Sisig, a spicy and sour appetizer made with parts of or a whole pig's head, also made with a variety of meats, fish, and even tofu, is one Filipino dish I have never heard of nor eaten before reading so much about it in several Filipino food blogs. A friend from Los Angeles and I were chatting on the phone yesterday making plans to meet up in the Philippines in the next few months (I haven't decided yet if I'm going). She is a part-time caterer and she mentioned that she cooked for a party of 45 last Christmas and one of the dishes she made was bangus (milkfish) sisig. She gave me a very simple recipe which she says is a bit different from the ones served in Manila restaurants. Her bangus sisig is not crispy because she poaches the fish before mixing with the seasonings. Another friend told me today that her sister who owns a restaurant in Quezon City that serves bangus sisig deep fries the fish before chopping to have a crispy texture. They had me itching to taste this dish and today I made not just the fish sisig but also pork belly sisig. Both are really tasty and I can now understand the popularity of sisig.
The following recipe for the fish sisig is just a guide. You can add more or less soy sauce, calamansi juice, and hot chili peppers to suit your taste. I like mine really spicy and sour.
2 pounds whole milkfish (or tilapia)
1 T vegetable oil
2 C sweet onions, chopped
birds eye chili peppers, chopped, to taste
2 T soy sauce
¼ C calamansi juice
1 small red onion, finely chopped
- Poach or deep fry fish. Debone and flake, or chop if deep fried. Set aside.
- In a skillet, heat the oil and saute onions until very soft and light brown. Add chopped hot chili peppers and saute for a minute.
- Transfer into a medium bowl. Add soy sauce, calamansi juice, and chopped red onions. Gently mix in the fish. Taste and adjust seasonings.
- Transfer into a serving dish with chopped hot peppers, soy sauce, and calamansi on the side.