Sinamak is a type of spiced vinegar that originated from the province of Iloilo City, Philippines. It is made of coconut vinegar, garlic, ginger (sometimes galangal), and chilies.
HOW TO MAKE SINAMAK
Sinamak is so simple to make. However, to ensure that all the spices are infused in the vinegar, I recommend making it days ahead (i.e. 2 to 5 days) before using it as a marinade ingredient.
To make sinamak:
- Crush the ginger and garlic using the back of your knife or a meat tenderizer. This releases the strong flavor and aroma of the spices. So don't just slice them. Crush em!
- Combine the coconut vinegar, ginger, garlic, and whole chilies in a jar. If you want a spicier sinamak, slice the chilies before adding it into the mixture. That is it!
Let it sit for 2 to 5 days and it should be ready for use.
Where can you use sinamak?
In this recipe, I just made a small batch of sinamak which I use as an ingredient for chicken inasal marinade.
You can certainly make a big batch and use it as a dipping sauce for any grilled dishes like grilled pork (inihaw na baboy), lechon kawali. grilled fish (inihaw na isda), grilled shrimp, and other seafood dishes. I've also used it for making adobo and it turned out so darn good!
What is a good substitute for coconut vinegar?
Coconut vinegar can be substituted with a combination of rice vinegar and apple cider vinegar/red wine vinegar. Using both sort of of mimic the slightly sweet and mild flavor of coconut vinegar.
- 1 cup coconut vinegar (see notes for substitute)
- 4 cloves garlic smashed
- 1 - inch ginger peeled then smashed
- 1-2 whole bird's eye chili (or siling labuyo)
- Crush the ginger and garlic using the back of your knife or a meat tenderizer.
- Combine the coconut vinegar, ginger, garlic, and whole chilies in a jar. Cover and let it sit for a minimum of 2 days before using. The longer the spices are marinated, the flavorful the vinegar will be.
Recipe Notes and Tips:
- Coconut vinegar can be substituted with a combination of white rice vinegar and apple cider vinegar/ red wine vinegar. Use equal parts.
- Galangal can also be added if available. Use 1 inch. Peel then slice.
- For a spicier sinamak, slice the chilies before adding it into the mixture.