Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sisig On My Mind

It's often said that some of the best dishes in the world come from humble origins. I can think of several examples, but what comes top of mind at the moment is no other than...Sisig. 


The story of Sisig is an interesting one, characterized by ingenuity, resourcefulness, and creative brilliance.  And it is not surprising that Sisig originated from Pampanga, one of the country's culinary regions. Made with chopped pig's cheeks, jowls and ears, Sisig is all about maximizing cheaper cuts of meat. 




When the US maintained a number of military bases in the Philippines, local dealers would supply huge amounts of meat, and often, specific pig parts would be discarded, like the pig's head. In Clark Air Base in Pampanga, these unwanted parts were often bought by local residents at cheap prices. 


In the early seventies, an enterprising food stall owner named Aling Lucing, re-invented the local dish using the cheap, unwanted parts purchased from the Commissary at Clark Air Base. Her original stall, located along the rail tracks in Angeles, is often credited as the birthplace of the dish.


After the pig's ears, jowls and cheeks are boiled and chopped, it is then seasoned with vinegar, calamansi (local lime), chopped onions and liver. Today, there are countless Sisig variations made from tuna, chicken, seafood and even tofu. 


And one of the best versions come from Gerry's Grill (P 189), served sizzling hot on a cast iron plate. Topped with crisp deep-fried garlic bits and chicharon, the dish is another classic re-invention of a local favorite. No longer the humble dish, Sisig has become a culinary icon. Squeeze some calamansi (local lime) and some good hot sauce, and you're good to go. Might as well get some garlic fried rice...and pair with the other house specialties...


Tahong ala Pobre (P 165) spicy mussels with garlic, lots of garlic. Nice.


Sizzling Kangkong (P 145), water spinach drizzled with garlic and onions. A nice and healthier side dish to compensate for the richness of the Sisig.  Cool. A cold beer and another perfect meal.

Gerry's Grill is located at the second floor of Promenade, Greenhills, or call 723-7178 for inquiries.

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16 comments:

  1. Love tahong, scared of red tide. Haha! :D

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    1. Hi Czjai, it was good and spicy! Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. Very interesting story about the sisig. I bet it's very tasty. :)

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    1. Hi Ramona, thanks! Great to hear from you!

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  3. Oh, those spicy mussels look amazing! I am now craving shellfish.

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    1. Hi Cucina49, the mussels were great! Great to hear from you!

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  4. I'd love to try their sisig and spicy mussels. I'm getting hungry just looking at those photos! Visiting back from Delight My Appetite.

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    1. Hi Tetcha, both are really good, thanks for stopping by!

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  5. Wow, what an interesting post! thanks for the insight on the Sisig, never heard of such dish. Those cast iron plates look so-so good! :)

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    1. Hi Marina, thanks! It's really cool when Sisig is served sizzling hot on those cast iron plates, thanks for stopping by!

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  6. Those are gorgeous photos of the sisig. I've never had it, but I've waned to try the dish ever since Bourdain went to visit the Philippines.

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    1. Hi Christine, thanks! Bourdain also enjoyed the Lechon, very cool!

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  7. Amazing photos (as usual)! The sisig dish sounds so interesting, and love the steam coming off the plate. Mussels are always a favourite. Great post!

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    1. Hi Angela Leah and Marilena, thanks! Great to her from you!

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