While present nationwide, sinigang is seen to be culturally Tagalog in origin, thus the versions found in the Visayas and Mindanao may differ in taste (mainly ginger is an additional ingredient). Fish sauce is a common condiment for the stew.
Sinigang is traditionally tamarind-based. Variations of the dish derive their sourness from ingredients such as guava, calamansi, bilimbi (balimbíng), or unripe mango. Seasoning powder or bouillon cubes with a tamarind base are commercial alternatives to using natural fruits. 
Sinampalukang manók or sinampalukan (from sampalok) is technically not a variation of sinigang, as the chicken has to be sautéed in ginger first instead of all the ingredients being placed simultaneously into the pot and brought to a boil. Sinampalukan is also distinguished by its use of shredded tamarind leaves, and is usually made together with ginger, onions, tomatoes, eggplant and spinach.