I love sisig. Everyone in my family does. But, for the life of me, I can’t cook sisig — it just entails too much work from cleaning the pig’s head to the boiling to the grilling to the chopping… It’s just easier to order sisig in restaurants where it is a specialty. These days, however, cooked sisig can be brought in frozen packs from the supermarket. I’ve tried a couple of brands but was never satisfied until, last Sunday, I decided to buy a kilo and a half of Mother Earth’s sisig from SM Hypermarket.
“Mother Earth” is a brand but this isn’t an advertisement. I discovered Mother Earth products in Shopwise Antipolo. I loved the cheese hotdogs and the ham. Unfortunately, Shopwise Antipolo no longer sells Mother Earth products. I suppose they weren’t a big hit because they’re a bit higher priced than other commercial brands. And I suppose consumers are not very familiar with its products because it does not advertise on TV and print media.
So, when I found Mother Earth at SM Hypermarket and discovered the sisig, I couldn’t resist. I decided to experiment too on other ways of serving the sisig aside from the usual hot plate presentation. I made tortang talong (eggplant frittata) with sisig. I only cooked three eggplants and a small portion of the kilo-and-a-half of sisig because everyone said they were still too full from a late merienda of pan de sal and kesong puti. But everyone had dinner, anyway. :)
But what is sisig? It is a spicy pork dish traditionally served as pulutan, an accompaniment for beer or other alcoholic beverages. It is made with pig’s ears and the meat from the pig’s face which are boiled, grilled, chopped then mixed with minced cooked pig’s brain and, sometimes, with minced pork liver. The meat mixture is tossed with freshly chopped onions, garlic, chilies and served on a hot plate with kalamansi halves and liquid seasoning on the side.
My first experience of sisig was at Trellis restaurant in Diliman, Quezon City when I was a college student in U.P. But the best sisig I ever tasted was in Angeles City in Pampanga. We were spending the weekend at Fontana Resort with friends and someone suggested a take-out of sisig. Boy, it was quite an experience.
The second best sisig I ever had was at the Niagara Hills Restaurant along Sumulong Highway in Antipolo. If there is a third best, it would be the Mother Earth sisig I bought from the supermarket. I should also mention a place called Aysee beside ULTRA in Pasig. It’s more of a carinderia than a restaurant but Aysee serves great sisig. Believe me, I’ve eaten sisig in so many restaurants, fancy and carinderia-like, and many have been utter disappointments.
Now, the recipe.
Tortang sisig at talong
- Boil, steam, grill or broil the eggplants until soft but not mushy. Peel off the skins, leaving the stems on. With the back of a fork, flatten the meat of the eggplants.
- Beat the eggs and flour lightly and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the sisig, chopped onions and garlic. Divide the egg-sisig mixture into as many eggplants you prepared. Place the mixture on the flattened eggplants, patting the meat to make sure it is compact.
- Heat about 3 tbsps. of cooking oil in a non-stick frying pan (you will need more is using an ordinary pan). Carefully slide one stuffed eggplant onto the hot oil. Cook over medium-high heat, about 5-7 minutes or until golden brown then flip to brown the topside.
- Repeat until all the sisig-stuffed eggplants are cooked.
- Serve with hot rice. For even better results, serve with garlic, basil and onion leaves sinangag (fried rice).