I daresay you canâ€™t be Pinoy unless you have a favorite â€œsawsawanâ€ or dipping sauce. Is it patis or fish sauce with some kalamansi or calamondin? Is it coconut vinegar with mashed siling labuyo? Perhaps soy sauce with chopped tomatoes, onions and a touch of vinegar? Bagoong (shrimp paste) with lime? Whatever it is, Marketman wants to know! Perhaps over 4,000 readers will see this post in the next two days and I am incredibly curious what you consider your favorite dipping sauce. I realize folks have special concoctions just for fried fish, or pork, or grilled squid, but which one is your all-time favorite? Please leave a comment with your ingredients and/or methodology for making the ultimate sawsawan.
The word alone, sawsawan, connotes something saucy and liquidy, but some folks like a sawsawan that is more solid than liquid. My dad used to smush bagoong, tomatoes and onions together and eat it with fish using his hands or kinamot style. There was something about the feel of smushing the sauce and the texture of mixing it with the fish. As you slipped the mixture of sauce, fish and rice into your mouth you seemed to taste your fingers as well. He also liked guinamos or fish sauce and lots of chilies (or so it seemed at the time) but in retrospect, he only ever had the siling mahaba and made it seem like it was hottest thing on the planetâ€¦it is far from that.
Others take care to use a mortar and pestle to mix their concoctions, some just mash the solids with a fork. I like my chilies marinated in vinegar for weeks and adjust the heat of the sawsawan by releasing the seeds of the chili. In all cases, one strives for sharpness of flavor, either salty, sweet, sour or spicy. One seeks balance or a mixture of flavors. Some like the appetizing color of one ingredient or another. Still others like to mix the sauce with their rice. Whatever you fancy, however you make it, please leave a comment so we can all collectively have an insight into your favorite sawsawan. Many thanks in advance for your participation in this surveyâ€¦