Thursday, October 18, 2012


Toyo (soy sauce) and Suka (vinegar)

It is said that a Filipino cook whips out a dish only to about 90 percent at its best, because the remaining 10 percent is reserved for the diner to complete it with the complimentary sawsawan (condiment).

Take for example grilled or fried fish and meats.  The locals prefer them with a dip consisting of soy sauce or fish sauce with squeezed calamansi, including with some chili peppers on the side.  Other viands that are not cooked with gravy or sauce, such as fish tuyo, daing, tinapa, as well as pork langonisa (sausage) and tocino, a small plate of sliced fresh tomatoes make wonderful accompaniment.

Patis with calamansi often accompany soupy dishes like pork or fish sinigang (stew), while vinegar and soy sauce with crushed garlic go well with fried tofu.

There are many more Filipino condiments; each region basically  has its own traditional condiment for every dish.  Essentially, these condiments or sawsawan are used to personalize the viands' flavors and thus, further enhance the diner's gastronomic pleasure, so to speak.

Patis (fish sauce) with Calamansi

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