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Sawsawan-Filipino Sauces-FWM-4


A Spicy Maranao Condiment with Spring Onions and Garlic

Maranao cuisine is something that many Filipinos are not familiar with. A few years ago I was intrigued by their cuisine and searched for recipes online, read different recipes and spoke to friends who have connections or families in Mindanao. This is my own version and it really works for us. It strips down to the very basics of it. The Maranao people are also known as “people of the lake”. They are a Muslim community in Mindanao Philippines. They live around an ancient lake called Lake Lanao. 

This condiment is seen in every Maranao household and just like Adobo in most Filipino households and  each will have their own version. This version is spicy, if you don’t like it too spicy you can add less chilli or take it out completely or add more spring onions. The Maranao people use a local spring onion known as sakurab but I can’t get that here in London, UK.

Palapa is eaten with fish, vegetables and added to stews and curries. Yes, Filipinos have currys. That’s for another day of topics!

Swap it & Common Questions

Sakurab – I used spring onion for this, if you live in the Philippines, as far as I know you can’t get that too unless you live in Mindanao.

Chilli – I used half because my children can’t handle it too spicy but you may add more if you like it hotter. 

Tools –  I used pestle and mortar for this as it’s small enough but you can use a blender or food processor too. 

Sawsawan-Filipino Sauces-FWM-4


½ thumb size ginger
5 stems spring onions
2 garlic cloves
1/2 Thai chilli (or more if you want it hot)
1 teaspoon salt



Using a pestle and mortar, mash all of the ingredients together until you get a paste consistency. You can use a blenderor food proscessor too. You can keep it in the fridge for a few days (5-7 days) but if you want it to last longer (3 weeks) you can cook the palapa for 10-15 minutes, let it cook and keep it in the fridge in a sealed container. 

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