28 Apr2014


Chopped milkfish sautéed with aromatics and garnished with wild sorrel. Sounds so arté, no? At any rate, I’m not sure who expanded the use of the term “sisig” (pig face and parts boiled, grilled and fried) to just about anything minced up and sautéed with a combination of chilies, onions, ginger, garlic, etc. and often served up on a sizzling cast iron platter, but it’s taken like wildfire at many a restaurant. This is the first time I have ever cooked and eaten bangus sisig and it was quite delicious, thank you. Maybe it evokes simpler days when we didn’t want to cut our food and just picked it up with our hands along with some rice and shoved it into our mouth, but this is a very comforting and easy way to eat fish, pork or chicken without much fuss…


Take a 500-550gram deboned bangus and fry it until cooked, making sure not to overcook it, leaving it a bit juicy rather than bone dry. Take out all the meat and shred it with a fork or chop it up roughly, saving the skin for use on the serving platter, if you wish. Prepare some finely minced ginger and garlic, chop one onion and roughly two siling labuyo (or birds eye chilies) finely, and chop up some chives or green onions. I wanted to include about half a cup or more of crushed chicharon but didn’t have any, so I used 1/4 cup of chopped up tampalen (the leftovers from making pure lard) instead. Here’s how I cooked it…


Into a sauté pan over medium-high heat, add about 1-2 tablespoons of lard. Add the ginger, onions and garlic and stir for a minute or so. Add the tampalen. Add the chopped chilies and stir for a few seconds more. Because I had some teeny tiny tomatoes, I added a half-handful to the pan and stirred that around (I am not sure if tomatoes are often included in other bangus sisigs) then added the chopped up fish. Season with some soy sauce (and/or Worcestershire or even oyster sauce if you like) and a few squeezes of fresh kalamansi juice and some cracked black pepper. Others might use mayonnaise(?!) (for creaminess?) and/or a raw egg but I decided to do without. Sprinkle with some chopped green onions and place the sisig onto the fried fish skin on a serving platter. I garnished with some wild sorrel which has a slightly sour or tart flavor perfect with the sisig and sat down to lunch. Feeds 2-3 with other dishes for the meal. It was delicious! Crispy, moist, spicy, tasty and perfect with a LOT of steamed rice. The tomatoes may not be typical, but they added nice warm bursts of moisture and flavor. This is a keeper!



  1. Connie C says:

    A fine recipe to greet me this morning: ” a combination of “chills”,( if you didn”t mean “kilig”, might as well! :) onions, ginger, garlic, etc”.

    Apr 28, 2014 | 6:10 am


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  3. Footloose says:

    Sounds delicious, looks beautiful and above all, mandates to somebody else the pesky duty of gleaning the fine fish bones out of the way. I won’t differ with you in leaving out the mayonnaise or coddled egg. Probably a bad habit anyway, similar to Americans’ penchant for dribbling ranch dressing on everything.

    @Connie C, just finished listening to the last episode. Finally answered a persistent question about my first cologne (right after Old Spice), Roger et Galet’s Farina.

    Apr 28, 2014 | 6:15 am

  4. Marketman says:

    Connie C, on the one hand, I could turn off the auto-spellcheck, on the other hand leave it on and get some weird corrections (particularly for Filipino words)… just need to have a sharper eye for edits… Footloose, I have to watch those episodes…

    Apr 28, 2014 | 6:37 am

  5. Footloose says:

    You’re a busy man, MM. Just listen to the final episode, it’s all about bergamot as in Earl Grey. Here is the link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0418wy7

    Apr 28, 2014 | 6:47 am

  6. Marketman says:

    Footloose, FABULOUS, not only did I not know why my cologne was called cologne, but now I have a really informed answer as to why I have always preferred Earl Grey Tea over many others. If only I had spent a decade in England in my early years so that I could have acquired they phenomenal use of vocabulary and the accent. I always wanted the accent. Now, for a trip to Southern Italy…

    Apr 28, 2014 | 7:06 am

  7. Connie C says:

    Footloose: Ahh cologne! I have been looking for body scents/fresheners especially in this hot humid tropical weather. Scents are such a personal thing. Wonder if R&G Farina might be the scent for me. I have tried and tried citrusy and mild floral ones and they simply don’t work with my body oils regardless of price.

    I just hope I won’t smell “exactly like sides to a Mexican dish, beans, sour cream, lettuce, cilantro, and lots of lime” as somebody commented on trying the same product:)

    Apr 28, 2014 | 7:13 am

  8. Footloose says:

    @Connie C, How about just taking it from the ancient Romans who considered women smelled nice when they did not smell of anything. Mulier bene olet dum nihil olet.

    @MM, my favourite camera reviewer demos an Asian speaking a kind of British english. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ykuy4qYip1U

    Apr 28, 2014 | 8:22 am

  9. Connie C says:

    Yes Footloose…I don’t know if nice for the ancient Romans meant not smelling of anything but themselves. …..and for the French and most Europeans…. au naturel.

    Apr 28, 2014 | 11:01 am

  10. Marketman says:

    How a post on bangus sisig can morph into the olfactory reactions to a hairy armpit always amazes me… :)

    Apr 28, 2014 | 12:06 pm

  11. millet says:

    hahaha! a cousin says mexican food always smells to him like funky armpits!

    Apr 29, 2014 | 2:17 pm


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