How could I not have thought of it before?
Actually, I did not think of it at all. The idea came from A-te J. After trying out the various kinds of suka,
and figuring out which I like best, and then deciding to buy Sukang
Tuba and Sinamak on my next supermarket day, A-te J told me to make my
own. And when she told me, I actually smacked my forehead!
After all, how hard would it be to make your own spiced vinegar???
cursory look at the label made me realize that it was totally doable!
After all, if I could make my own vanilla extract, surely I could make
sinamak. A-te J, who hails from the southern regions where sinamak is
popular, told me that it was as easy as placing ginger, onions, garlic,
peppercorns, green and red siling labuyo (or similar) in a bottle and
pouring in my suka of choice (tuba, of course!) and waiting a couple of
weeks! In her home province, they mix their own all the time (they
ferment their own suka, too!). And here's the best part, A-te J says
that when their bottle runs low on the suka, they just top it up with more suka and
it's good to go!
As for the recipe? According to A-te J, just dump in matchstick slices of ginger, garlic, and onions into a glass bottle. Add black peppercorns (I added white peppercorns also) and birds eye chilies (or the local labuyo) with the stalks removed and pour in the suka (vinegar) of your choice (mine is obviously tuba).
So here is my bottle of homemade sinamak -
Now I just have to wait a couple of weeks!