You might be surprised to find out that the sisig we have all come to know and love is very different from how it was originally made. Sisig was actually considered as a salad in the 17th century. Its name literally means “to snack on something sour” and “salad”. Want to know what the classic pork sisig looked like? Keep reading to find out.

 

Sisig sa Rada (Rada St., Legazpi Village, Makati)

This little jolly jeep that could is a blockbuster hit for their sisig. It’s agreeably one of the most popular jolly jeeps around Makati. Young professionals roll out from their offices and line up all for this savory delight. It’s loaded with scrambled egg and includes a hefty serving of rice. All for the affordable price of PHP50. Sisig sa Rada has been topping the lists of many food blogs and listicles for the longest time, and there’s really no doubt why.

After the quick (but satisfying) meal, I headed out on a short road trip to Pampanga where sisig originated.

 

Aling Lucing (Angeles City, Pampanga)

Aling Lucing is where the modern sisig was born. It all started with a happy accident. Lucia Cunanan, more known as Aling Lucing, was grilling pig ears as usual. She did not realize until it was too late that she had accidentally burned the pork. Not wanting to throw out the burnt pork, she chopped it up, added some onions and vinegar, and called it her new version of sisig. Since then, Aling Lucing has been known as the “Sisig Queen”. Their sisig is tender and fatty, served on a sizzling plate.

 

I wanted to learn more about sisig’s origins, so I visited Claude Tayag to go more in-depth about the dish. Claude Tayag is an artist and expert on Kapampangan cuisine, sisig included.

 

Bale Dutung (Angeles City, Pampanga)

Bale Dutung in English means “house of wood”. It is owned by Chef Claude, and is a world-renowned restaurant once visited by Anthony Bourdain. He showed me how to make sisig in its purest form: boiled pig ears, chopped onions, vinegar, salt and pepper, and a sprinkle of chilli.

Classic pork sisig.

 

He then recreated Aling Lucing’s sisig recipe, made with finely chopped grilled pork ears. The cartilage still has a bite to it, giving the sisig its crunchy texture.

The modern sisig.

 

Mila’s Tokwa’t Baboy & Sisig (San Andres, Pampanga)

Lastly, we made our final stop at Mila’s. It’s ranked as one of the best karinderias in Angeles City. Their sisig is nice and tangy, with bits of crispy fried pork. They’re originally known for their tokwa’t baboy (as the name suggests), but their sisig has become a strong contender that leaves customers coming back for more.

 

Watch the art of making the classic and modern sisig:

What other Filipino food classics do you want me to try? Leave it in the comments!

Erwan Heussaff
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