4 Different Kinds of Vinegar in the Philippines

Suka or vinegar is one of the Filipino favorites. It is part of the condiments used for lumpiang shanghai, dried fish, and other fried dishes. In the Philippines, there are various kinds of vinegar that go with different recipes. Out of suka, you can make a variety of sauces. Filipino cuisine with vinegar is like having bread with butter.

The sour flavor of dishes is one of the Filipino dish’s signature. Back then in the pre-colonial era, Filipinos are preparing foods with vinegar to preserve them. One of the examples is the adobo dish. Foreigner loves this, and the vinegar makes the dish more delicious. If you know atsara, suka is one of its main ingredients. To make kinilaw, vinegar is important. For your information, kinilaw is a dish with raw fish tossed with vinegar. Spices are added too. Other than these dishes, there are lots of uses of vinegar. Here are the Filipino vinegar favorites that you must try.


Sukang Tuba
Image from marketmanila.com

I love this vinegar because it is purely natural. Tuba came from the native coconut tree’s sap. It is fermented before it turns out to be a vinegar. Usually, you can see this sukang tuba on the roadside where they have this sukang tuba plantation. This is the perfect vinegar for making kinilaw because this vinegar has strong acid that cooks the fish. It is also the main recipe for making pinakurat. This vinegar pinakurat originated in Iligan City in Mindanao. The basic ingredients for this kind of vinegar where tuba is used are ginger, onions, chilies, garlic, and other.


sukang iloko
Image from theartisangatherer.com

This vinegar is another special creation of Ilocanos. It made from basi or the Ilocano wine. It is also fermented but is it cooked first until it becomes molasses-like syrup. When it is fermented, it turns into sweet sugarcane vinegar. You can dip empanada, sausage, and longganisa into this Sukang Iloko.


sukang paombong
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Paombong originated in Bulacan. In Paombong province, there are lots of palm trees where they are getting the nipa palm vinegar. They are producing a large scale of sukang paombong. This vinegar gets more delicious the longer it sits. You can use this for your lechon paksiw, paksiw na isda, and other recipes requiring vinegar. For atsara, this is also the perfect choice of suka.


sukang maasim
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This is the base vinegar used in different dishes. This is the fermented sugar cane sap. Out of all the vinegar in the Philippines, this is the mildest one. Sukang Maasim is the vinegar used for packing and marketing. You can also use this for your own recipe of adobo.


Are you craving for some Filipino cuisine with vinegar? Then, I will give you a few ideas on what to cook for your next meal.


If you often visit the Philippines, you are not new to this recipe. This is also my favorite comfort food. I usually cook this during payday. Cooking this dish is easy, and it is truly rewarding after taking your first bite of this dish.

Here are what you need:
15 grams of crushed garlic
10 grams of salt
2 torn bay leaves
60 ml of soy sauce
235 ml sukang maasim
2 smashed cloves of garlic
15 ml of vegetable oil
3 grams black peppercorns which are coarsely ground
1-kilogram chicken

1. Season the 1kg of chicken with salt and pepper and put it in a pot. Add the crushed garlic and the torn bay leaves. Pour the sukang maasim and soy sauce. Marinade the chicken in two hours or put it in the refrigerator overnight to let all the ingredients absorbed into the chicken.
2. Get the marinated chicken and let it boil. Just reduce the heat into a low fire and let it simmer. If the sauce is becoming dry too much, just add little water.
3. Strain first the liquid. After you got the liquid or the sauce, put vegetable oil in the pan and put
the chicken to make it brown. Add the two cloves of garlic. Pour the sauce again into the pan.
Just continue to let it simmer. When you see that the sauce is getting thicker, it is now ready to
be served.


Here are what you need:
1 teaspoon oil
5 pounded cloves of garlic
1 ½ cup of sukang tuba
1 thumb-size of ginger peeled and sliced
1 large milkfish
1 small onion
1 eggplant
3 finger chili
1 teaspoon salt
8-10 peppercorns
1 teaspoon oil

1. The easiest way to cook this dish is to put the ingredients altogether. Put the fire into low level and let the dish simmer for 20 minutes. Put the oil and let it simmer again for 5 minutes.

You see, Filipino recipe with vinegar is just easy. Try it out and you will surely love the unique taste it will give your taste buds.