Pork sisig is a Filipino’s popular minced pork and chicken liver dish. This traditional dish which can be traced back to the 1700s combines seasoning of all sorts namely saltiness, sourness and a tinge of spiciness. What makes it even more special is the buttery taste that comes through as you chew into the minced pork. Sisig tastes like a delicious meaty snack tossed in bold umami flavours.
Authentic pork sisig which is from the Kapampangan community is made with pork jowl, ear and sometimes, the nose too (read about substitutes below). Chicken liver is also added to the dish. The mixture of different parts of the meat gives various textures as you savour it.
Why should I cook sisig?
It is for the flavours and the sizzling factor! The extra hot sizzling pan crisps the meat chunk. Sisig is so popular that there is a festival dedicated to the dish in Angeles City, Pampanga. Besides warm rice, munching sisig on the side with gulps of cold beer is the perfect way to enjoy the moment.
When buying pork jowl and ear
One can usually buy parts of a pig's face at the wet market. Ensure to have it cleaned and its hair removed by the butcher. To remove the excess hair, soak the pig skin in hot water to soften the hair strands. Then, remove the hair using a razor blade before proceeding with the cooking process.
Feel free to substitute with pork belly and shoulder whereby both parts are rather fatty. The fat will be rendered during the cooking process. This makes the dish really delicious! These days, leftover roasted pork belly (lechon) is also tossed into the tasty seasoning and served as sisig. Fried pork rinds are sometimes added for the additional crunch.
As for chicken liver, you can use canned liverspread instead.
Other types of meat sisig which are more well known are chicken, ground beef, squid and even fish (milk fish or canned tuna). While this is not exactly traditional, you may also find mayonnaise as an added condiment to the dish for a touch of creaminess.
For a vegan option, use firm tofu and tear it apart into small chunks to replicate minced meat.
Without sizzling plate
Not a big deal. Sisig can be cooked directly on any pan.
Secret to tangy, crispy and long lasting sisig
Over the years, I found that boiling the pork with an additional 250ml of pineapple juice will tenderize the meat and also improves the flavours. If you like munching on crisps of meat, you can opt to grill the meat instead of boiling it in hot water as explained in Step 1 and 2.
I also noticed that using red onions instead of white onions may cause sisig to not last as long. If sisig is served immediately after cooking, then the choice of onion is not an issue.
How to store sisig?
Sisig can be kept refrigerated for up to 3 days or in the freezer for 3 months. Do not forget to keep it in an air-tight container.
Ideas to enjoy sisig
Do not stop at plain rice. Sisig can be adapted into fried rice too. If you are feeling creative, use it as a filling for burrito or add it to omelettes. This minced meat mix can be added to western dishes such as pizza or quesadilla. The bursting flavours of sisig blend very well together with melted cheese.