I am going to be up front with you and let you know that I am not the type to use pre-made seasoning packets. I am usually the type who often uses the pinch method when using seasonings, eyeballing teaspoons and tablespoons, as after all, that is some of the fun in cooking. But… I visit Asian markets quite a bit, and my most recent visit, I checked out their small aisle of seasoning packets. They had everything from tocino, to pancit bihon, to one of my favorites, sisig. I have never been to the Philippines, but I am surround by family members who consistently share their memories of the islands, and more importantly, the food of the Philippines.
As my wife’s cousin says, one of the first things he thinks about when getting off the plane in the Philippines, is sisig, hence why I decided to try out the seasoning package. After all, “Mama Sita” was known for her cooking in the Philippines, and her products must be good right? Well, I had to know, and so I picked up the packet of seasoning mix for sisig.
Sisig is basically a sour and spicy dish in the Philippines that consists of pig parts. To be blunt, much of the pig’s face, including ears, snout, and cheeks, but let’s face it, much of that does not fly if you were to serve it at a table in the states, hence my version of sisig. A simple pork tenderloin, or pork shoulder will work. The end result is a perfect balance of sour and spice, with crispy, yet tender pieces of chopped pork. Enough said, the packet of Mama Sita’s Sisig spice worked, and brought out the sour that you need to have, but hard to find in the states, as the sour comes from the calamansi.
- 2 lbs pork tenderloin, minced
- 2 large shallots, diced
- 1 package of Mama Sita’s Sisig seasoning
- 2 tbsp chives, diced
- 1 tbsp garlic paste
- 1 tbsp ginger paste
- 2 Thai bird chili peppers, diced
- 1 tsp cracked black pepper
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 1/2 cup of water
Prepare all of your ingredients in advance. To a large skillet, add the canola oil and bring it to a medium-high heat. Add the minced pork, and give a good stir. The goal while cooking the pork is to get a nice crisp on the pork, but not over cooking it. Keep mixing the pork until you have reached this consistency, as in the Philippines, they serve sisig on a sizzling plate, building that texture you are looking for.
Mix the packet seasoning with the water, and mix well.
To a bowl, add in the remaining ingredients, top with the sauce and the cooked pork, and mix well. Taste. Taste again.
The packet did the sisig justice and I have to say that I was sold on Mama Sita’s seasoning packet. The result is a sour, spice, and texture, that is so addicting that you will come back for more. A perfect snack, and a perfect dish to serve up with some nice cold beer. I brought this to a party where our cousin’s mom just flew in from the Philippines. She said she loved it, and actually had some for breakfast the following day. I guess Mama Sita did it right. Enjoy.
Pam from OK City
I was delighted to find your blog and will enjoy following your cooking adventures. One question: How is the sisig served? With what accompaniments? As a snack with…? I am not familiar with Phillipine cuisine and need a few suggestions, please.
These are the post I enjoy the most! I like things that I have never heard and probably pronunce wrong. They intrigue me, and make me want to go find the ingrients at the store. Next time im out im going to see if I can find this seasoning.
I too enjoyed sisig when I went back to Quezon City a few years back. It was sour and a tiny bit spicy, and served on a sizzling plate with a banana-leaf-wrapped bundle of rice. I’m not one to use pre-packaged seasonings either, but I will admit to using Mama Sita’s powdered palabok sauce (makes palabok cooked up in a jiffy!). I’ve also seen the sisig packet in the Filipino and Asian grocery stores before, but never picked it up. Now your post makes me want to try it out =) Though, I will try substituting ground turkey in place of the pork.
Sisig is best served or eaten over a hot white rice.