Pork Belly Sisig
Recipe courtesy of Richmond Flores for Food Network Kitchen

Pork Belly Sisig

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 hr 20 min
  • Active: 1 hr
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
This Filipino dish, usually made with pig face and ears, embodies the culture’s no-waste philosophy. It’s also a labor of love. After the pork is braised and grilled, it’s chopped and sautéed until crisp. Chopped grilled chicken livers and aromatics are added and everything is tossed with a mixture of tart calamansi juice, liquid aminos and soy sauce (sisig is derived from an old Tagalog word meaning “to make it sour”). In this version, pork belly fills in for the pig face and ears. It still takes a bit of work to make but is well-worth the effort.

Ingredients

Directions

Special equipment:
skewers, gas or charcoal grill
  1. Add the pork belly, star anise, bay leaves, 2-inch pieces of scallion, garlic halves, ginger, lemongrass, peppercorns and 2 tablespoons salt to a large pot. Cover with about 3 quarts of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the pork is tender, about 1 hour. Let cool in the liquid to room temperature. This allows the pork to stay moist and absorb more flavor. Transfer the pork to a cutting board and pat dry.
  2. Set a grill for indirect cooking and heat to medium-high, about 400 degrees F. Place the pork skin-side down over the indirect heat portion of the grill. Close the lid and cook, until some of the fat is rendered and the skin is starting to crisp, about 20 minutes (see Cook’s Note).
  3. Move the pork to the direct heat portion of the grill. Continue to cook until slightly charred and the skin is crisp, moving the pork when flare-ups occur, 15 to 20 minutes.  
  4. Skewer the chicken livers if using. Lightly brush with vegetable oil and season with salt and pepper.  
  5. Remove the pork from the grill and let cool. Place the livers on the direct heat portion of the grill and cook, turning every 2 to 3 minutes. Cook until firm and well done, about 12 minutes.  
  6. Cut the pork into 1/4-inch cubes and set aside. Finely chop the chicken livers and set aside.  
  7. Combine the calamansi juice, liquid aminos and soy sauce in a small bowl and set aside.
  8. Preheat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butter and pork and cook, continuously stirring and scraping any bits that stick to the pan as the pork begins to crisp, about 10 minutes. Be careful of any fat that splatters from the pan. Discard all but about 3 tablespoons from the skillet. Add the chopped livers, onions and minced garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are slightly crispy, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the calamansi mixture and cook until slightly reduced, about 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the Thai chiles and scallions. Serve over jasmine rice. 

Cook’s Note

Grilling over indirect heat will help render some of the fat and dry out the skin, which helps the skin cook until crisp while preventing flare-ups and grease fires.