until it is tender.

Add the sliced tomato and onion and then let it boil for another 5 to 8 minutes.

Next add the taro and let it boil until the taro is really soft.

Then put in the tamarind mix and a teaspoon of the fish sauce. Depending on your taste, Agnes says you can adjust the amount of tamarind mix. Then add the chili.

Finally add the remaining vegetables to the dish and then cook for another 5 minutes or until vegetables are soft. Put the spinach or kangkong in last and then cover the pot before serving.

Serve with rice, fish sauce and additional red chilis.