When the whole is greater than the sum of its parts…
Note: M.I.Y.O. Monday stands for Make It Your Own Monday, a question thrown out to DCF readers every Monday to jumpstart the week with lively interaction. I also welcome questions and suggestions for future MIYO Mondays. Email me.
I was introduced to sisig in college by a well-meaning friend who thoughtfully refrained from telling me what sisig was until after I’d licked the sizzling plate clean. “It’s pig parts – the head, cheeks, and ears…” His voice trails off, his face a picture of extreme apprehension. He was probably worried I’d slap the bejesus out of him after retching the hell out of myself. But I was already ballsy, even in college. I looked at him coolly and replied, “Is that all? Let’s order another plate!”
That first plate of sisig was eaten at Trellis, a place that is famous for this dish. I used to think it was the bomb – best of them all and a one-way route to coronary failure – but I’ve eaten many plates of sisig since then and I think there are many better. I especially like the one at Gerry’s Grill. This dish, a proudly Pampangueño invention, displays the Filipino ingenuity of not letting anything go to waste. And what a mysterious glory broiling, dicing, and sautéeing can do to these particular pig parts.
Though it’s sacrilegious and some would say, untrue to the spirit of the dish, I prefer crunchy sisig. Yes, I know it’s just heaps of chicharon serving as filler or as extenders perhaps, but I like the crispy dryness of the pork rind with the mushy chew of the sisig. Add to this lot, lashings of onion, a squeeze of calamansi, and a vigorous shake of liquid seasoning. And I don’t ever forget the sili (chili pepper). I also almost always pay extra to have a whole raw egg cracked atop because first, you know how I feel about eggs and secondly, with a dish as guilt-inducing as this, I may as well go for broke.
Aw crap, excuse me while I wipe the drool off my keyboard.