Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Sukang Pinakurat What?

At the Filipino fiesta event of the supermarket at Market!Market! mall last August, I chanced upon this bottle of vinegar with the intriguing name. Always a sucker for anything new, especially when it is food, I bought one trial bottle. It was from Iligan City, that reservoire of waterfalls in north-eastern Mindanao, in southern Philipines. The vinegar was coconut-based, looked like it was flavored with isdang bagoong (salted fermented anchovies), and the label said it was extra hot.

And it was. Almost a lip-numbing fire, but it doesn't linger, and you can take another mouthful right away without resorting to a pitcher full of cold water. It is a world away from the common spiced vinegar, with finger chiles, garlic and pepper. This vinegar had body, and was not too sour. Just a little salt and it gave a whole new perspective to the grilled hito (catfish) I had for lunch that day. It was also a good alternative dip to broiled tilapia, and to anything fried.

One of my food buddies was in Zamboanga that time, and I asked if she knew the vinegar. As it happened, she asked around and found out that her host was a distributor. It seemed the vinegar is being dealt personally, like Avon or Sara Lee, pardon the analogy.*

Somebody from Iligan explained that pinakurat is a method of cooking something very quickly, but was all giggles when I asked why the vinegar was called pinakurat when it was not cooked, even for just a second. She did say it is the indispensable dip for lechon (whole pig roasted in an open pit). As we Filipinos know, lechon in the Visayas and Mindanao is accompanied, not by sarsa like in Luzon, but by vinegar.

One of my to-do things then is to find a decent lechon. Maybe, in the process of dipping and lip smackingly chewing the golden, crackling skin and the lemon grass-infused, succulent meat, it will come to me why this suka is pinakurat.

*Now available in most supermarkets in Metro Manila. It has also been imitated by a new product, Pinoy Kurat, which is spicier. 


Anonymous said...

This sounds good...I love vinegar on a lot of things and have never tasted this one. Will have to go to Market! Market! again soon...lots of things to discover apparently :-)

Anonymous said...

Uy, what a discovery! This does sound good, Kai! Thanks for posting it.

Was actually talking to someone from a coastal Pampanga town about the many sauces we have and now seem to be forgotten.

Anonymous said...

Sukang Pinakurat was really good with chicharon!(pork skin cracklings)... I should buy a bottle soon..tasted really good when I first tried it over dinner at your place. I can't wait to get a bottle of it!Thanks!

Anonymous said...

it's so good a dip, even for chippy! try it out and you'll always be forever wishing for pinakurat each time you even see a packet of chippy...:)

Marketmanila said...

Gosh, that does sound good. Gotta get me some of that soon.

Anonymous said...

I have sukang PINAKURAT for sale at the Sunday Market@LUNG Center, every Sunday from 6am to 12noon.
I have the three variants of the famous suka from ILIGAN. The Lung Center is located along Quezon Avenue between EDSA and the QC Circle.
My stall is located in the dry goods section, first row, 9th tent if you are walking from the main lobby of the Lung Center.
There's ample parking space. Tip: Park your cars on the left or right portions of the hospital compound because the parking area fronting the lobby is always full of cars and people.

SundayVendor@Lung Center
Wilbert 09178953202

Ram Di said...

Thanks you for posting this..actually, i am looking for a distributor of this product. is it okay with you to link me to your friend so I can contact the distributor? Thank you.