From the pages of Philippine Food & Life by Gilda Cordero-Fernando, Mila S. Enriquez & Dez Bautista share the complete sawsawan guide from the Philippine Region of Bulakan. Bulakan has many specialties such as litson Bocaue (roasted pork), a pan-fried litson; sukang Paombong, a nipa (palm) vinegar, and many more. These specialty sawsawan recipes have been passed down from generations to generations.
Basic Filipino Sawsawan (Dips)
- Patis: sauce from alamang (shrimp); or from small fish.
- Heko: residue of fish or shrimp paste (dark sauce).
- Bagoong: fish or shrimp paste.
- Suka (vinegar): from nipa (made from palm called sukang Paombong*); from coconut; from sugarcane; from Butuan** banana; or from pineapple.
Combination of Dips or Sawsawan
- Mainly for Fish
- Fish Paksiw: tomatoes and Tagalog onions (red onions) or blanched tomatoes and soy sauce
- Fried or boiled fish: tomatoes and bagoong alamang (shrimp paste)
- Sinigang na dalaga: tomatoes, Tagalog onions, bagoong alamang
- Smoked tinapa (salted, sun-dried fish): tomatoes, salted red eggs and wansuy (aromatic coriander)
- Fried Fish (or pork): fresh tomatoes or roasted tomatoes, Tagalog onions, bagoong alamang or wansuy
- Roasted Fish: green tamarind cooked inside roasting fish, with patis (fish sauce); guava and onion roasted inside fish
- For Meat:
- Pork sitsaron (rinds or cracklings): blanched tomatoes, vinegar, bagoong alamang, garlic
- Dried beef or venison: vinegar and siling labuyo
- Fried chicken and broiled pork chops: soy sauce and siling labuyo (wild small chili pepper)
- Litsong Kawali (pan-roasted pork): vinegar, soy sauce, and garlic or sili
- Pork sinigang (pork stew) with bananas: Retrieve bananas, mash, put patis.
- Beef putsero (beef stew): finely chopped tomatoes, sauteed in garlic, onions, and salt
- For Vegetables:
- Okoy (fried vegetable patty): vinegar, salt and peppercorns
- Boiled or steamed eggplant, okra, cabbage, or string beans: fish bagoong sauteed in garlic with quartered tomatoes and onions
- Native lettuce: Tagalog dressing of vinegar, salt, pepper and vetsin (MSG)
*Paombong, a municipality in the province of Bulacan, Philippines famous for their nipa (palm) vinegar
**Butuan banana is a seeded banana