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Filipino Sawsawan: Soy Sauce and Vinegar Dipping Sauce

A Filipino dipping sauce primarily made with vinegar, soy sauce and onions. It’s tangy, a little bit salty with a hint of sweetness.

Lechon kawali dipping sauce

An all-around dipping sauce

This Filipino sawsawan (Filipino term for dipping sauce) is always a hit with fried pork dishes. The tanginess gives balance to the greasy flavor, making it less overwhelming (pangtanggal umay). In fact, these sauces are one of the reasons why we are able to devour big portions of fried fatty foods. They just make everything better!

I personally love having this dipping sauce with these Filipino dishes. How about you?

Lechon kawali Recipe with Sauce

How to make it

Combine all the ingredients together in a bowl. Whisk until the sugar has completely dissolved. Let the sauce stand for around 20 to 30 minutes. This will marinate the raw onions and will make the sauce even more flavorful!

Do a taste test before serving and adjust the seasonings as needed–add more sugar if you want it sweeter or add more soy sauce if you want it saltier.

That is it! Easy peasy!

Lechon kawali dipping sauce

Soy Sauce and Vinegar Dipping Sauce

A Filipino dipping sauce primarily made with vinegar and soy sauce. It's tangy, a little bit salty with a hint of sweetness from sugar and raw onions.
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Author: Mella
Prep Time 5 minutes


  • 1/2 cup cane vinegar (see notes for substitutes)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp brown sugar (packed, add more if preferred)
  • 1 small red onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 clove garlic (finely chopped)
  • red chilies (chopped, to taste)


  • In a small bowl, add all ingredients. Whisk until sugar is dissolved.
  • Let it stand for 20 to 30 minutes. Do a taste test before serving and adjust sugar/soy sauce based on preference.

Recipe Notes and Tips:

  • Vinegar options: Distilled Vinegar, White Wine Vinegar, Coconut Vinegar and Rice Vinegar.
  • Storage: This sauce can be made days ahead. Store in an air-tight glass jar and refrigerate until needed. Remember it should be air-tight as the onion smell can get stronger the longer it marinates.
Cuisine : Filipino
Keyword : filipino sauce, sawsawan
Nutrition Facts
Soy Sauce and Vinegar Dipping Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 95 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 1515mg66%
Potassium 218mg6%
Carbohydrates 21g7%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 13g14%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin C 9mg11%
Calcium 25mg3%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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