Spiced Vinegar

spiced vinegar

Spiced Vinegar (Sinamak)

Spiced Vinegar – Tingling the Senses

The inspiration for this subtle yet versatile recipe came from my travels to the Philippines where spiced vinegar can be found on almost every table. 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.

spiced vinegar
A great dip for fried fish and crispy pork.

The Longer the Better

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.

How to make spiced vinegar

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
  • Ginger
  • Garlic
  • Chilli peppers


*For this recipe, all ingredients should be used in equal parts, more chilli can be added for a hotter mix if you are feeling daring.

  1. Peel the garlic cloves and ginger
  2. Slice the ginger into sticks
  3. Slice the garlic into discs
  4. Wash the chilli peppers and snip the stems
  5. Add the garlic to the bottom of the bottle followed by the ginger
  6. Add the chilli peppers ( according to taste)
  7. 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 chilli because I enjoy the kick that it brings to my dipping sauce.

spiced vinegar
For this bottle, I used more chilli and added peppercorns for extra flavour.

 Additional  ingredients include;

  • Peppercorns
  • Sugar
  • Galangal (rhizome plant of the ginger family)

For a great seafood dipping sauce simply mix your spiced vinegar with soy sauce in equal parts.


  • I did a similar recipe but instead of spiced vinegar I used olive oil and inserted the chillies and a few peppercorns, it makes a fab chilli oil.