10 New Ideas for Your Favorite Pinoy Dipping Sauces

The Pinoy sawsawan (dipping sauce) is part and parcel of Filipino cuisine. These sauces add a burst of flavor to your grilled, roasted, and fried meats. Switch up your sawsawan game and try out these ten new ideas. They will make all your Pinoy favorites stand out!

1 Cucumber + vinegar
Peel and slice a cucumber into half moons. Combine vinegar, coconut water, sugar, and pepper in a bowl. Toss in cucumber slices and serve cold or at room temperature. Use this for your next fried fish dish!

2 Green mango chutney
Make this at home by simmering together chopped green mangoes, water, sugar, salt, chilies, and ginger. Pair your favorite adobo with this chutney - you'll have comfort food at its finest.

3 Calamansi aioli
Make calamansi aioli by mixing together mayonnaise, chopped garlic, calamansi juice, hot sauce, chopped wansoy, salt, and pepper. Pair with fries, chicken nuggets, or seared fish fillets.


4 Five-ingredient chili sauce
Pound garlic with a mortar and pestle. Add chopped chilies; pound to release the juices. Heat vegetable oil in a saucepan. Add garlic and chilies; cook until brown and fragrant. Season with salt and lime juice.

5 Santol + bagoong dip
Slice santol flesh into small cubes then toss them into a spoonful of bagoong. This sour-salty combination is best enjoyed with grilled seafood like bangus, hito, or squid.

6 Homemade fish ball sauce
You can make your street food favorites at home! Make your own fish ball sauce by combining vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, cornstarch, and water in a saucepan. Simmer the mixture until thick then add chopped garlic, onions, and chilies.

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7 Kamias + bagoong alamang
Sauté fresh shrimp paste (alamang) with garlic and onions; let cool. Slice kamias into thin rounds, then toss with alamang, chopped tomatoes, and sliced red onions. Use this dip for your barbecued meats!


8 Tropical ensalada
Toss together chopped watermelon, pineapple tidbits, cherry tomatoes, and sliced onions; drizzle with a dressing of fish sauce (patis), calamansi juice and zest, and brown sugar. Serve it alongside inihaw na liempo, longganisa, or tapa.

9 Lemongrass dipping sauce
Combine lemongrass, lime juice, grated ginger, fish sauce (patis), muscovado, and chili. Let the fresh flavor of lemongrass amp up grilled tofu, steamed shrimp, or sinigang. You can get the full recipe here.

10 Eggplant + garlic dip
Try this: Boil eggplants until tender; peel skin and mash flesh; mix with smashed garlic, vinegar, and ground pepper. Hearty dishes like pochero are best with a light side that provides a refreshing flavor contrast.

Text originally published in the September 2015 issue of Yummy Magazine.

Main image by Patrick Martires. 

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