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May 17, 2009


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This is great post. That's all I can really say about it. It does trip me out to see Datu Puti at Safeway though. :)

— posted from 35,000 feet thanks to Virgin America :)

Nice post. I've mostly used the sukang maasim. I didn't even know there were was a variety.

My grandparents used to have thier own tapayan. And they would make their own palm vinegar. I wonder what happen to that tapayan?

great post. I've been branching out and buying more Filipino vinegars lately- my favorite (because I'm lazy) is the Datu Puti "Spiced" Sukang Maasim, with all the peppers put in already. So good for dipping lumpia!

There's this suka with chilli combination that I found in one of the farmer's markets in Manila that I love, I think it's pinakurat or something, hopefully someone else will remember the name; it's got tons of chillis and the suka used is the nipa suka, so it's super maasim, and super maanghang. Gah, searingly good with pork! Will make you cry with the heat, but in a good way, you know?
Have you tried to make your own vinegar Marvin? I think the folks at Serious Eats once posted a recipe, so it shouldn't be too difficult to make your own.

Oi, that got me thinking of the difference between suka (soo-kah) and suka (soo-ka). One is vinegar and one is, er, vomit, heh. Be careful what you ask for! Just kidding, no one packages the latter (I hope).
Thanks for this educational post! I never even really bothered to know the difference before this :)

Excellent tutorial! My Filipino vinegar options here in MN are quite limited - I had a hard time just finding coconut vinegar (White Swan). I really appreciate your clarifying the differences between the various kinds. Now, I want get the Iloco cane vinegar!

Thanks Arnold. I'm hoping you post something on your site about the blogger conference;)

Hi jenn. It's worth experimenting with the other types to see what you like best.

Hi Remil. I bet your grandparents had the best vinegar!

Hey there W&N! I also like the spicy vinegar, but I make it myself. That's the next post actually;)

Mila, is Pinakurat the brand, or is that what it's called? I thought it was just called "sukang sili". I've never attempted my own vinegar, though I will definitely look into it.

I thought vomit was "bakwar" or something like that, manggy. Geez, only you could get me talking about barf in a perfectly tame post;)

Definitely seek out the sukang iloco, tangled noodle! Sukang Iloco is one of my favorites.

I love the sukah with the little chilles in it. It is sooo good but it does make you sweat haha.

I never considered myself fond of sour things until you mentioned adobo and paksiw. That stuff never necessarily tasted sour to me--just good. Time to reevaluate!

I am going to have to check these out after the move. Now if I can just find a good Asian market in Sonoma. I am going to miss Uwajimaya. Great post.

Holy tae forget Napa valley, im gonna go to Pacific Super and go "vinegar-tasting!!!" haha

I agree with Manggy. Suka (soo-kah) is vomit while suka (soo-ka - with a slight pinch on the throat at the "a") is vinegar. Never heard of bakwar.

I too like the spicy suka, Rolfe. It's very easy to make yourself.

Hi Julie. Yeah, adobo and paksiw aren't necessarily sour because the sourness is cooked out of the vinegar, but they are still very piquant because of the vinegar.

I'm sure you'll be able to find plenty of Asian markets in the new neighborhood, Erin. Good luck.

Holy tae is right Albert!

Hello MRU. Bakwar must be ilocano, or it could just be some made-up word I remember from my child hood;) It's always difficult to explain pronunciation via writing as opposed to actually saying and hearing the word.

Hey Marvin! Great post on vinegars, although I've never seen my grandmother use them.

And congrats on getting on Serious Eats!

The spicy vinegar I was thinking of is called sinamak not pinakurat as I typed above; it's got chillies, garlic, ginger, black peppercorns, and it's allowed to steep for a few weeks to intensify the flavor.

Great post! Funny and informative. Congrats on seriouseats.

Awesome, I can't believe the variety of vinegars! I do have a bottle of coconut vinegar sitting in my cupboard that I still haven't opened... you've almost got me inspired to cook something!

"...blinding your enemies" LOL!!! I don't even know your mom but I'm already planning to be on her good side. Hahaha!

oh man true Filipinos love vinegar! i absolutely love it myself!!! i can't help but have it whenever i eat a Filipino dish.. it's a complete must!

hi marvin
i only use vinegar in my adobo, but don't use it as a dip for food. yes, a sacrilege for a Filipino. wait, i lie. i used vinegar for that shrimp with coconut milk recipe that was in the december issue of saveur. it was a coconut vinegar that had a different quality than the others i've used in the past.

liked your use of the chris rock video clip. i used the same one a few months back for a post on a soul food joint i went to. "just one rib!" ha ha. good times.

One of my favorite applications for suka (paombong) is "basic pulutan". Simply pour some over cornick/fried corn, add a bit of fish sauce or salt and minched hot peppers. Garlic and black pepper is optional.

I've even seen drunks argue over who gets to sip the remaining vinegar when all the pulutan is gone.

Great post Marvin! You are so right about the Filipino pantry and suka...we have tons here and my pantry is not large by any means!

Yes, sinamak is the one with chilis/garlic/ginger/peppercorns...you can easily make some yourself with your datu puti sukang tuba or cane vinegar. We do this here all the time...just topping up with vinegar or chilis when needed. After some time it is wonderfully potent!

Pinakurat is another type of vinegar, also with its own blend of spices but which are pretty much disintegrated -- so the lower part of the bottle is kinda like "silt" and the whole mix dark and murky. But it is GOOD! Kick-tush flavor! Personally, I love it :)

I also love sukang Iloko! I discovered it when I visited the region...they say it makes the best adobo and I must admit, the adobo I have made using sukang Iloko is extra delicious!

Wow, this is long...but you have obviously touched a favorite subject :) I love vinegar :)

Very comprehensive post on vinegar! This post made me crave for paksiw na bangus :)

I love your blog! I've been reading all your back posts, smiling and laughing to myself, drooling at the pictures and inspired by your look at food and identity. I love it so much I sent it to all my cousins (and my cousins cousins)! I've also been cooking lumpias and buying halo halos (too much work to make my own) and preparing myself to make all the other great recipes you share. Ube and blueberry ice cream? Genius! Thanks for writing!

Excellent post, very informative. I will keep my eye out for some of these and give it a try.

Thanks for pointing out the SE link, jikuu!

Sinamak, thanks Mila. I've never heard that word before you mentioned it.

Thanks Richie!

Coconut vinegar is very versatile, foodhoe! I hope you do do something with it.

Yes bagito, it is best to get on my mom's good side;)

Very true, abby. Vinegar is like ranch dressing to us.

Hi caninecologne! Great minds think alike;)

That sounds like the best pulutan ever, Mike. I wouldn't mind downing a few beers with vinegar-soaked cornick.

The last few adobos I've made, joey, have also been with sukang iloco. I can't get enough of it's "kick-tush flavor" as you put it;P

Oooh, i've never had paksiw na bangus, Mai Mai. I'll have to do some research on that.

Thanks very much for reading, Sonicdawg.

Thanks Lori Lynn, I'm glad I could inform others on new ingredients.

I loved your descriptions of the different vinegars and was able to purchase all four at Seafood City in Mira Mesa, a San Diego suburb. Now my question is which vinegar to use for which application. Recipes I've been looking at don't specify.

Hi Caron. There are no hard and fast rules as to which vinegar can be used for which recipe. A very general rule to follow though, is that if you're making a recipe from a specific region, use the regional vinegar--i.e. ilocano food use sukang iloco, pampangan cuisine use poambong. Other than that, you can use any vinegar for any application really. Feel free to experiment.

My name is Joseph, and I live in Croydon, Surrey area. I would like to buy your lovely palm vinegar. Can you please tell me where I can buy it from? I will be most gratefu.
We use lot palm vinegar for our cooking. It is healthy and delicious
specially the one which comes from the Philiphines.
Many thanks
Kind regards

what a clever title. that alone made me read this.
i'm gonna get you suka is now a t shirt i own. hahaha

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