Korina Sanchez and Mar Roxas think they cooked sinigang, but they didn’t.
Sinigang is a classic Filipino dish beloved by many. The delightful hot soup or stew is characterized by its sour and savoury taste.
Chefs use a variety of souring agents, but the most common is sampalok (tamarind). Some use ube, tomatoes, even watermelon. Many use instant flavoring packs to get the complex flavors of sinigang without having to work from scratch
Then there are the little household variations that every family makes to twist the classic dish to their specific preferences. Some like it super oily, some love it wish fish, and some crave extremely sour soup. That’s why your mom’s sinigang is always the best.
That said, no one has any idea what’s going on with Korina Sanchez and Mar Roxas and their ‘sinigang’.
The couple are currently in the United States, but it seems they missed the flavors of the Philippines since Sanchez posted a series of photos and videos to her Instagram featuring the pair slaving over a boiling pot of what she claims is sinigang.
But from the start, we see Sanchez with a half dozen peeled carrots. We know this is not going to lead to sinigang. She proudly says that she can take their skins off without a peeler. She does not explain what carrots have to do with sinigang. The world remains confused, in the dark. It is scared and cold, but Korina does not care since she is wrapped in a knit poncho and she is good at peeling carrots with a knife.
Then we get a close up shot of the pot being stirred. There are the damn carrots. But wait! There’s potatoes. There’s cabbage. Beef short ribs.
There is no sign of trademark sinigang ingredients: kangkong, gabi, tomatoes, raddish, sitaw, okra, eggplant, or the long green chili siling pang sigang. There is so much carrot.
“Lunch ala Mar,” Korina’s caption reads, “is short ribs sinigang w carrots and potatoes. Parang pinagsamang sinigang and nilaga. Masarap naman…”
Now, people begin pointing out that it’s looking a lot more like pochero, not sinigang. Or closer to nilaga, since it also has potatoes and cabbage. Beef is also used in both dishes, though pochero also has a chicken version.
Finally, we get a last photo of a tired looking Mar stirring his pot of I-don’t-know. He wears a flat expression, a sleeveless puffed vest over a cotton t-shirt, and a watch on each wrist.
Two watches? Two watches.
Maybe they’re for different time zones. Maybe one is a fitbit type thing. Maybe Korina takes his phone away when it’s past 6 so he can focus on quality time. Maybe they’re both automatic and he wants to wind them up at the same time. Why is their sinigang so orange?
Whatever the reason, here he is “double wristing”.
In the caption for this last photo, Korina said that they had no Knorr instant sinigang mix. In all caps, she then asked WHAT DO WE DO NOW??
The answer is, they made nilaga. Or pochero. Or something of the sort.
While it is difficult abroad to acquire the ingredients needed to make your favorite dish from home, it’s difficult to understand how they made an entirely separate but still iconic Filipino dish without noticing.
Whatever they made “from scratch” has left us scratching our heads.
This catastrophe of their lunch mirrors the strange way both Roxas and Sanchez continually fail to understand the everyday Filipino experience. Everyone but them knows that they didn’t make sinigang. Everyone but them knows that that dish looks a lot more like nilaga.
How can you explain to someone that carrots, potatoes and cabbage don’t go into sinigang? Why do we live in a world where we have to?
Here’s what some concerned netizens had to say:
The rules are out the window for this netizen:
One smart commentor said what we were all thinking:
In this wild world where potatoes go in whatever dish they please, this netizen proposes the Mar Roxas method of eating:
Or direct some traffic in the rain.
One netizen has had enough:
On Korina’s carrot peeling not-so-humble brag:
We’d also have taken “weird flex, but ok”.
And lastly, on how Korina and Mar fit together like carrots in sinigang:
More than their wealth or vacations, people are upset that they keep trying and failing to be relatable. For some reason, it feels like they’re appropriating Filipino culture, despite themselves being Filipino.
More importantly, would you rather have pineapple on pizza or carrots in sinigang?