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Sisig Recipe: The Philippines classic gets a Spam makeover

By: Brian Kennett

The Semi-Naked Chef, Brian Kennett, is back with another blokey recipe – this time a twist on a Filipino favourite. Make sure you put the put the beers on ice for this one…

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Today we’re off to the Philippines, for one of my all-time favourite Filipino dishes, Sisig – but done in my style, of course. First, though, a bit of “Daddypedia”. Sisig is a Kapampangan word that describes snacking on something sour – for example, unripe fruit such as green mango. In its most basic form, you dip the fruit in salt, chilli-salt or even vinegar, usually when walking the streets or in the markets. It also refers to a way of preparing fish or meat (usually pork) by marinating it in lemon juice or vinegar, and seasoning it with salt, pepper and spices.

Then there’s Sizzling Sisig, a popular dish prepared with parts of a pig’s head and liver, and served with calamansi limes and chillies. That’s what I’m doing today – or a version of it, at least. So have a go: my Spam and Corned Beef Sisig!

Where did this moment of inspiration come from? Well, as usual, Family Kennett was hungry so I checked the fridge but we didn’t have a large supply of pigs’ heads and livers to make an authentic Sisig. What we did have, though, was a load of corned beef and Spam. Ting! – there it was; my idea for the dish. It’s probably a heinous crime to devout Filipino foodies to even call it Sisig, but it ain’t bad on the eating, let me tell you – and it’s an awesome beer food, fellas: salty, sour, meaty and spicy.

This recipe will easily serve four.

Ingredients:

  • 2 red onions, roughly chopped
  • 2 chilli padi, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tin corned beef (or leftover corned beef from a dinner), cut into cubes
  • 1 tin Spam, cut into cubes
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 5 or more calamansi limes (slice through the tops of each lime to about 3⁄4 of the way to allow you to squeeze the juice without getting pips in the food)
  • 3 spring onions, tops only (the green bit), thinly sliced
  • 1 handful deep-fried shallots

Method:

  • Heat a pan and add some olive oil. In with the garlic, onions and chillies, and fry them off until they soften.
  • Add in the Spam and corned beef, and cook the meat until it’s browned; it might start to crust a little – that’s what you want. The corned beef is likely to mush up, too, which is also exactly what you want.
  • Add in the soy sauce and you’re finished.

Serving:

Version 1:
If you have a sizzling platter, have that heating up in the oven while you prepare the above. Serve the Sisig sizzling away on it, crack the eggs on top, and stir them in at the table.

Version 2:
That’s the traditional method, above, but I didn’t have a skillet so I plated up a different way. Simply crack the eggs into the pan with the mixture as you’re frying it off, stir them through and serve the whole lot on a plate.

The final step in both versions is to sprinkle on the spring onion tops and the fried shallots, and squeeze some calamansi juice on top.

There it is: Spam and Corned Beef Sisig – truly delicious. And make sure you crack a beer, too. I just love the combo of flavours – it has all the tastes I like in one go. Boom! And come on, how easy is it? Plus it gets ride of those stockpiled tins of meat you might have in the kitchen cupboard. Enjoy!

If you want to read more of Brian’s recipes, along with restaurant reviews and more, visit islifearecipe.net

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