Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Hello!!!! Hiatus is over! Yup, I'm blogging again! Well, one might say "Watcha' talkin' about Pia!!!" You've had two current blogs, yes and no. Yes, i posted two new (sort of)  blogs, not really new they were actually done a long time ago just waiting for me to hit the "Publish" button. ;)

My computer crashed couple of months ago, lost files, pictures...... but that's okay, I'm back and ready to blog tons of new recipes. I can't wait to participate with the Kulinarya Cooking Challenge and Daring Cooks Challenge again, hopefully they didn't kick me out.

So for my "welcome back" recipe, I'm blogging a favorite of ours but believe it or not i haven't blogged it!!

Sisig - a dish that's either you'll love or you'll hate. But i suggest that you must give this a try so you'll understand why we love sisig. There's a slew of recipes on this dish, some i think are good, some I'd say it's sort of a fusion version. But, hey, to each it's own, right?

Well, this is my version. I'd like to believe this is authentic only because the cook that showed me how to make this is from Pampanga, where the dish originated. He didn't give me the specific measurements, he was "a little bit of this, a pinch of that" kind of cook.

Cooking sisig is more of a process, method and steps to get a proper and delicious end product. You will do the following.. BOIL, GRILL or BROIL AND SAUTE.  I will  list the ingredients and suggest the quantity. This is a "taste as you go" kind of dish, but just so you know... laborious/tedious to make but well worth it!!!! DEDICATION IS WHAT YOU NEED!!!

Others call this a "Cardiac Arrest" dish....nah, really..it's okay..you don't eat this everyday.

SISIG is a popular PULUTAN best served with ice cold beer.

   Could also be served as a main dish and served with steamed white rice which i love.

Main ingredients : Pig's head . You'll need the snout, jowls, ears and brain if available. I sometimes add pork belly if there is not enough meat. If you can't purchase pig's brain substitute it with silken/soft tofu. You'll need it to achieve the creamy texture to the dish. Some use eggs or mayo. Egg, I've tried but i have yet to try the mayo, but i prefer the tofu as the substitute at least there is something healthy to this dish and I'm sticking to that explanation!!!! hahaha!!!

I'm lucky to buy an already deboned and cleaned pig's head. These are packed separately, for this dish i bought a pack of snout with jowls and a pack of pig's ears w/c had 2 in a pack and 1/2 a lb. of pork belly. The dish would serve 6.

Clean and wash. Bring these to a boil. Add water enough to cover the meat. Add chopped onions (about 2 medium size), 6 cloves of smashed garlic, about 8 pieces of peppercorns, 3 bay leaves and about 2 T of salt. Add more water if necessary. Cook until tender.

After boiling until tender, grill or broil the meat. Grilling is the best method but if you are in a place that grilling is not possible all year round broil them but you will not get the smoke undertone to the dish.

Chop the meat. This is the laborious/tedious step i was was talking about. 

Some of the ingredients.

Chop about three medium sized onions, chop two shallots, mince about 4 cloves garlic and chop some Thai bird chili. Kalamansi/Calamansi, i buy the frozen pack but fresh squeezed juice is obviously better if you can buy the fresh ones. Substitute with lemon juice if calamansi juice is not available.  I DON'T RECOMMEND LIME, IT'LL CHANGE THE FLAVOR OF YOUR SISIG.  Soft tofu. As i mentioned earlier silken/soft tofu is the best substitute if you can't purchase pig's brain. Tofu will give you the creamy texture.

Soft tofu

Saute' your onions, garlic and pepper. Mixed in the meat, stir until all are incorporated. Add chopped peppers and mix well.

Next, add crumbled tofu, mix well, stir until tofu has dissolved. Remove some of the rendered fat but leave some enough to caramelize the meat and the spices.

Next step is to add your liquid (calamansi juice and the soy sauce). You will have to start by adding 1/4 of a cup calamansi juice and 1/4 of a cup of soy sauce. Taste and adjust to suit your taste. Remember "you can always add but can't take out". 

Note: I actually finished the whole bag.

I also suggest that you use Filipino soy sauce if available or any dark soy sauce like Chinese soy sauce. Kikkoman is not the soy sauce of choice for this dish. Kikkoman has a distinct flavor that changes the flavor profile of the dish. That's my opinion.

Mix and cook for few more minutes until you start to hear the sizzling sound.

 At this point your sizzling plate should be really hot and ready for your sisig.

Serve sisig right away, garnish w/ chopped scallions and lemon or calamansi wedges.

Sisig is typically served on a sizzling or hot plate especially when it's for Pulutan. There was never an explanation as to why it has to be on a sizzling or hot plate, it's self explanatory?  Since it is a fatty dish serving it on a sizzling or hot plate will avoid the grease/fat to congeal and turn into a solid fat w/c will be off putting. You don't want your "labor of love" turn into a disaster right?.

Sisig served w/ steamed rice, slice of lemon and soy sauce (optional)

Sisig on a sizzling plate for pulutan. Best served with Ice cold San Miguel Beer. ;)

Optional ; serve w/ soy sauce on the side

So. there you are...one of my favorite dish. Crunchy, Smoky, Spicy, Creamy and Tangy...oh and did i say oh ...so ...dee- licious!!!!  ;)