A few months ago, my dear friend Cherrie invited a bunch of us over to her place for a Filipino Fiesta to celebrate her birthday. Boy oh boy, was I excited or what. Everyone knows how I feel about potlucks (so much more fun than eating out). Besides that, everyone knows that Filipinos know how to throw one heck of a food party.
I decided immediately that I wanted to make a Sizzling Pork Sisig for the fiesta. I've got very fond memories of this dish because of how my brother would use to take me out for supper at this awesome little Filipino joint we like when I'm back in my hometown of Kota Kinabalu. We'd order a plate of pork sisig and also a bowl of sinigang each time without fail and it was DELICIOUS.
The Internet tells me that "Sisig" means to "snack on something sour" but my understanding of this dish is that it's pork parts (head, cheek, liver, belly, etc etc ) that's been braised in vinegar before being grilled, diced and served on a sizzling hot plate. Always served with chilli, calamansi and an egg in the middle. I love this because it tastes so addictive, especially after you break up the egg, gets slightly scrambled and it's mixed with the rest of the dish. Yum.
I just used the cheek and belly this time cause it's easier for me. But yes, very common to make with pork head.
Thank goodness for Footscray
(photo taken from my Instagram: @winceeee)
Happy to report that all the ingredients I didn't initially have for this recipe could be bought at Footscray. I just went to the Asian grocery right next to the market. The coconut vinegar was new to me and was SO fragrant. Yay for pre-cooked crackling that I could just chop and garnish on the dish. No calamansi or lime so cumquats it was. And yes, I did buy a sizzling hot plate just for the occasion. Been meaning to get one for a while anyway =). Even then, the hot plate is not actually necessary as it's used for serving only and not required in the cooking process.
This was our amazing spread that night (not including desserts) and OMG we had a whole roasted pig too!!!!! AWESOME
Filipino cuisine is still relatively new to me but every experience that I've enjoyed every experience that I've had with it.
Oh, and I also made a Leche Flan Cake for the fiesta. A bit of a quirky cake, easy to make and delicious to eat. You can check out the recipe in my older blog post: HERE
Anyway, I'm glad I could get the chance to make this Filipino dish that I've always loved. It's simpler than the recipe sounds and final product is rewarding. Sour, spicy, grilled, pork with crispy edges topped with crunchy crackling and egg. What's not to like? Oh, and I actually did the braising process the night before to save time on the day as I had the cake to bake too =)
Sizzling Pork Sisig Recipe(adapted from this recipe by Ang Sarap)
6 pieces (or 400g) pork cheeks *
400g pork belly
1 cup coconut vinegar **
3 bay leaves
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
4 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp coconut vinegar **
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp oil
1 thumb sized ginger (minced)
6 cloves of garlic
4 tbsp mayonnaise
1/2 red onion (diced)
2 cups pork crackling (chopped)
4 birds eye chillies (sliced)
2 - 3 calamansi (halved) ***
* May be substituted with other pork parts with similar weight
** May be substituted with white vinegar
*** May be substituted with lime, lemon or cumquat
1. Place pork cheeks and belly in a small pot with the 1 cup vinegar, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Add enough water to just cover and boil for 20 minutes. Drain liquid and set pork aside to cool. You could do this step the night before too, if you want.
2. Heat up a grill pan on the stove and grill the pork pieces on all sides until charred and crispy (approx. 20 minutes). Can do this step on an outdoor BBQ if you have one.
3. Remove pork from grill and dice finely. Mixed diced pork in a bowl with soy sauce, 3 tbsp vinegar and butter.
4. Heat up a pan and add the oil. Saute the ginger and garlic until fragrant. Stir in the diced pork mixture. Allow pork to crisp up before stirring/turning to cook the other side till crisp too. Stir in the mayonnaise.
5. Heat up a hot plate, if using. Once hot, add the pork onto the plate. Sprinkle with onion, pork crackling and chillies. Make some room in the middle of the plate and add the egg. Serve with calamansi (or substitute). Complete this step directly in the pan if you're not using the hot plate. Eat immediately with steamed rice.