Sisig is a dish that is near and dear to (almost) every Filipino’s heart. Usually, it is eaten with heaps of rice or with copious amounts of alcohol, particularly ice cold bottles of beer. The smell alone will make your mouth water and crave for that porky goodness!
It was one of Anthony Bourdain’s favorite when he visited the Philippines for his No Reservations show and Andrew Zimmern is a really big fan of it. In fact, Andrew even posted his own version last month on his blog. It was nowhere near the original version but it’s nice to see a different culinary take on a well-loved dish.
Traditionally, sisig is made out of pig’s ears, face, and snout which gives it that crunchy texture and unique taste. Liver is added as a flavor enhancer and brain to make it creamy and luxurious. Those ingredients are not always easily accessible (unless you have an Asian market close by) so using pork belly from a reputable source is a good alternative. Besides, I’m sure there’s quite a few out there that wouldn’t touch it with a ten-foot pole after knowing what it’s actually comprised of! Sisig is not for the faint of heart especially for those who have never ventured towards the wonderful world of offal. (Seriously, you don’t know what you’re missing!)
I’ve toyed with this recipe for a while and decided to finally share it with all of you. Don’t fret, aside from pork belly, I only added chicken liver to reap its nutritional benefits and made substitutions to the other ingredients without compromising flavor. If you’re iffy about liver, I swear you can’t even tell it’s in there because it crumbles as it cooks with the pork. There are no unique ingredients lurking in this sisig so don’t hesitate to give it a try.
Sizzling Pork Belly Sisig
- 5 cups water
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 lb boneless pork belly w/ skin about 1/4" thick
- 1 tbsp sea salt
- 1/4 cup chicken liver chopped
- 1/2 cup red onion chopped
- 1 jalapeño chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 3 tbsp coconut aminos
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 2 tsp black pepper
- 3 tbsp coconut cream
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 large egg
In a large pot, add water, apple cider vinegar, pork belly and sea salt. Turn on heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook for an additional 5 - 8 minutes. Turn off heat, drain water and let it cool for at least 20 minutes until cool enough to handle. Chop pork belly into 1/2" pieces.
On a cast iron pan over medium heat, add chicken liver. Cook for 5 minutes until no longer pink. Mash it into smaller pieces using the back of a wooden spoon. Add pork belly and cover. Let it cook for 15 - 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the bottom from burning. (NOTE: Take the pan off the heat before removing the lid to stir the pork belly. This will prevent unexpected splatters!)
Add onions, jalapeño, garlic, coconut aminos, fish sauce, onion powder and black pepper. Saute for 2 - 3 minutes. Turn off heat and mix in the coconut cream and lime juice. Crack an egg on top and mix well before serving.
Mayonnaise can be substituted for the coconut cream in this recipe.