We, Filipinos, cannot live without our concoction choice of sawsawan (dip), especially when a certain dish (no matter how dry or saucy) calls for it. Suka (vinegar), with all the sharp and acidic flavor that it brings to almost all kinds of our grilled and fried dishes, is one of the most well-loved side dipping sauces of many Filipinos.
|Pinoy's favorite partner for fried and grilled dishes|
Vinegar sauce always shares the limelight along with the other homecooked favorites in our dining settings, be it a regular home meal at our dining table or a quick munch along the sidewalk where our equally loved “street foods” are commonly peddled. In fact, some dishes need to be complemented with suitable and well blended vinegar in order to enhance and, at times, intensify their flavors. The vinegary taste added to chicharon (pork cracklings) and grilled liempo (pork belly) might save you from the greasy after taste and umay (feeling of being fed up) while I pretty am sure that fried calamares (battered squid) and kwek-kwek (battered quail eggs), consumed on their own, will be bland without having them quickly drenched in that jar filled vinegar and spices. The mixture varieties that we have created, invented, recreated and reinvented over the years are just as endless as the sorts of the spices and ingredients that are abundantly grown in our rich soils. And speaking of spices, this Simple Spiced Vinegar Dip (also Sukang Maanghang) is just one of the multifarious products of them all. Different types of vinegar and spices significantly depend on what is prolifically produced in a certain province or region, but they are certainly one in their intention of adding a slight kick of tanginess to our much loved delicacies.
Simple Spiced Vinegar Dip
- 2 cups white or cane vinegar
- ½ cup soy sauce
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1-2 small red onion, minced
- ½ tsp. ground black pepper
- ½ tsp. sugar
- ½ tsp. salt
- 2 tsps. onion springs (optional)
- 1 tsp. chili flakes or 2 pcs. red Thai chili, finely chopped (optional)
- Place a small saucepan over medium heat. Combine the salt, sugar, vinegar and soy sauce. Whisk continuously until salt and sugar are completely dissolved. Simmer for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Add the garlic, red onion, black pepper, onion spring and chili. Stir the mixture until well blended. Allow the vinegar sauce to cool.
- Transfer the vinegar sauce mixture in a bottle or glass jar. Consume right away or store in the refrigerator for future use. This can be kept refrigerated and sealed for months. The longer it sits, the stronger and more intensified the spiciness and the flavor will be.
TIPS FROM ENZ:
- It is a perfect dipping sauce for a number of fried and grilled dishes like lumpia (spring rolls), okoy (fried shrimp fritters), fried fish, barbecue, roasted chicken, grilled liempo (pork belly), kwek-kwek (fried battered quail eggs), fried kikiam, fried fishballs, fried squid balls, calamares (battered squid), tuyo (dried salted fish), chicharon (pork cracklings), savory crackers and chips, and a lot more.
- It is also suitable as dressings for ensalada (salad) and kilawin (ceviche).
- A special variation calls for the addition of some finely chopped pipino (cucumbers), singkamas (turnips) and labanos (white raddish).
- Try the highly-spiced version of Sukang Maanghang.