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Sukang Sawsawan: Spiced Vinegar Dipping Sauce

Sukang Sawsawan is a spiced vinegar dipping sauce made with vinegar, onions, garlic, and chili. It’s sour, tangy, spicy with a hint of sweetness. Perfect sawsawan for lechon kawali, crispy pata, lumpiang gulay, barbecue, and many more Filipino dishes.

Filipino Sukang Sawsawan with Fried Pork

Sukang Sawsawan: vinegar dipping sauce

If you loved the soy sauce and vinegar dipping sauce, you’ll definitely love this sukang sawsawan too!

Oh yes, it is definitely sour but the spices and seasonings give it a nice balance of flavor. So, so, good with your favorite fatty dishes! Pangtanggal umay talaga!

What types of vinegar are good for sukang sawsawan?

There are many types of vinegar but these are the ones I recommend:

Noticed that I didn’t include apple cider vinegar in the list. I find its smell and flavor are too overpowering to make it as a dipping sauce. But if you must use it, combine it with a milder vinegar to dilute 

Vinegar Dipping Sauce with onions

Uses for this spiced vinegar dipping sauce

Use this dipping sauce for any of your favorite Filipino food, especially the fatty and oily kind, including:

I also love this dipping sauce with pork belly adobo as it cuts down the saltiness of adobo. And, I often have it with pork tocino too, to help cut down the sweetness.

How to make it

Start by chopping the onions, garlic, and chili. To reduce the spiciness, remove or discard some of the seeds of the chili.

Place all the ingredients 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!

Taste before serving and adjust the seasonings as needed–add more sugar if you want it sweeter or salt if you want it saltier.

That is it! Easy peasy!

Filipino Sukang Sawsawan with Fried Pork

Sukang Sawsawan–Vinegar Dipping Sauce

Sukang Sawsawan made with vinegar, onions, garlic, and chili. Sour, tangy, spicy with a hint of sweetness. Perfect sawsawan for lechon kawali, crispy pata, lumpiang gulay, barbecue, and many more Filipino dishes.
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Author: Mella
Prep Time 5 minutes


  • 1/2 cup cane vinegar (see notes for substitutes)
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce/ patis
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar (packed, add more if preferred)
  • 1 small red onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
  • red chilies (chopped, to taste)
  • salt and pepper (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, salt, and black pepper, to taste.

Recipe Notes and Tips:

  • Vinegar options: distilled vinegar, white wine vinegar, coconut vinegar, and rice vinegar (I recommend the manuka brand).
  • 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.
  • Variation: add diced cucumbers.
  • To reduce the sourness, you can add water. Start with 2 teaspoons then adjust as necessary,
  • Note that this is a small serving recipe. Double the recipe if needed.
Cuisine : Filipino
Keyword : filipino sauce, sawsawan
Nutrition Facts
Sukang Sawsawan–Vinegar Dipping Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 70 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 478mg21%
Potassium 161mg5%
Carbohydrates 16g5%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 9g10%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin C 10mg12%
Calcium 36mg4%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. I know this is traditionally done with red onion, but I only have white on hand. Can I substitute? And should I adjust the other ingredients for taste?

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