It’s the dish that the late Anthony Bourdain said, “…would win the hearts and minds of America”. the most sought after street food in the Philippines and for good reason. Filipino Sisig is an amazing dish, unequaled in richness and flavor. As Anthony also said, “It is everything I love about food”.
Filipino Sisig is usually time consuming to make, with ingredients that may be difficult for most Westerners to find in their local supermarket. With this recipe, I hope to bring the wonderful flavors and spirit of traditional Filipino Sisig to a broader audience.
In the Phillipines, most sisig recipes use parts of the pig such as ears, snouts, and other parts from the head. Now that may seem unappetizing to many, but I assure you that properly prepared it has a depth of flavor and richness like no other street food I know.
I discovered while trying to create my own recipe that I could achieve almost the same richness and mouthfeel of the Filipino version by replacing these traditional meats with a combination of chicken gizzards and pork belly which can be found at almost any supermarket.
Another critical ingredient is calamansi soy sauce. Calamansi is a citrus related to the kumquat that has a distinct sour flavor like a lime. If you are fortunate enough to have an Asian marketplace in the neighborhood, so much the better. If you can’t find this specific sauce, you are still in luck. After some experimentation I was able to create a close substitute with a lime juice reduction and ordinary soy sauce that’s more than suitable for this recipe.
If you are making this at home, pull out that cast iron fajita skillet you got for Christmas as a serving platter. Just preheat it in the oven, and listen to that lovely sizzle as you serve up your guests.
So what are you waiting for? Grab your favorite skillet, and let’s do this!
Filipino Sisig The Easy Way
- In a large pot, bring 6 cups of water, the crushed garlic, salt and pepper to a boil.
- Cut the pork belly into strips 1 inch wide, and about 4-5 inches long.
- Add the pork to the boiling water, reduce heat and simmer (covered) for 1 hour.
- After the first hour, add the chicken gizzards to the water and simmer for another 45-50 minutes.
- Drain and discard the water, then transfer the meat to a medium/hot grill. Cook the chicken for 1-2 minutes a side, and the pork for 3-4 minutes a side until they have a nice golden char.
- Cool the meat, then chop into "pea-sized" chunks. Set the meat aside until you are ready to prepare the sisig.
- Melt the butter in a cast iron skillet (preferred) over medium heat, then add the onions and ginger and cook until the onions just begin to brown.
- Add the chicken liver, and crush it into the pan with the blunt end of a spatula or a wooden spoon until it will mix easily with the other ingredients.
- Add the chopped meat to the skillet and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring about every minute or so. Stir in the chili sauce.
- Add in the garlic powder and soy sauce and stir for 1 minute to allow the flavors to blend.
- Stir in the mayonnaise, then crack the egg(s) right on top of the dish.
- Garnish with the scallions and lime wedges and serve immediately, making sure you get some egg with each serving.