Visit any Filipino household and you'll probably see a bottle of vinegar or suka somewhere in the kitchen. For many, vinegar is an indispensable cooking ingredient that enhances the flavor of different dishes, whether you use it as the main component or simply as a dipping sauce. They come in different variations, each with its own qualities and recommended uses.
In fact, with all these types of vinegar, you might be wondering about which one to use when making your favorite dishes. Fret not, because we've made an informative buying guide and a top 10 list to help you out. Read further to know more about the types of vinegar and which are the best ones available online.
In the supermarket, it's easy to get one of the generic white vinegars everyone's familiar with. However, you could also be more adventurous and explore other types of vinegar that can take your dishes to the next level. The following sections will help you know the different types of vinegar and other things to consider when buying one.
Before making a purchase, figure out first what kind of vinegar you are specifically looking to buy. To decide this, determine how you'll use it in your meals as each kind of vinegar has its own purpose.
Whether it’s an ingredient for your homemade adobo or a partner to your chicharon, the classic white vinegar is a staple in Filipino kitchens. Its original acidic taste makes it perfect for classic dishes such as paksiw and adobo and as a dipping sauce, especially for fried and barbecued pork.
It's the most versatile kind of vinegar as you can use it for cooking, gardening, and even cleaning. Moreover, since it's your ordinary kind of vinegar, expect it to come at a lower price tag compared to other kinds of vinegar.
Balsamic vinegar isn't created with fermented alcohol, but instead, it's made by aging pressed grape juice which thickens and becomes more concentrated over time. It has a blackish color and has the sweetest and most complex taste out of all the varieties of vinegar.
This vinegar is perfect for drizzling over salads and pasta or used as a marinade for fish and chicken. Aside from that, you can also mix it with olive oil to create a classic balsamic vinaigrette dressing. Overall, choose balsamic vinegar if you want to add a sweet twist to your favorite dishes.
Apple cider vinegar is a practically drinkable vinegar that aside from culinary uses, can also offer health benefits because of its antimicrobial and antioxidant effects. However, make sure that you consume it moderately as vinegar typically has acidic properties that can have negative effects on your body which include tooth decay.
Other than that, both kinds of vinegar are perfect for making pickled vegetables, including pickled green papaya or atsara, as it is more commonly known in the Philippines. It gives them a sour flavor without being too overpowering.
Wine vinegar is made from fermented wines which undergo the oxidation process that gives it a mellow yet complex flavor. Commonly, wine vinegar is used for salad dressings, marinades, and sauces.
As the name suggests, red wine vinegar is derived from red wine, which gives it a pinkish tint and is usually paired with hearty food because of its complex flavor. Meanwhile, white wine vinegar comes from fermented white wine which gives off a more delicate flavor, making it ideal for marinating poultry and dressing salads.
Black vinegar is vinegar that originated from China and is made from fermented sticky rice. It has a dark color and a malty, smoky, and slightly sweet flavor perfect for Asian dishes such as braised meat, noodles, and dumplings.
Similar to black vinegar, rice vinegar is also an Asian vinegar made from fermented rice. However, unlike the former, rice vinegar has a milder flavor and is best for marinades, sauces, dressings, and as an ingredient for pickling vegetables.
Sukang tuba or coconut sap vinegar is an all-natural sweet vinegar made out of coconut cider and is typically used for kinilaw. Aside from that, it is also used as a base for making other types of vinegar such as Pinakurat. Usually, Sukang tuba is sold on roadside shops near coconut plantations.
On the other hand, Pinakurat is the spiced version of sukang tuba which is used as a dipping sauce for all sorts of grilled food. It has chilies, garlic, onion, ginger, sugar, sweet peppers, and salt, and is a perfect partner for pork dishes such as barbecue and lechon.
Lastly, Sinamak is a cane vinegar from Iloilo with pickled chilis, garlic, and onion. These ingredients are soaked in vinegar for several days or weeks to create a deeper and more complex flavor. Sinamak can be used in many ways but it’s more popularly used in Chicken Inasal and as a flavor-enhancer in other meat dishes.
Vinegars packaged in value packs are the most budget-friendly option out there. Besides being more affordable, its small quantity can also ensure that your vinegar doesn’t spoil. Note, however, that this is ideal only if you need small quantities of vinegar.
Bottled vinegars, on the other hand, are perfect for families who regularly use vinegar for their meals. They usually come in either 350ml glass bottles or in 1-liter plastic ones. Compared to vinegars in value packs, bottled vinegars are easier to seal and store in condiment shelves and pantries.
Finally, vinegars by the gallon are ideal for celebrations where large quantities of different dishes are prepared. We Filipinos love handaan, and vinegar is a staple ingredient and condiment in our local dishes such as atchara and barbecued meat. It adds a nice sour kick to our food, which is something we share with our Asian neighbors.
After knowing the many types of vinegars, you might realize the wide range of options you can choose from. This can make the choosing process more difficult but hopefully, our curated list of Top 10 vinegars can help you come up with an informed decision.
**Prices may vary depending on the website and their campaign period**
|Best For||Dipping, Marinating, Pickling|
|Best For||Salad Dressings, Soups, Pizza|
|Best For||Salad Dressings, Marinating|
|Best For||Salad Dressings, Dipping|
|Best For||Pickling, Deglazing, Marinating|
|Best For||Dipping, Marinating, Pickling|
|Best For||Dipping, Marinating, Pickling|
|Best For||Sushi Rice, Marinating|
Lee Kum Kee
Apple Cider Vinegar
Red Cane Vinegar
White Wine Vinegar
Pure & All-Natural Coconut Vinegar
Spiced Vinegar (Sinamak)
Brown Rice Vinegar
An All-Around Vinegar to Enhance Your Dishes
A Dark and Sweet Balsamic Vinegar for Seasoning Salads
An All-Natural Apple Cider Vinegar for Pickling, Drinking, or Baking
Add a Sweet and Sour Kick to Your Recipe With This Red Cane Vinegar
Create Dishes With Delicate Flavors Using This White Wine Vinegar
An Affordable Distilled White Vinegar for Home-Cooked Meals
A Pure Coconut Vinegar Made From Natural Ingredients
A Spiced Vinegar Perfect as a Dipping Sauce
Give Your Asian Recipes More Depth With This Brown Rice Vinegar
Add a Strong Garlic Taste to Your Regular Vinegar
|Price Starts at||₱99||₱126||₱135||₱45.5||₱130||₱38||₱300||₱64||₱79||₱55|
|Type||White||Balsamic||Apple Cider||Red Cane||White Wine||White||Coconut||Coconut||Rice||Garlic|
|Best For||Dipping, Marinating, Pickling||Salad Dressings, Soups, Pizza||Salad Dressings, Marinating||Salad Dressings, Dipping||Pickling, Deglazing, Marinating||Dipping, Marinating, Pickling||Dipping, Marinating, Pickling||Dipping||Sushi Rice, Marinating||Dipping|
|Packaging||Glass Bottle||Glass Bottle||Glass Bottle||Glass Bottle||Glass Bottle||Plastic Bottle||Glass Bottle||Glass Bottle||Plastic Bottle||Plastic Bottle|
Are you craving for a healthy side dish to eat with your meals? Check out this very easy recipe from Erwan Heussaff on how to make Atsara or Pickled Green Papaya.
There are people who like their food as is, while there are those who think you can never have too many condiments added in. If you belong to the latter, here are a few of our articles featuring other condiments that can add a flavor boost to your dishes.
We Filipinos sure love to add a sour kick to our local dishes. Whether it is an ingredient to our adobo or a partner to our chicharon, vinegar gives our meals that unique flavor. Given that there are a lot of vinegar varieties out there, we hope that this article helped you explore your options and decide on the best one that will suit your needs. Happy cooking!
Author: Katrina Balingit
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