If you notice, the vegetables and vinegar sauce that topped the escabeche lapu-lapu I prepared a few days share the basic ingredients of atchara. This is because atchara is a form of escabeche, a type of dish where meat, fish or vegetables are marinated in an acidic mixture with vinegar as the usual souring agent. Atchara is a popular condiment in the Philippines and is often served as an accompaniment to fried or grilled meats and seafood. The key to this pickled side dish is the right balance of sourness and sweetness in its fermenting juice and I find the ratio of 1-½ cups vinegar to 1 cup sugar perfect for my taste. The addition of spices and a few days of maturation in the refrigerator beautifully round up the distinct flavors of this colorful slaw.

I usually make just enough achara for a few days of use. If you want extended life on your atchara, please visit the National Food Center for Home Food Preservation website for more information on safe and proper canning/bottling techniques.

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