Thursday, April 28, 2011

Suka Pinakurat was her name...

My wife has the patience of Job. She can still remember the first time I asked her to eat something 'different'. It was a Chinese dish served at a little Asian hole in the wall in Memphis. As she raised the fork to her mouth she looked at me with trusting eyes. " I better not die from eating this" I telepathically heard her say. Over 13 years later she still is trusting with her palate. So for this reason she was not surprised when I brought home a new sauce.

I'm a sauce fiend of sorts. At any given time if the 'Let's Make a Deal' guy asked if anyone had Thai fish sauce, Chinese oyster sauce or West Indian dipping sauce in their fridge, we could win some major moolah. Seriously. our fridge looks like the United Nations of condiments. There are sauces, spices and herbs from ten different countries in it right now. And as a sauce fiend I feel it is my job to enhance our culinary experiences on a regular basis with tastes from different regions.

I recently discovered a new addition to the fold of sauces I had to add to our personal collection. Now this came on the heels of bringing home a small can of African 'Harissa' sauce. Harissa is a chili sauce made from bird's eye chili peppers, serrano peppers, garlic and olive oil. For those who like the burn, Harissa is a wonderful addition to your meal. It does have a great taste but will blaze a trail through your intestinal tract if you are not ready for it.

Enter Suka. I discovered Suka Pinakurat at one my favorite Asian grocers in Memphis. Suka Pinakurat is a sauce made from fermented coconut sap, vinegar and chillies. It is a product of the Philippines and is used primarily as a dipping sauce for pork, chicken and fish.

The sauce reminds me of a smooth, sweet and spicy 'mopping' sauce typically used in cooking barbecue pork. But the flavor of the coconut makes it a unique taste you can't find anywhere else. I think my Siracha knows there's competition in town. I put this on everything. Tenderloin, grilled chicken, grilled salmon. You name it! I can't get enough of it! Thank goodness the nearest bottle when I finish this one is seventy miles away.

For those who have never experienced Suka Pinakurat, let me introduce you... Somewhat like a Christopher Guest movie, it is a little quirky, has a 'cult' following and is always enjoyable. If you have never tried Suka Pinakurat, you have to find this sauce. It is a taste truly like no other.


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