I was first introduced to the wonder that is sisig [or sissig] by my then-coworker Rhose. From what I recall it was her then-husband’s recipe, and it was simply incredible. Irresistable. It was tropical and light, but filling and stick-to-your-bones-a-licious. And it was spicy. Did I ever tell you I’m a total spice fiend? Mama Sunshine tells stories of going to check on me as a toddler only to find an empty bed. Where was I? Passed out in a cupboard with a bottle of hot sauce.
Yes, I’m for real. By the time I was five I was well versed in Crystal, Red Hot, Louisiana, Texas Pete, Tabasco, Cholula, you name it. What can I say? Some like it hot and sisig is made to be spicy in order to compliment its cohort, beer. Beer!
Another thing I love about sisig? Chopping! Chopping vegetables is an activity that soothes my soul. The smaller the bits, the more relaxed I am by the process.
Traditional sisig calls for the pork to be boiled, braised and fried. I’ve done it that way in the past and it makes for the truest, most accurate flavor but I didn’t have that kind of time this go-round.
Here’s my [speedy] take on a Philippine classic.
red onion, green pepper, shallot, carrot, ginger, serrano pepper, garlic and celery.
Also, lime and cilantro.
And a wee bit of mayo. This is literally the only thing I use mayo for so I just get a couple of [free] packets. As your cooking progresses, you may also need to add a dash of soy sauce and/or a sprinkle of sugar. Those are optional and according to taste.
Make yourself some rice. I like long grain jasmine and I use the old 20-minute technique. Starting the rice now ensures that it will be hot and ready right on time.
Throw some olive oil in the pan, medium-heat, and get those veggies working. I start with the carrots since they’re hardest. I kept some as small medallions just because I’m a carrot lover.
Throw in just about everything a bit at a time, but save some garlic for your pork chops!
Sizzle, baby. At this point it smells like heaven. Cause pretty much heaven consists of sizzling fresh vegetables.
Wanna see you sweat! Baby! Let the rhythm take control. Let the rhythm move you.
Anybody? No? Fine.
Preheat your broiler.
In a bowl, combine mayo and lime juice. You’ll notice so far in my recipes I haven’t really mentioned measurements. I avoid them when they’re unnecessary because to me, cooking is art and baking is science. And I’m no scientist. You’ll want to mix enough lime juice and mayo to make a “wet” fluid mixture. Here I used about a quarter cup of lime juice and two full packets of mayo.
[At this point in the cooking my photography reached a point of blurriness I can only attribute with low blood sugar. Luckily, Honeybee wanted more sisig this week, so I made it again.]
Move your veggies to one side [or to another bowl entirely if you must] and fry up your pork chops. The first time I cooked the whole chop and then diced ’em afterward. The second time I diced and then cooked. Either way works. But the first way requires you letting the juices settle before cutting in.] Season with black pepper and red pepper flake [I said spicy!]
Once your pork is cooked through, increase the heat to medium high, add in just a splash of beer and your limey mayo. Looks like this:
While this finishes cooking, fluff and plate your rice. I like my naan cut for cuteness and convenience. Squeeze fresh lime over the whole thing and garnish with cilantro if you don’t forget like me. Oh and a fork, you’re gonna want a fork. And there you have it. Sunshine’s Unauthentic Sisig with Naan. Enjoy!
Yummy looking, right?! Look at it in black and white:
Look at it packed up for lunch tomorrow:
Now you can make it yourself! One thing I hope to emphasize with these menu items is that no matter what your food preferences are, you can make this and love this [but you can’t make love to this, that’s weird]. Vegan or vegetarian? Use Vegannaise and tofu. Not into too much spicy, just omit the serrano pepper. Trying to stay away from carbs [for whatever ungodly reason]? Hold off on the naan and rice. You could put the whole thing on a bed of steamed broccoli instead. Don’t be afraid to switch it up! The main flavors at work here are the red onion and lime. Just play up that combination and bla-dow. Done. Delicious.
This post is dedicated to a little lady I like to call Butterfly. There’s no one more satisfying to cook for because she has the best between-bite-mmms. She inspired me to start documenting our dinners here and this particular recipe was her request. Butterfly’s in Ankara [mm Turkey] teaching English. She said most people there don’t know what lime is. She describes them as “green lemons.” Cool. Miss you, Butterfly!