Frequently Asked Questions
1. Which part of the product is to be used?
For the bottles, use only the vinegar which has already captured the essence of the chilies and spices. For the jars, use the vinegar and chilies for cooking.
2. What can I use the Sinamak for?
2.1. Sinamak can be used as a flavour-enhancer in cooking meat (beef, mutton, pork, poultry, fish) and many vegetable dishes. Sinamak is a must for flavourful curries and stews.
2.2. It can be added to practically any cooked meal on a plate - for extra "wow" factor.
2.3. It can be mixed with soy sauce and used as a dipping sauce or marinade.
2.4. It can be used as a vinaigrette for salad dressing.
2.5. It is great when added to all types of stir fries.
2.6. Add to Omelettes, fried eggs, bacon, sausages on the plate.
2.7. Bolognese sauce on Pasta and Pizzas of all types.
2.8. Add to fish and chips.
2.9. Baked beans on toast is transformed into "wow" with a teaspoon of Sinamak.
2.10. Pour spiced vinegar into a small spray bottle and use to spray popcorn, corn chips, kale chips, potato chips, etc...
3. What vinegar must I use to top up the bottle?
It is recommended to top up with the White Cane Spirit Vinegar. It has a neutral flavour and allows the flavours of the different chilies and spices to shine through. However, you can also top up with white grape and white wine vinegar. Vinegar flavours vary from mild to bold. Any vinegar with a strong taste will significantly change the flavour of the Sinamak and may interfere, rather than enhance, the flavour of the dish.
4. How often do I top up with vinegar?
The rule is just to keep the chilies covered with vinegar.
5. Should I refrigerate?
If used and topped up with vinegar often (daily or 2 time a week) there is no need to refrigerate. The vinegar has natural antibacterial properties and the chilies and spices will not spoil at room temperature. But used less often, then refrigeration may be in order. It slows down the breakdown of the chilies, resulting in a gentler-flavoured Sinamak and also prevents fermentation. (See Question 9)
6. How long does the bottle last?
It can last up to two years or more, depending on the amount of usage. After that, the flavour diminishes and only the heat and the slightly bitter tannin from the seeds will prevail.
7. When do I discard the bottle and buy another one?
When the chilies have mostly disintegrated and the seeds and the skins have sunk to the bottom. Or when the vinegar has lost most of its fresh chili flavours.
8. My chilies have disintegrated. Is that normal?
Yes, the chilies will disintegrate over time. The flavours will intensify with the breakdown of the chilies. The seeds and the skins will sink to the bottom.
9. Is bubbling when I first open the bottle all right?
While not intended to ferment, the lactobacilli and sugars/carbohydrates naturally found in the vegetables sometimes cause fermentation. This enhances the flavour and nutritive value of the vinegar. But unfortunately, gases are released and bubbles form. Just let it bubble away and use as per normal, then top up with more white vinegar. Alternatively (and recommended) pour out the vinegar into a clean jar and pour in fresh vinegar into the sinamak. Save the fermented "juice" and refrigerate to be used in cooking, adding to dishes on the plate or sauces. Store the Sinamak bottles or jars in the fridge to slow down or prevent further fermentation.
10. Is the Sinamak Organic?
The chilies, where possible, are obtained from pesticide-free plants and sometimes from organic farmers when available. The lemongrass used is purely organic.
11. Where do I buy Sinamak?
Check our dealers. See Contact Page. Or contact us.