Here, we will discuss with you everything you need to know about a filipino favorite, the most popular “pulutan” or beer food in the Philippines, Sizzling Sisig.
While the exact date of involving meat within the ‘sisig’ process is not known, the sisig capital, Angeles City, may hold all the answers.
Originally, sisig was a salad of green papaya or guava eaten with a dressing of vinegar, salt, pepper, and garlic. The addition of meat, however, have been debated. Most do believe that it came about from the cheap pig’s heads that were not used in feeding US Air Force staff and/or commissaries.
Lucia Cunanan, the mother of sisig in its current form, put the marinated broiled meats on a hotplate to give it its signature crispiness. Because of her recipe, the tourism board awarded Angeles City the title of ‘sisig capital’ in 1974.
Since then, however, sisig is now prevalent all throughout the country, and has moved on from just pork cheek as the source of protein in the dish.
Sisig originated from the Philippines, hence do not have an origin story anywhere else in the world.
Hotplates using pork, beef, and other meat pieces can be found in many Asian countries, but none seasoned like sisig is. This, however, was all before Anthony Bourdain caught wind of it, proclaimed it “the one” in street foods, and allowed it to travel across the world.
“possibly the best thing you could ever eat with a cold beer”
– Anthony Bourdain
Taste & Texture
With being served on a hotplate, the dish comes at you freshly cooked (still cooking). Break the yolk, squeeze in the calamansi, and stir it around!
The dish is very rich, with the distinct Filipino blend of salty, sour, and even slightly sweet coming through. The texture is entirely dependent on the protein you choose, i.e. if you go for the pork cheek, you will be confronted with a slightly chewy, fatty pork texture, while if you go for tuna, it will be a nice, light, flakey texture.
Food in the Philippines may sometimes be quite bizarre and look unappetizing, especially to our foreign counterparts, but always remember, looks can be deceiving!
To find out the cooking process for this popular dish, check out the full article in your free copy of SeventyOne Magazine by clicking here.