Sawsawan is a Tagalog word for dip, typically made with vinegar with herbs and spices like garlic, onion, chillies, peppercorn, sugar and salt.
If the Malaysians/Indonesians have the Sambal Oelek, the Thai have the Nam Pra Prik, the Vietnamese have the Nước chấm then the Filipinos have the sawsawan. Sawsawan is a generic term in the Philippines for dips where grilled and/or fried meats like fish, chicken, pork and beef are dunked into to enhance and/or intensify its flavour. There are many types of sawsawan in the Philippines and the most popular ones are the toyomansi (soy sauce, calamansi and chillies), patis (fish sauce with chillies), Mang Tomas, (sweet liver gravy), Banana ketchup and our post today which is made with suka (sweet spicy vinegar).
Sawsawan is a part of life in the Philippines where you can see it present in most dining tables, even non-grilled or fried dishes enjoy an extra love with this flavour enhancers where fish sauce can almost accompany all dishes. With most sawsawans back home little acidity from citrus is always a must specially from a cuisine where sour taste is almost dominant, chillies are almost a main stay ingredient to give heat to any dishes specially for those who need them.
Today we will be making one of the most popular dip made with vinegar, and it can be paired with any grilled and fried dishes as it not just enhances the taste but also gives fried dishes a clean fresh taste.