Eric “Errah” Caunca is an educator, a cook, and a food writer from the Philippines. He writes about various topics of Filipino cuisine.
Sisig is a Filipino dish that originated from the province of Pampanga in the Philippines. The origin story of this dish is an interesting one. The term sisig originally referred to a mix of sour fruits and vegetables, dressed in vinegar, garlic, pepper, and salt, which was typically eaten by pregnant women. Later on, the fruit was replaced with pork. During the U.S. occupation, Americans didn't like consuming the head and internal organs of pigs, so they gave these parts to the locals. Filipinos are a resourceful bunch so nothing was wasted. The discarded pork was chopped, mixed with onion, fried, and then served on a hot plate. This is how sisig was born.
Sisig was featured in The New York Times, and they proclaimed it the greatest and most delicious pork dish on the planet. Anthony Bourdain, the American celebrity chef, journalist, and travel documentarian, predicted that sisig would be the next food trend in America and would go on to win the heart and the soul of the world.
The recipe can be varied in many ways. If you do not eat pork, you can substitute chicken, squid, tuna, or tofu. Some top it off with raw eggs, pork crackling, and mayonnaise. It is usually served on a hot sizzling plate. It has three phases of cooking: simmering, grilling, and frying.
|Prep time||Cook time||Ready in||Yields|
1 hour 30 min
4 to 5 servings
- ⅛ kg liver spread or pate
- ½ kg pork head flesh (unchopped)
- 50 grams pork internal organs, diced
- 1 egg
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- ½ tbsp sugar
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 onions, minced
- 3 hot chilli peppers, chopped
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Cook the head flesh in boiling water with salt, ground pepper, and bay leaf until tender. Drain and remove excess water.
- Grill the head flesh until cooked. Once cooled, chop it into small pieces.
- In a pan, heat the oil. Sauté garlic, 1 minced onion, ginger, and half of the chili pepper.
- Add the liver spread, organs, head flesh, sugar, salt, and ground pepper. Stir and fry for 10 to 12 minutes.
- Heat the sizzling plate (or metal plate), then transfer the cooked food onto it.
- Top with the remaining hot chili peppers, onion, and the egg. They will be cooked by the heat of the plate and the pork.
- Serve and enjoy.
© 2020 Eric Caunca
Thelma Alberts from Germany on October 18, 2020:
Yummy! I miss eating those food. Thanks for sharing your recipe. It has been a long time I have not eaten some of what you have mentioned above.