Sisig is a traditional Filipino dish that dates back to the 17th century. Originally made from marinated parts of pig head (snout, ears, and cheeks) seasoned with salt, pepper, and spices, grilled and cooked with chicken liver and other ingredients.
I’ve first tried the dish this summer in a restaurant serving a variety of dishes from different Asian cuisines. When the waiter explained the recipe, I had my reservations but decided to give it a try. I was speechless, so to quote a famous Anthony Bourdain, this dish is “casual, accessible, [and] exactly what you need after a few beers.”
Since I cannot easily obtain pork head (at least in my city), I’ve opted for pork belly as a decent substitute. Whatever you chose, as per chef from the aforementioned restaurant, go for some fatty parts. Also, if you have some leftover pork, turn it into sisig! I combined pork belly and shoulder. Sisig is a nutritious appetizer, so I suggest you forget about counting calories for a moment.
The list of ingredients is not very long. Since not all of the original ingredients are available in any supermarket, I used a couple of substitutes. You can substitute calamansi juice with lemon/lime/orange juice. Instead of liver paste (pate), add some raw chicken liver. Optional ingredients you can incorporate into this dish are egg, pork cracklings, mayonnaise, etc. I added just the last one to make it slightly creamier. But, wait for your sisig to cool down a bit before adding mayo – it does not like the heat.
I first tried sisig with some pita bread, so I decided to make a low-carb version with almond and coconut flour. For that, I used the recipe from Inspector Gorgeous, and I strongly recommend it.
The annual “Sisig Festival” is held every year during December in Angeles City, Pampanga. It started in 2003 and was made a yearly festival to promote the city’s culinary prowess. The festival features a contest where chefs compete in making dishes, primarily sisig. (Wikipedia)