One of the Philippines' more decadent beer accompaniments, sisig is a spicy mix of braised and charred pig's ears, pork belly and chicken liver, all topped with a little crispy pork crackling.
- 600 g pig’s ears (see Note), cleaned
- 500 g pork belly, cut into ½ cm slices
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 cups (500 ml) pineapple juice
- 10 whole black peppercorns
- 2 tbsp salt
- ¼ cup (60 ml) cup vegetable oil
- 1 red onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 100 g chicken liver, diced
- 2 long red chillies, seeds removed
- 2 long green chillies, seeds removed
- ¼ cup (60 ml) white vinegar
- calamansi (see Note) or lemon, to serve
- 6 pieces deep fried pork crackling (chicharon) (see Note), to serve
- steamed rice, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Resting time 15 minutes
The following recipe has been tested and edited by SBS Food and may differ slightly from the podcast.
Briefly wave the pig's ears over an open flame to remove any remaining hair. Rub the ears with paper towel to remove any burnt bits. Place the ears, pork belly, bay leaves, pineapple juice, peppercorns, salt and enough water to cover the meat in a large saucepan. Bring the water to the boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 2½ hours, topping up with water as necessary, until the ears and pork belly are tender. Remove the meat from the water and allow to cool slightly.
Heat a chargrill pan over medium-high heat. Cook the ears and pork belly for 1-2 minutes each side until lightly charred. Cut the ears and pork belly into 1 cm thick slices, set aside.
Place a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the oil, onion and garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes until the onion just begins to soften. Add the chicken liver, chillies and sliced meat. Cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes until the chicken livers are cooked through. Add the white vinegar, remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper.
Serve immediately with calamansi or lemon, crushed chicharon and rice.
• Pig's ears can be ordered from specialist butchers. Ask your butcher to clean the ears for you.
• Commonly used in Filipino cooking, calamansi is a sour orange fruit similar to a cumquat. Available from late autumn to early winter, calamansi can be found at some Filipino and Indonesian grocers.
• Chicharon is deep fried pork skin and is available from Filipino food stores.
Photography by Alan Benson.