Sinamak – Filipino Spiced Vinegar
The idea of vinegar, and probably more so the idea of ‘acidity’ was never really something that I grew up with. I remember it (I think) being used sparingly with cooked brussel sprouts (something I did not like at all), and that is about it. I do however remember having a simple vinegar dip at my in-laws house when I was dating my wife. We were eating lumpia (Filipino egg roll) and I noticed my father-in-law taking little spoonfuls of the vinegar sauce. Minced garlic, white vinegar, and black pepper were the only ingredients, and BOOM it was a game changer.
As I grew into (and continue to) knowing a bit more about Filipino food, I began to realize how important, and how awesome the Filipino culture used vinegar in day-to-day recipes. Adobo is a perfect example, and a complete game changer for your recipe rotation if you have never tried it. This is another game changer but an elevated vinegar, similar to the lumpia dipping vinegar sauce, but amplified. It’s called Sinamak. Learn it. Love it. Get ready.
This one is another one that is way to easy to make, yields a lot, lasts a long time, and is just too darn delicious.
Let’s get started. P.S. I know this recipe varies in different provinces in the Philippines, but here is my version in the state of Wisconsin.
- 3 cups white vinegar or cane vinegar (Dati Puti found in Asian market)
- 15-20 whole Thai chilies, cleaned, thinly sliced
- 2 inch nub of ginger, cleaned, cut into coins
- 1 whole head of garlic, cloves only, sliced
- 1 tbsp whole black peppercorns
- 1 large clean jar or bottle
Easy breezy. Start by preparing all of your ingredients.
I like to use a glass jar as it is easier to load everything into, but I do prefer the bottle as it looks better and is easier to pour out. Regardless, it doesn’t matter to me because the end result is pretty amazing.
Add everything to the jar (or bottle), tighten to cover the lid, and give several good shakes, like you would be shaking a martini or something.
Let this mixture set on the counter, or in the refrigerator (that is where I store mine) for at least 2-3 days before getting into it.
When you ready to use, remove, uncover, and pour a bit (a bit goes a long way) into a small serving bowl.
Use alongside things like grilled meats, fish, or egg rolls. Heck, I’ve drizzled this on rice, omelettes, and a variety of other random things. Let’s just say this is a total turn on to me, and is a great Filipino sauce. Have you tried Filipino spiced vinegar, and if so, what are your thoughts? Like it, Love it, Dislike it?