You are not a true Pinoy if you haven’t had a taste of pork sisig. Knowing how to cook pork sisig is another thing, as this dish is so versatile because you can eat it for lunch, you can have it as a pulutan to pair with your cold beer, you can serve it for birthday parties and fiestas. In short, we can’t be short of reasons to eat sisig.
Hence, we can’t really help but crave for a sizzling hot plate of serving. Numerous establishments and restaurants serve this sumptuous dish, but it could be really handy if you know how to prepare it in the comfort of your home. Well, that is what we are here for because we will help you learn how to cook Pork Sisig.
There are a lot of ways to prepare this classic, but we made sure to provide you the best yet the least complicated version to satisfy your tastebuds and still save you time and energy. But this is just the beginning as we are just warming up for more versions of Pork Sisig that you can prepare on any occasion to impress not only your own palate, but also your loved ones, amigas, and the noisy titas (yeap, in that chronological order).
What is Filipino Pork Sisig
Sisig can be prepared using a variety of meat, and you can have it with chicken, seafood, tofu, and even with textured vegetable protein (TVP), to complement any dietary preferences. Yet as the saying goes, “Nothing beats the original.” and we all know that the real sisig MVP is the Filipino Pork Sisig.
The first Pork Sisig was prepared by a Kapampangan homemaker, Lucia Cunanan, who was popularly known as Aling Lucing or the “Sisig Queen.” Originally, the part used for Pork Sisig is the pig head, specifically its cheeks, snout, and ears as these cuts were sold at a cheap price from the commissaries of US Air Base in Clark since they were not used in preparing meals for the Air Force.
As time went by, the Filipino Pork Sisig has undergone an extreme makeover, as more expensive pork cuts, like liempo (pork belly) and even ground pork, are used in conventional sisig versions. Further, sisig tastefully reflects Filipino characteristics, not only our love for pork! The flexibility of this dish is a symbol of Filipino resilience, its sizzling hot serving gives a feel of our warm spirit, and the perfect combination of its salty, sour, and spicy taste is a gastronomic reflection of our diverse culture as well as the Filipino energy.
There is also a wide array of methods to cook this mouthwatering dish. In conventional cooking instruction, the pork cheek was boiled and deep-fried, as this is the basic technique used by fast-food restaurants and kiosks hence the less complicated one. Thus, the simplified version might be most familiar with the Millenials due to the “to-go” culture.
However, if you are looking forward to making the “OG” sisig variant to serve for your elderly family members and relatives, they might prefer the traditional version- in which the meat is boiled then grilled. Nevertheless, all sisigs (if appropriately prepared) will suit the Filipino taste.
What are the ingredients of a delicious Pork Sisig
As much as we would like to ramble on about the Best Pork Sisig, let’s now proceed to the basics. Here are the ingredients of a delicious pork sisig as served in your favorite resto that you can prepare easily at home. Make sure to screenshot or jot this down for your next grocery run!
- A pound or 2 of liempo can be enough for a family of 4-5 members. Make sure it’s clean and hair-free. Getting a good quality of meat is the first step to a successful sisig recipe.
- Pig’s brain is an interesting part because it adds a distinct flavor. A freshly boiled mashed meat consistency can combine all the flavors thoroughly.
- White onions are more preferred as it is more delicious than the purple ones when eaten raw or when just quickly sauteed.
- Cloves of garlic match well with onions.
- The use of ginger adds a fresh zest to balance the fat and the saltiness in the dish. This repels the stench that might leave ones’ mouth when eating sisig.
- Soy sauce, of course, reinforces the flavor to make the dish lovelier and more appealing to ones’ appetite.
- To neutralize the saltiness of soy sauce, calamansi or lemon can do the job. This fruit pulls off the tangy kick.
- A perfect mix and match with our soy sauce and calamansi are the spices particularly black pepper, red and green chillies, and salt.
- To complement the spice, the creamy taste of mayonnaise is also tossed along with the mixture of diced meat and spices.
- Some add crushed chicharron (pork skin crisps) to make it even yummier.
- And lastly, some adds eggs splashed on top and let the sizzle fries and mixes in the entire plate.
How to make a delicious Kapampangan Pork Sisig
Pork sisig originated in Pampanga, and the local version is called “Angeles Sisig Babi” which literally means Angeles Pork Sisig. In case you may prefer to have a taste of the traditional variety of Pork Sisig as invented by Aling Lucing, we got your back! Here’s how to make the legendary and authentic Kapampangan Pork Sisig.
The first series of steps is for the preparation of the base meat. In a boiling pot of 2 cups of water, drop the cleaned and shaved pork liempo (pork belly) and season it with bay leaves, peppercorn, garlic, salt, and pepper. Drain when the meat is tender then set aside. Afterward, do the same procedure with the pig’s brain, then mash it until a paste-like texture is achieved.
Unlike the modernized recipe in which the pork was deep-fried, the Kapampangan version involves grilling. Thus, prepare your grill with burned charcoal to attain a smoky taste, then roast the boiled pig mask until crisp and chop it into small pieces.
The second series of steps involve the flavoring stage. In a separate bowl, mix all the dry ingredients: chopped pork belly, chopped onions, grated garlic, red and green chilies. Then, put on four tablespoons of soy sauce, calamansi squeeze (or lemon if not available), and add a dash of salt and pepper to taste. For the last part of the flavoring process, toss in the mashed pig’s brain and two tablespoons of mayonnaise to perfectly blend all the flavors.
Finally, we have come to the third series of steps– the serving instructions. Garnish the ultimate Kapampangan Pork Sisig with additional chilies and add crushed chicharron. If you will eat it with rice, add a raw egg on top of the heaping hot Pork Sisig and let it cook in its own warmth. Serve it while still hot and enjoy it!
Some cooking mishaps can happen, and cooking mistakes cannot transform into a “break-glass-in-case-of-emergency” situation when kitchen remedies come in handy. To avoid the unsolicited advice from your judgemental titas, in case the Pork Sisig becomes too salty, don’t fret as we provide you quick solutions that won’t take an actual cooking time.
- Squeeze some more calamansi to balance the excess sodium.
- Adding egg is also an option as it can add more substance to the dish hence can lessen the saltiness.
- Sprinkle some sugar to cover the salty taste with sweetness.
The term “sisig” as mentioned in a 17th century Kapampangan dictionary which means, “to snack on something sour” and “salad” as it used to refer to fruits dipped in salt and vinegar, like pickles or the Pinoy atchara. It generally refers to the method of preserving meat by marinating in sour liquid (e.g., calamansi juice or vinegar) and seasoning it with salt and pepper along with other spices.
The oldest use of the word “sisig” was in 1732 by an Augustinian friar Diego Bergaño and was documented in his works, Vocabulary of the Kapampangan Language in Spanish and Dictionary of the Spanish Language in Kapampangan.
Furthermore, one old variety of the dish is mannisig manga or burong mangga is an equivalent of pickled mangoes. In the early times, it was enjoyed by pregnant women as its sourness aids their pregnancy cravings. Then the dish underwent great evolution as it has been enjoyed by all Filipinos and non-Filipinos alike, and the rest is history.
Pampanga, as being the culinary capital of the Philippines, sisig is indeed one of their pride. To preserve its gastronomic achievement, the city government of Angeles City, Pampanga enacted City Ordinance No. 405, Series of 2017 declaring Sizzling Sisig Babi (Pork Sisig) as an intangible heritage of the City.
Moreover, the great dish is celebrated annually every December through the “Sisig Festival” (Sadsaran Qing Angeles) held in Angeles City since 2003. Cooking competition is also conducted between renowned chefs where they showcase their version of Kapampangan dishes, especially the star dish: Pork Sisig.
No cook is already perfect, especially if you are a starter. However, perfecting the Best Pork Sisig can be a piece of cake if you follow some reminders.
- Do not forget to let dry the boiled pork (regardless of the pork cut) before deep-frying or grilling. When deep fried while it is still wet, it will cause the oil to spatter; and when grilled while still wet, the charcoal flame may perish, making the grilling time tedious and lengthy.
- Mixing is the key. As much as we would like to have the best of all worlds, it’s a shame when your Pork Sisig is sour at first taste, salty at the second, and then spicy at third, just because you didn’t mix it well. Make sure that you combine all the ingredients thoroughly so you can have all the flavors bursting in your mouth at your first bite!
- Do not hesitate to taste. After combining all the wet and dry ingredients all together, do a taste test. In case things did not go well as planned, you may follow the quick Pork Sisig troubleshooting procedure as previously provided.
Best Served With
The coexistence of different flavors makes the Pork Sisig the best partner to every dish– an all-around BFF. So in case you come across option paralysis in finding the best match, we have made some recommendations for you.
- Mayonnaise dip – You may prepare a mayonnaise with a little minced garlic to create the best sisig mayo dip when making some sisig tacos or nachos.
- Sunny-side-up egg – Sidewalk Tapsilog carinderias (Filipino sidewalk canteens, local “hole in the wall”) often serve sisig with a sunny-side-up egg on the side. This is best served with garlic fried rice.
- Soy sauce with chili – Nothing beats the classic! Soy sauce with chili is the simplest but a no-joke companion for pork sisig especially when enjoyed with steamed rice.
- Calamares – Calamares is one of the best-fried partners of the dish. The wet and flavorful Pork Sisig complements well with the crispy fried coating and the light umami taste of the fat-free squid in Calamares. Also, there’s no other meat to partner best with pork other than seafood right?
- Beer or soft drinks – These two are the best beverage to wash our palate. The carbonated spirits in these drinks can freshen up our taste buds from the strong taste and oil from the Pork Sisig.
- Sinigang soup – What a refreshing way to start munching on the Best Pork Sisig with a hot and sour sinigang soup. This will induce your appetite, so make sure that you ordered/prepared some extra rice to the rescue.
Pork Sisig has been one of the Filipino comfort foods that we can count on. It is like having a friend that you can share a bottle of beer with, that can make boring lunches somehow happy, and that you can celebrate important occasions with.
As much as we would like to obsess over Pork Sisig, we won’t steal your time anymore, so you can start preparing your own! We hope that we have provided you enough information and tips (with trivia along the way) on how to cook the best pork sisig so you can enjoy our classic favorite anytime, anywhere.
For more delicious recipe, visit Eat Like Pinoy!
Best Sisig Recipe
- 1 lb Pork belly cleaned
- 1/2 cup Pig's Brain
- 1 medium Onion diced
- 1 thumb Ginger minced
- 2 tbsp Vinegar
- 2 tbsp Calamansi
- 1/2 tsp Crushed Black Pepper
- 4 pcs Green Chillies (Siling haba) sliced
- 2 pcs Chili sliced
- 1 1/2 tsp Salt
- 3 cups Water
- 2 tbsp Mayonnaise
- 2 cups Cooking oil
- 2 cloves Garlic minced
- 1/2 cup Pork Skin (Chicharon)
- 1 pc Egg
- In a casserole, put the pork belly, pour water and add 1 tsp salt.
- Bring to boil and simmer for 30 minutes or until meat is tender.
- Remove the water and let the pork cool down. Now, mince the pork belly. Set aside.
- Put slices on the pig's skin and fry it in a pan until golden brown.
- After frying, transfer onto a chopping board and cut it into small cubes.
- Put 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan then sauté the garlic, onion, and ginger.
- Put the minced pork belly and cook over medium heat.
- Put the calamansi, crushed pepper, 1/2 tsp salt, green chillies, chili, pig's brain then mix it
- After mixing, put the mayonnaise and egg. Continue mixing until egg is cooked.
- Serve while hot.