Spiced Vinegar (Sinamak)
The inspiration for this subtle yet versatile recipe came from my travels to the Philippines. This brightly coloured bottle is bursting with flovours and makes a great condiment for any curious kitchen. It is famously found in the backstreet barbecue chicken houses, which are all so popular throughout the Filipino community. I first came across this marvel of the frantic food industry in a wonderful little hideaway named Aida’s,a back to basic chicken joint on a strip in the heart of Bacolod City. It is traditionally served with a slice of calamondin orange and soy sauce which you mix in a tiny bowl to your own taste. To call this an appetizer would be an understatement and the extraordinary explosion of complex flavours is just wonderful, from the twist of ginger to the tingle of heat, you find yourself eating a little bit more than planned.
Over time these amazing flavours begin to develop dramatically and the older it gets the better it tastes. It’s a recipe that deserves a place on any open minded table. Not only does it make a great dipping sauce for any barbecue or seafood dish, it serves as a great marinade for a number of exciting new ventures into the colossal cooking world.
To make a basic spiced vinegar you will need;
- A glass bottle (I usually recycle a honey bottle or an olive oil bottle)
- Coconut vinegar, sugar cane vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- Chili peppers
*For this recipe all ingredients should be used in equal parts, more chili can be added for a hotter mix if you are feeling daring.
- Peel the garlic cloves and ginger
- Slice the ginger into sticks
- slice the garlic into discs
- Wash the chili peppers and snip the stems
- Add the garlic to the bottom of the bottle followed by the the ginger.
- Add the chili peppers ( according to taste)
- Finally, top up the bottle with vinegar and leave for two weeks to pickle
*Shake the bottle before use to mix the flavours and top up the bottle with vinegar as needed.
This recipe can be altered to taste. I personally use more chili because I enjoy the kick that it brings to my dipping sauce.
Additional ingredients include;
- Pepper corns
- Galangal (rhizome plant of the ginger family)
For a great seafood dipping sauce simply mix your spiced vinegar with soy sauce in equal parts.