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There is a wide range of fried dishes to choose from in Filipino cuisine. Note the nation’s love for fried street foods, and coating meat with some of the crispiest, juiciest breading. But aside from this, we have our more than fair share of grilled recipes. Seafood, chicken, vegetables– we’ve placed those above fiery charcoal to also make some of the best culinary combinations. Perhaps this is partially why Filipino vinegar dipping sauces have been so seamlessly brought into most of our favorite meals.
From the streets to fine dining restaurants, there is an abundance of the best Filipino sukang sawsawan everywhere. You might find a deliciously tangy bowl of Sinamak beside your plate of Chicken Inasal or Inihaw na Liempo, and naturally so. Not to say that majority of these dishes that go well with vinegar sauces aren’t tasty enough on their own.
It just so happens that we have found a way to add a much overlooked flavor– sourness– to create a complex taste combination. But if you’ve ever wondered how to create your own Filipino vinegar dipping sauce, you’re looking in the right place.
Get ready to make some tangy, rich sukang sawsawan in not 1, not 2, but 3 different ways!
Let’s begin with our Sinamak:
For this dipping sauce, we will be using 1 cup of coconut vinegar, ½ cup of Thai chili pepper, 4 thumbs of Julienne’d ginger, and 1 head of crushed garlic. Making this should be very simple. We only need to put all of these ingredients together in a mason jar.
However, it might be ideal not to fill your mason jar all the way up with the vinegar when starting out. This leaves some room for your dry ingredients. Once they are all inside, you can pour in the rest of your coconut vinegar. Also make sure to let the flavors of the ingredients meld together properly for a minimum of 3 days before you start using your spicy Sinamak.
Now on to our Tokwa’t Baboy Style Vinegar:
Let’s start off by using a saucepan to heat 1 ½ cups of coconut vinegar. Then add 1 ½ teaspoons of sugar and some salt to taste. Start stirring the mixture until the granules have dissolved, then proceed to turn your heat off.
Afterwards, let this cool before you pour it into a mason jar. Then add 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 4 cloves of chopped garlic, 1 piece of chopped onion, ¼ teaspoon of ground black pepper, 5 pieces of chopped Thai chili pepper, 1 piece of sliced siling pansigang, and 2 tablespoons of chopped green onion.
The order of adding your ingredients should not matter, as what is important is the mixing of flavors. And we can emphasize this by covering up our mason jar, and shaking it vigorously well. After that, you’re ready to use this flavorful sauce for all of your favorite street food! But if you aren’t looking to use this yet, feel free to place your jar inside the refrigerator to preserve its freshness.
And for a special addition, try making the Panlasang Pinoy Spicy Vinegar:
Begin by letting 1 ½ cups of coconut vinegar heat in a saucepan, and afterwards, add some salt to your preference. Then stir these together until the salt has dissolved. Proceed to let this cool, then you can pull out your food processor so we can make sure all of our ingredients’ rich flavors come together smoothly.
Pour this mixture onto your food processor, then add 8 Thai chili pepper, ½ piece of bell pepper, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 teaspoon of whole peppercorn, and 2 thumbs of ginger. Process this for 2 minutes, then you can pour your sauce onto a mason jar. Now this delectable signature vinegar sauce is ready for use! I’ve already mentioned Chicken Inasal as a good meal to have beside our Sinamak.
But what other dishes might match some of these pleasantly tart vinegar seasonings? I’ve got a couple of ideas!
This soft, sour side dish made of pickled papaya holds some of the same appeal that your vinegar sauce would. The distinct kick of tanginess definitely enrichens the flavor of whichever dish you’re having with Papaya Atchara. And this is similarly why it goes well with Chicken Inasal like our spicy vinegar mix from earlier. The process of making it is quite alike to our aforementioned sauces, albeit a tad more complicated. But it is definitely worth a try to make at home!
Made of curly, crisp ruffles of pork fat and some of the best savory seasonings, Chicharon Bulaklak is definitely a classic Filipino snack or pulutan you should try! And if you make it right in your, you’ll get to have it at its best– steaming hot and fresh off the fryer. This Filipino appetizer, however, can get even better with our Panlasang Pinoy Spicy Vinegar. When the salty crunch meets the sharp and tangy vinegar, the result is a brilliant integration of complementary flavors!
Just like most Filipino street food, Kwek-kwek can be paired particularly well with Tokwa’t Baboy Style vinegar sauce. The crispy golden coating, as well as our delicious boiled quail egg inside, is perfect to dip into the sharply flavored vinegar sauce. And if you give this meal a try, it will only take about 10 minutes to make.
25 Filipino Recipes
With a majority of Filipino foods leaning towards the sweet and the salty, it should come as no wonder that sour, vinegar-based sauces are so beloved. Several Filipino dishes simply have that perfect contrasting flavor to our strong, tangy vinegar. This is why I can recommend looking into this 25 Filipino Recipes article wherein you might be able to mix and match our sauces from earlier with more dishes of your choice.
Have you got any questions about making your sukang sawsawan? Don’t hesitate to write down your inquiries below!
Tokwat Baboy Style Vinegar ingredients:
Panlasang Pinoy Spicy Vinegar ingredients:
- 1 1/2 cups coconut vinegar
- 8 Thai chili pepper
- 1/2 piece bell pepper
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon whole peppercorn
- 2 thumbs ginger
- Salt to taste
- 1 cup coconut vinegar
- 1/2 cup Thai chili pepper
- 4 thumbs ginger Julienne
- 1 head garlic crushed
- Make the Sinamak dipping sauce by combining all the “sinamak” ingredients in a mason jar. Let it stay for at least 3 days before using.
- Make the Tokwat Baboy Style Vinegar dipping sauce by heating the vinegar in a saucepan. Add salt and sugar. Stir until the granules dissolve completely. Turn the heat off. Let the mixture cooldown before transferring to a mason jar. Put the remaining ingredients into the jar. Cover and shake well. You may use this immediately. Note: Store inside the fridge to maintain freshness.
- Make the Panlasang Pinoy Spicy Vinegar version by heating the vinegar in a saucepan. Add salt . Stir until the salt dissolves completely. Let it cool down. Pour vinegar in a food processor along with all the Panlasang Pinoy Spicy Vinegar ingredients. Process for 2 minutes. Transfer to a mason jar. This can be used immediately as a dipping sauce.
Watch how to make it