Pork and greed: A story of homemade sisig

Hello porkaliciousness!

I found myself scraping every last bit of porkalicious sisig goodness: crunchy, chewy, savory, piquant & spicy, from the plate, licking it oh so clean that the plate did not require its ceremonial after-meal bath. Uh-oh. None left for The Husband? My sisig greed got the better of me! With pork evidence already hidden in the recesses of my stomach, I make a mad scramble to prepare another dish for dinner…

Greed can always get the better of us.

Case in point, what is happening to my motherland: people in power gobbling up billions in Philippine pesos (hundreds of millions of US dollars worth) of pork barrel (“the appropriation of government spending for localized projects secured solely or primarily to bring money to a representative’s district” as defined by Wikipedia) funded by tax money from the hardworking Filipinos around the world into bogus non-government organizations (NGOs) a.k.a their pockets. Thinking of it just makes my blood boil! A few people gorging on the money, a large chunk regularly taken from our hard earned income, which is meant for the country’s supposed progress for basic needs such as nutrition, infrastructure, education, health care, livelihood and more, spent seemingly without remorse on themselves. It was money meant for all: rich, middle-class, and most especially the poor, not just some great greedy guts (Thanks Polly from TinTin!) who flaunt and claim stolen money as their own. How can you stomach stealing from a country with people who live in shanties, who get sustenance from mountains of trash, who do not have access to basic needs? How does one get so greedy?

ARRRRRGHHHHHHH! *hair pulling* *feet stomping* *I want to start a revolution chest thumping* RAAAAAAWWWWWRRRRRR!!!!

Whoops! Okay…now I know how The Husband feels whenever my sisig greed takes over. Does he feel the same rage I do feel about the Philippines’ stolen pork barrel when I get greedy with sisig? Will he go a rallying to demand for his fair share of pork (sisig)?

Good thing, I now can make pork sisig at home, almost anytime I want…or when The Husband demands a return of his fair sisig share.  Thank you to my chef sister for sharing the base recipe (modifications were made)!

Beautiful pork

What you need:

  • Equipment
    • A stovetop
    • An oven (preferred, but if you do not have one, cooking with a fryer or in a pan over the stovetop would do)
    • A stockpot
    • Paper towel/s
    • A roasting pan with a wire rack, if you are using the oven
    • Sharp knife and chopping board
    • A pan
  • Ingredients
    • 1st stage
      • Water to fill half of your stock pot
      • 1-kilo of pork belly (or use a mix of pig ears, pork cheeks / jowls and belly)
      • 2-slices of fresh ginger
      • 2-tbsps white vinegar
      • 2-tbsps ground pepper or whole black peppercorns
      • 1-tbsp salt
  • 2nd stage
    • Pork drippings
    • 5-cloves of garlic, minced
    • 1-large red onion, minced extra fine – if you have a chopper, best to use it (Any onion would do, but the red ones impart the most flavor)
    • 1-teaspoon of red chili flakes, which you can increase or decrease depending on your tolerance and preference for heat
    • 2-3 tbsps soy sauce, which you can adjust based on your salt preference
    • 1-tbp white vinegar
    • A pinch of salt & pepper to taste
    • Juice of 1-lemon / 2-limes / 2-calamansi (if you are lucky to have access to this wonderful tropical citrus fruit)
  • Optional sides / condiments
    • A cup of steamed white rice and/or
    • A cold, cold bottle of beer
    • Sunny side up egg on top
    • Cheese / mayonnaise, which I don’t think you really need.

Sisig saute base

Step-by-step:

  • 1st stage
  1. Mix all ingredients, except the pork, from the 1st stage in the large stockpot with water then bring to a boil.
  2. Add the pork and then boil on medium heat for an hour and a half to two. To check the doneness, lift the pork with tongs. If the pork crumbles, then stop boiling as it is overdone. But it really don’t matter since you still will get to use it.
  3. Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees C/ 400 degrees F.
  4. Remove the pork from the stockpot and pat dry with paper towel/s. Then place atop the wire rack inside the roasting pan.
  5. Roast pork in over until the skin turns crispy (but not too crispy as you don’t want the pork to be dry), which can be between 45 minutes to an hour. You may hear pops and sizzles from the oven, but don’t worry! The oven is not about to explode. NOTE: Should the pork brown too quickly, reduce the oven temperature to 150 degrees C / 300 degrees F. If you are deep-frying / frying your pork, ensure that your oil is hot enough to get the crispness you need. Test fry a small piece of pork and watch if it cracks, pops and sizzles as soon as it hits the oil. If it does, then the oil is ready. Post pork-frying, drain the pork on a rack and use 2-tbsps of the frying oil for the 2nd stage.
  6. Once done, set aside for the pork to cool. And more importantly, DO NOT THROW AWAY THE PORK DRIPPINGS / OIL.
  • 2nd stage
  1. Chop the cooled pork into ½ inch pieces or as tiny as you can chop them. Just make sure your knife is extra sharp. Then set aside.
  2. Turn stovetop to medium heat and place frying pan on it. Wait for the frying pan to heat up. To test, hover the palm of your hand over the frying pan and if it feels too hot for comfort, then the pan is ready. If your frying pan smokes, then it is too hot, so move it over to a cooler spot of your stove for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add the pork drippings / oil and wait for it to warm up for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Once oil is hot enough (refer to step 2 for tips on how to check), add garlic, onion and red chili flakes. Be sure to stay away the fumes from the mixture as it can sting your eyes plus make you cough and gag. Saute until onions are translucent.
  5. Then add the pork, soy sauce, vinegar and lemon / lime / calamansi juice into the hot pan and mix everything up. Do not continuously mix, especially if you want to get another layer of crispiness and flavor from the toasted pork. Mix and turn the pork every 3-5 minutes at least 2x.
  6. Remove from stovetop and serve hot with the optional sides / condiments above. Enjoy!

Pork sisig with sunny side up egg

And so now what happens to my motherland? What can we do as ordinary citizens who deserve that extraordinary amount of taxes from our pockets? To be honest, I do not know, BUT, from where I am, I can rage on social media until my tiny voice gets heard (hopefully) and do pray hard that this will spark a real revolution, a change in who and how our tax money is managed. Will you pray for my country too?

NO TO GREED! Maybe except for sisig?

Delirious about delicious,

Didi

P.S. If you are a concerned Filipino citizen (or Filipino ex-citizen or anybody who cares for our small country that could), perhaps you’d want to sign this petition to scrap pork barrel here

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