Sinamak (an Ilonggo language extensively spoken in the western Visayas and other areas of Mindanao, particularly in Cotabato) is the city of Iloilo’s take on spiced vinegar. The flavor and appeal of this condiment are derived from a combination of spices that have been steeped in vinegar for a period ranging from several days to many weeks.
If you’re cooking with grilled or fried dishes, this spicy vinegar is a great condiment to have on hand. It is recommended that you have Chicken Inasal with Sinamak, which is one of Iloilo’s most renowned chicken dishes. Some of the meals on this recipe list will be enhanced if they are served with this spicy vinegar, like fried/grilled meat or seafood.
Here’s how to make it according to the recipe, which would only take not more than 20 minutes!
- 2 to 3 cups of coconut vinegar (you may also use a regular vinegar)
- 1 cup of siling labuyo (Thai chilies or cayenne pepper)
- 1/2 cup of ginger (peeled and sliced in strips)
- 2 heads of garlic (peeled and sliced in strips, adding more garlic is optional)
- Whole peppercorns
- 1 piece of onion (chopped, optional)
- Pinch of salt
- 1 clean glass bottle (sterilized)
- In a clean glass container, ideally, one that has been sterilized, combine the whole peppercorns, ginger, garlic, onion, and chili. Shake well to ensure that all of the ingredients are well distributed.
- Make sure to completely fill the bottle with the vinegar of your choice before sealing it up securely.
- Shake the bottle gently before storing it for at least 3 days in a cool, dry location. Generally speaking, the longer the vinegar is stored, the spicier it will get.
- Served as a condiment with fried or grilled fish, meat dishes, and chicken inasal, among other things. Enjoy!