Discover the Unique Taste: Filipino Sinamak

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Sinamak is a condiment made with vinegar and spices. It is used to add flavor to dishes, and is especially popular in Filipino cuisine. It’s made with a base of vinegar, garlic, and chili peppers, and often includes ginger, peppercorns, and other spices.

Let’s look at what it is, how it’s used, and why it’s so popular.

What is sinamak

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Filipino Spiced Vinegar (Sinamak)

Sinamak is a delicious Filipino condiment made from spiced vinegar. It is a popular dipping sauce and marinade that can be paired with grilled or fried dishes. Sinamak is a staple in Filipino cooking and is a must-try for anyone who loves spicy condiments.

Where to Buy Sinamak?

If you don’t have the time to make sinamak, you can buy it at Filipino grocery stores or online. Some popular brands include Datu Puti and Mama Sita’s.

What is the Taste of Sinamak?

Sinamak is a Filipino spiced vinegar that is known for its unique taste. It is a common ingredient in Filipino cooking, especially in adobo and other dishes that require vinegar. Sinamak is an essential condiment of choice for dipping and goes well with fried or baked pompano.

The taste of sinamak is packed with spices and is spicy, making it a perfect combination of flavors. It is a different kind of vinegar compared to the commonly known suka. Sinamak has a more complex flavor profile that is not just sour but also has a hint of sweetness and spiciness.

The Ingredients that Make Sinamak Taste Unique

Sinamak is made by processing different spices and vinegar in a container. The ingredients that go inside the container are what make sinamak taste unique. Here are some of the ingredients that are commonly used to create the perfect sinamak taste:

  • Langgaw or Visayan vinegar
  • Spices such as garlic, ginger, onion, and chili peppers
  • Sachet of spices that can be bought in supermarkets for a convenient way of making sinamak
  • Plastic container or botelya where the ingredients are mixed and processed

How to Compare the Taste of Sinamak to Other Condiments

If you want to find out how sinamak tastes like, you can compare it to other condiments that are commonly used in Filipino food. Here are some notes to help you compare the taste of sinamak to other condiments:

  • Suka or vinegar is sour and lacks the spiciness and sweetness of sinamak.
  • Soy sauce is salty and has a different flavor profile compared to sinamak.
  • Fish sauce or patis is also salty and has a distinct fishy taste that sinamak does not have.

Expert Tips and FAQs on Making and Using Sinamak

Here are some expert tips and FAQs that can help you make and use sinamak:

  • The longer you let the ingredients sit inside the container, the more flavorful the sinamak will be.
  • If you don’t have all the ingredients required to make sinamak, you can make substitutions. For example, you can use apple cider vinegar instead of langgaw.
  • No special equipment is required to make sinamak. You can use any container that can hold the ingredients and can be sealed.
  • Sinamak can be used as a dipping sauce or as a condiment for adobo and other dishes.
  • Sinamak is commonly available in Filipino restaurants and rare in households outside the Philippines.
  • If you run out of sinamak, you can refill the container with new ingredients to make a new batch.

Related Recipes Using Sinamak

Here are some recipes that use sinamak as an ingredient:

  • Sinamak Fried Chicken
  • Sinamak Baked Pork Ribs
  • Sinamak Dipping Sauce for Lumpia

Sinamak is a versatile condiment that can add flavor to any dish. Whether you use it as a dipping sauce or as a main ingredient in a recipe, sinamak is sure to add a unique taste to your food.

How to Make Sinamak

Sinamak is a popular Filipino condiment that originated in the province of Iloilo. It is a type of sawsawan or dipping sauce that Filipinos love to pair with their favorite dishes, especially seafood. Sinamak is also a great dip for pizza and yogurt.

Ingredients for Sinamak

To make sinamak, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 2 cups of white vinegar
  • 1 cup of cane vinegar or tuba (palm liquor)
  • 1 medium-sized onion, sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, cleaned and sliced
  • 2 thumbs of ginger, sliced
  • 5 pieces of dried labuyo (Thai chili pepper)
  • 1 tablespoon of peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons of langkawas (aromatic ginger)
  • 1 tablespoon of salt

Cooking Tips for Sinamak

  • You can adjust the amount of chili pepper according to your preference.
  • Use a clean and dry bottle or container to avoid contamination.
  • You can buy sinamak in Filipino restaurants or supermarkets that sell Filipino foods.
  • The author of the recipe, Vanjo Merano, suggests using sinamak as a dipping sauce for seafood or as a marinade for grilled dishes.
  • Sinamak is a basic condiment in Filipino cuisine and is a must-try for those who love spicy and flavorful dips.

Using Sinamak: A Guide to Adding Flavor to Your Dishes

Sinamak is a popular Filipino spiced vinegar that is a staple in many households and restaurants. This appetizing vinegar is a basic ingredient in Filipino cooking, and it is loved for the unique flavor it gives to dishes. In this section, we will explore the different ways to use sinamak to enhance the flavor of your favorite dishes.

As a Dip or Sauce

One of the easiest ways to use sinamak is as a dip or sauce. This vinegar is a great accompaniment to seafood dishes, grilled meats, and even pizza. Here’s how to prepare a sinamak dip:

  • In a container, combine sinamak with chopped onions, labuyo (Thai chilies), and langkawas (galangal).
  • Distribute the mixture lightly and store it in a safe place.
  • Allow the flavors to blend for a few days at room temperature.
  • Serve as a dip for your favorite dishes.

As a Marinade

Sinamak is also a great marinade for meats and seafood. The vinegar’s flavor goes well with baked pompano, grilled chicken, and pork adobo. Here’s how to prepare a sinamak marinade:

  • In a container, combine sinamak with cane vinegar, tuba (palm liquor), and coconut liquor.
  • Add dried Thai chilies, peppercorns, and sliced onions.
  • Allow the mixture to blend for a few days at room temperature.
  • Use the sinamak marinade to marinate your favorite meats or seafood before cooking.

As a Flavoring Agent

Sinamak can also be used as a flavoring agent in various dishes. Here are some ideas:

  • Add sinamak to your yogurt to give it a tangy kick.
  • Use sinamak to flavor your pizza dough.
  • Add sinamak to your baked goods for a unique twist.

Storing Sinamak: Keeping the Appetizing Flavor of Filipino Spiced Vinegar

To keep the good flavor of sinamak, follow these basic storage tips:

  • Transfer the sinamak into a clean and dry bottle with a tight-fitting lid.
  • Store the bottle in a safe place away from direct sunlight and heat.
  • Keep the sinamak at room temperature for easy serving and mixing with other foods.

Long-Term Storage Options

If you want to store sinamak for a longer time, here are some options:

  • Refrigerate the sinamak to extend its shelf life for up to 6 months. However, this may affect the texture and flavor of the vinegar.
  • Freeze the sinamak in an ice cube tray for up to 1 year. This is a great option if you only use sinamak occasionally and want to avoid spoilage.
  • Can the sinamak using a water bath canning method. This is a safe and easy way to preserve sinamak for up to 1 year.


Filipino sinamak is a spicy, flavorful condiment that’s perfect for dipping fried, baked, and grilled dishes. It’s also a common ingredient in many Filipino recipes, especially adobo. I hope you’ve learned something new about this unique condiment and I hope to see you at the next family gathering with a bottle of sinamak!

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Bitemybun's family recipes with complete meal planner and recipe guide.

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Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.