Sisig is undeniably one of the masterpieces of the Philippines Culinary Capital, the province of Pampanga. It has been a staple menu item of restaurants, bars, and even your nearest local carinderia (food stall). In this feature, we will explore how to make the best tofu sisig.
Due to its versatility, Sisig is usually served as finger foods with beer or alcoholic beverages. Likewise, most people enjoyed eating this dish together with hot-steamed rice. Eventually, Sisig has evolved into many variations.
At present, due to the people's mindset toward being health conscious, one of the most notable variants of this recipe is the tofu sisig. Tofu became a healthier substitute instead of using the traditional maskara (pig's jowl and pig face). Hence, because of Tofu, the old savory treat has maintained its deliciousness and reduced the guilt for eating something oily.
Interestingly, Tofu is packed with the same proteins found in meat. Therefore, no wonder that the humble soya-made munch is the best choice. It has replaced pork as the star of this recipe.
So, for all you folks who are eager to impress your loved ones, we are more than glad to teach you all the things you need to know on how to make the best tofu sisig.
What is Tofu Sisig
Traditionally meant as "to snack something sour," the 1732 Kapampangan dictionary has mentioned the term sisig. The Augustinian friar named Diego Bergano used it in his book Vocabulary of the Kapampangan Language in Spanish and Dictionary of Spanish Language in Kapampangan.
The term was used to refer to women's pregnancy cravings to chow down on green mango or guava dipped in a mixture of garlic, salt, pepper, and vinegar. The condiments mentioned are still used for the recipe of the dish today.
Aling Lucing or Lucia, from Angeles City in Pampanga, concocted the present-day Sisig. She served her recipe in her restaurant named after her. Due to the popularity of the dish, Aling Lucing became instrumental in the branding of Angeles City as a culinary destination in the Philippines.
Thus, it is beyond argument to call Aling Lucing's restaurant the Sisig capital of the country since 1974 by the Tourism Department of the government. Of course, this makes her "the Queen of Sisig.
Furthermore, Aling Lucing's popular recipe is a mixture of grilled and chopped pig's jowl/ pig face, mixed with finely chopped onion, with mashed chicken liver flavored with salt, pepper, and vinegar; and finished off with a sprinkle of calamansi juice. In other words, the recipe is ordinary. It has showcased old homestyle cooking born from a cook's creative mind and ingenuity and no drama or flashy techniques.
Since then, the famous recipe of Aling Lucing has evolved into different variations. These changes have shown how adaptable and versatile this dish is. And today, with the dawn of healthier food options and the search for a substitute for traditional ingredients, people who have grown to love this delicacy was able to formulate a solution on how this dish can be on par with the said demand.
Henceforth, tofu sisig was conceived and become a go-to dish for folks who have opted to switch to no-meat diets. This particular recipe of the humble Sisig still retains many of its original ingredients, like the chilies, onions and calamansi juice for that tangy flavor.
Mayonnaise was put to use instead of the chicken liver, so it does not miss out on the creamy consistency that this dish is known for. Thus, Tofu is the right choice as a substitute for its bland taste, acting like a sponge to absorb all the flavors. Also, its firm texture, proving to be equal with pork.
Ways to cook Tofu Sisig
There are many ways to cook this dish proving how versatile it is, and listed below are the different ways to prepare the best tofu sisig.
Crockpot Tofu Sisig
Before putting the Tofu and the sauce mixture inside the pot, make sure that it has been browned in a pan first to ensure that it will retain its firmness while cooking. All the flavors of the sauce mixture slowly seep into the fibers of the Tofu when you use a crockpot. Crockpot locks them in, exploding all the flavor at once after each bite.
Pressure Cooker Tofu Sisig
With this method, what you need to do first is cook the Tofu using the pressure cooker then add the sauce mixture after the Tofu is cooked. Do not worry about the Tofu being bland as the pressure build-up inside the pot allows the sauce to penetrate to the fibers of the protein.
Instant Pot Tofu Sisig
If you're the type of person who is always on the go, this way of cooking Tofu is the right fit for you. Cook the Tofu first using the saute function of the instant pot, then pour in the mixture and leave it until it beeps telling you it is done, and then voila!
There is no need for you to worry about this dish being boring or repetitive since the methods listed above are sure ways that your cravings for Tofu Sisig can still be satisfied in different ways other than the traditional method. If you're that fitness and health buff, these suggestions are perfect since the use of oil is minimized. So you now have more varied options for cooking this tofu sisig.
Tofu sisig was conceived to meet the demand of the ever-growing trend of being health conscious. People are looking for healthier choices without sacrificing the flavors and the taste they've grown to love for certain delicacies. One of those is the Sisig, which was initially a pork dish, and a fatty one.
So to make both ends meet, there are many non-pork variants of this delicacy aside from the tofu sisig recipe we just shared with you, so let me list them down for you.
Tofu Sisig with Bangus (Milkfish)
Yes, you might be surprised, but this national fish ours can also be made into Sisig. Just make sure that you were able to debone the fish first after being boiled in salted water. Flake, the fish, then sauteed with garlic, ginger, chilies and sprinkle with calamansi. Then to add some flair, serve in a sizzling plate.
Tofu Sisig with Chicken
It might sound surprising, but you can use chicken. Roast the chicken, remove the bones, and cube the deboned chicken. Add ginger, garlic, chilies, and vinegar and lightly saute the mixture.
Tofu Sisig with Tuna
If you have the budget, then you can also use tuna as an alternative. Grill the tuna meat over hot coals while sprinkling calamansi juice. Then flake the meat then lightly sauteed with ginger, garlic, and green chilies until cooked.
Tofu Sisig with Mushroom
This humble meat substitute is something to consider when trying out non-pork alternatives for Sisig. Just follow the steps for cooking tofu sisig, but instead of Tofu, use mushroom, and button mushroom is an excellent choice for this recipe as it is easy to find.
Mistakes will always be a part of cooking; even professionals suffer a mishap, so there's no need to be ashamed of. So here are some steps we can follow should we encounter troubles cooking this dish.
1. If the sauce mixture appears slightly too thin, add a tablespoon of mayonnaise or until the sauce thickens to your desired consistency.
2. Is the sauce too creamy? Add a few drops of calamansi juice to cut down the fat of the mayonnaise.
3. Calamansi juice tends to overpower the whole flavor of the dish, so tone it down by adding sugar to the sauce mixture.
1. Tofu has been widely used in different dishes as an alternative for meats. Do not belittle this plant-based protein as it is packed with proteins and essential vitamins and minerals but low in caloric content. Also, it has been known that legumes, where soy is made from, help lower the risk of heart disease.
2. Tofu is also one of the oldest known food in the world.
3. Chili, one of the staple ingredients of any sisig dish, has a higher amount of Vitamin C, amounting to 107 mg compared to an orange, which has about 69mg.
Talk about a surprise, right? Our humble Tofu packs a punch despite its simple appearance.
We wanted to make sure that you'll be able to pull off this recipe as close to perfection as possible, so we'll be sharing some tips to give you that needed boost of confidence when preparing this dish.
1. We all know that Tofu is bland, so we highly suggest that you marinate it first in the sauce mixture at least an hour or two before cooking. That way, you are assured that the Tofu already absorbs the flavors.
2. As a substitute, you can use egg instead of mayonnaise, just crack the egg on top of the tofu sisig before serving it.
3. Lightly coat the Tofu in cornstarch before frying to keep it crisp.
Best Served With
Tofu sisig goes well with different kinds of food, and as a bonus, we are listing some of the food we think is best partnered with this dish.
Hey, who can go wrong with rice, right? This creamy dish goes well with rice as they complement each other.
Crush some chicharron (pork crackling) then sprinkle them over the Sisig. The chicharron (pork crackling) adds another layer of crunch to the dish.
3. Stir-Fried Kangkong/ Adobong Kangkong
The saltiness of the kangkong and the creaminess of the Sisig highlight each other's flavors, so this is a must-try combination.
With all the things that we have talked about this variant of widely recognized dishes, we are hoping that the next time you consider trying an alternative for meat, our best tofu sisig will be your first choice of recipe. Create and innovate, do not be afraid to experiment in cooking; after all, this tofu sisig is just a product of someone else's creative mind.
For more delicious recipe, visit Eat Like Pinoy!
- 5 pcs Tofu cubed
- ½ teaspoon Ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 1 thumb Ginger minced
- 3 pcs Onion minced
- 2 pcs Calamansi extracted
- 1 cup Mayonnaise
- 1 pc Long green chili minced
- 2 pcs Red chilies minced
- 1 cup Cooking oil
- 1 tablespoon White sugar
- Heat oil in a pan. Then fry the tofu until golden brown. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, put-in ginger, onion, red and green chilies.
- Pour-in mayonaise, calamansi extract and sugar then mix well.
- Season with salt and pepper then mix thoroughly.
- Lastly, add the fried tofu and mix with the other ingredients.
- Serve, share and enjoy!