‘Sisig’ is probably the most famous Kapampangan dish in the Philippines, I would say. You would easily find it in the menus of most restaurants, bars or even Carinderias.
It is also considered by many as a beer food or ‘pulutan’, especially the sizzling sisig where it is served in a hot sizzling plate sometimes topped with raw egg.
There are also several variations of the original pork sisig these days, like chicken sisig, tuna sisig, and squid sisig to name some. I have tried different kinds of Sisig from all over the country, but the one from Pampanga, sans sizzling plate, and all the extras is still the best in my humble opinion.
The Kapampangan word ‘sisig’ actually means to snack on something sour. The Sisig that we know is only the modern-day version of what Sisig was in earlier years, which was really sour because of all the vinegar added into it.
Originally, pork Sisig is composed of pork’s cheeks and ears and some chicken liver. The process of making Sisig involves boiling and then grilling. The meat is then chopped into fine bits and the rest of ingredients are added.
Unfortunately, or fortunately, in Armin’s case, I did not find any pig’s head here in Germany to use for this recipe of Pork Sisig so I had to settle with pork belly ;-).
You cannot believe how happy I was when I was done making this dish. I felt really proud of myself, not that it is difficult to make, it really isn’t, but because it tasted so much like the Sisig I know and love back home in Pampanga, I was quite happy.
It is not saucy like the ones they make in the sizzling plates, nor does it contain mayonnaise and the ingredients are so much more simple.
Note also that since I used pork belly, I skipped the boiling part and just marinated the belly before grilling.
I didn’t want to overcook the meat by cooking it 3 times (boiling, grilling, pan frying) to avoid it from getting dry unlike when you are using pig’s head which has more fats in it that can withstand long and various stages of cooking.
Sisig recipe using pork belly
- 1 pound pork belly - - sliced about half-inch thick
- salt and pepper
- 3 pieces chicken liver
- 1 big red onion - - finely chopped
- 1/2 lemon - or 3-4 kalamansi juice
- 1-2 chili peppers - - minced or 1/4 tablespoon chili flakes
- 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Season pork belly slices with salt and pepper. Let it marinate for at least 30 minutes.
- Grill pork belly and chicken liver until well done. Pork skin should be crispy.
- Once grilled, chop the pork belly and chicken liver into fine pieces.
- In a bowl, combine the chopped meat, onions, lemon juice and chili pepper. Season with soy sauce and pepper.
- Warm it in a pan with a bit of oil if desired. Serve with hot rice.