What is Sisig?
Sisig is a famous Filipino dish that comes from the province of Pampanga, known for its culinary prowess in the Philippines. It’s made using diced meat, often pork, that’s boiled, grilled, or fried before being sautéed with onions, garlic, and other seasonings. The dish is known for its strong and tangy flavour, with a bit of spice, and is usually served as either a main course or appetiser, called pulutan, in Filipino cuisine.
Sisig has a distinctive texture that is often crispy and crunchy, with tender and moist pieces of meat. The dish is typically served on a sizzling plate—a dash of drama for a meal enjoyed by many.
There are several types of sisig, but pork sisig is the most popular and widely consumed. Other variations include chicken, tuna and even vegetarian sisig with mushrooms or tofu. Sisig is frequently served with green onions, sliced chilli peppers, and calamansi or lemon wedges for added freshness and flavour.
Sisig is not only a popular Filipino dish but has also gained international recognition for its flavorful and unique taste. It is often enjoyed with rice, as a topping for rice bowls, or as a filling for tacos, burritos, and wraps. Sisig has become a beloved dish that is often served at gatherings, parties, and celebrations in Filipino communities around the world.
Sisig originated in the province of Pampanga, which is located in the central region of Luzon Island in the Philippines. Pampanga is known as the culinary capital of the Philippines, and sisig is one of its most famous culinary creations.
The exact origin of sisig is unclear, but there are several stories about its creation. One popular story is that it was first created by Pampanga natives who would gather the leftover parts of a pig’s head, such as the ears, cheeks, and snout, and grill or fry them over charcoal. They would then chop the meat into small pieces and mix it with vinegar, calamansi or lemon juice, onions, and chilli peppers, creating a dish that was both flavorful and affordable.
Another story credits Lucia “Aling Lucing” Cunanan, a restaurateur from Angeles City in Pampanga, as the inventor of sisig in the 1970s. She is said to have refined the dish by adding liver and more spices to the mix, creating a version of sisig that was more flavorful and complex.
How to Make Pork Sisig
- 1 pound pork belly, diced
- ½ cup onion, minced
- ¼ cup green onions, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 red or green chilli peppers, minced (optional)
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons vinegar (preferably cane or white vinegar)
- 1 tablespoon calamansi or lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Add cooking oil to a pan on medium heat. Once it is hot, add the diced pork belly and cook until it is crispy and golden brown. Remove the pork belly from the pan and set it aside.
- In the same pan, melt the butter and add the minced onions, garlic, and chilli peppers (if using). Sauté until they are fragrant and translucent.
- Add the cooked pork belly back to the pan with the sautéed onions, garlic, and chilli peppers. Stir in the soy sauce and vinegar, and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add the mayonnaise, green onions, and calamansi or lemon juice to the pan. Stir well to coat the pork belly evenly with the sauce. Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. Adjust the amount of soy sauce, vinegar, and calamansi or lemon juice according to your preferences.
- Transfer the sisig to a serving plate and garn with chopped green onions and sliced chilli peppers (if using). Serve it hot with calamansi or lemon wedges on the side.
- Enjoy your homemade sisig with steamed rice or as a pulutan (appetiser) for your next family meal or gathering!
This pork sisig recipe is easy to make, flavorful, and sure to be a hit at any gathering or party. With its unique taste and versatility, it’s no surprise that sisig is one of the most beloved dishes in the Philippines. Try making this authentic pork sisig recipe for your next meal and enjoy its mouthwatering goodness!