Kapampangan sisig served on a hot plate.
Alternative namesSisig
CourseMain course, snack, salad
Place of originPhilippines
Region or statePampanga
Created byModern sisigLucia Cunanan; original sisig – no attributed creator
Serving temperatureHot
Main ingredientsPork jowls, ears, sometimes brain and liver, onions and chili
VariationsChicken sisig, beef sisig, squid sisig, tuna or bangus sisig or other fish, tofu sisig
Food energy
(per serving)
293[1] kcal
Similar dishesDinakdakan, Kilawin, Tokwa't baboy
Other informationSisig Day, January 3

Sisig (/ˈssɪɡ/[2] Tagalog pronunciation: ['sisig]) is a Filipino dish made from pork jowl and ears (maskara), pork belly, and chicken liver, which is usually seasoned with calamansi, onions, and chili peppers. It originates from the Pampanga region in Luzon.

Sisig is a staple of Kapampangan cuisine. The city government of Angeles, Pampanga, through City Ordinance No. 405, series of 2017, declared sizzling sisig babi ("pork sisig") as a tangible heritage of Angeles City.[3]

Sizzling sisig served on grill platters


The earliest known record of the word sisig can be traced back to 1732, and was recorded by Augustinian friar Diego Bergaño in his Vocabulary of the Kapampangan Language in Spanish and Dictionary of the Spanish Language in Kapampangan.[4][5] Bergaño defines sisig as a "salad, including green papaya, or green guava eaten with a dressing of salt, pepper, garlic, and vinegar." The term manisig as in manisig manga, a phrase still used today, refers to eating green mangoes dipped in vinegar.

The term also came to be used to a method of preparing fish and meat, especially pork, which is marinated in a sour liquid such as lemon juice or vinegar, then seasoned with salt, pepper, and other spices.[6]

A sisig variation in Malolos uses mushroom as the main ingredient, served with fried rice and egg.

The use of the pig's head in the dish is commonly attributed to using the excess meat from the commissaries of Clark Air Base in Angeles City.[7] Pig heads were purchased cheap (or free), since they were not used in preparing meals for the U.S. Air Force personnel stationed there during the American occupation of Luzon and Visayas.[8] Aling Lucing became popular when she grilled the pig's ears and added the cheeks to accommodate the bigger demand, a recipe she learned from the next-door stall owner in Crossing, Ricardo "Bapang Kadok" Dinio. The evolution of sisig moved forward when Benedict Pamintuan of Sugay's, a restaurant also in Angeles, thought of using a sizzling plate as a serving vessel so that the pork fat would not go cold and turn into lard when it was served.[9] Sisig still has many variations with recipes varying from city to city, and sometimes family to family, in the Kapampangan province.

Aling Lucing Fred's Cafe Magalang

Sisig queen

Main article: Lucia Cunanan

Lucia Cunanan of Angeles, also known as "Aling Lucing", has been credited with reinventing sisig by grilling the pig's ears, and using the cheeks, as well.[10] The Philippine Department of Tourism has acknowledged that her "Aling Lucing's" restaurant had established Angeles as the "Sisig Capital of the Philippines" in 1974.[11] Cunanan's trademark sisig was developed in mid-1974 when she served a concoction of grilled and chopped pig ears and cheeks seasoned with vinegar, calamansi juice, chopped onions and chicken liver and served in hot plates. Today, varieties include sisig ala pizzailo, pork combination, green mussels or tahong, mixed seafood, ostrich sisig, crocodile sisig, spicy python, frog sisig, and tokwa't baboy, among others.[10]


According to Cunanan's recipe, preparing sisig comes in three phases: boiling, broiling, and finally grilling.[12] A pig's head is first boiled to remove hairs and to tenderize it. Portions of it are then chopped and grilled or broiled. Finally, coarsely chopped onions are added and served on a sizzling plate.

Variations of sisig may include pork or chicken liver and/or any of: eggs, ox brains, chicharon (pork cracklings), and mayonnaise; although these additions are common nowadays, they are frowned upon by the traditionalist chefs of Pampanga as it deviates far from the identity of the original sisig.[13] Recently, local chefs have experimented with ingredients other than pork such as chicken, squid, tuna, and tofu.[13]


The annual "Sisig Festival" (Sadsaran Qng Angeles) is held every year during December in Angeles, Pampanga, celebrating the Kapampangan dish. It started in 2003 and was made an annual festival by Mayor Carmelo Lazatin in December 2004 to promote the city's culinary prowess.[14] The festival also features a contest where chefs compete in making dishes, primarily sisig. Congo Grille, a restaurant chain in the country, was the winner in 2006.[15][16][17]

In 2008, the festival was put on hiatus following Aling Lucing's death. In 2014, Ayala Malls's Marquee Mall incorporated the festival by including it within their annual Big Bite! Northern Food Festival, held every October or November.[citation needed]

The Angeles City Tourism Office organized a festival on April 29, 2017. The revival of the festival was in line with the Philippine Department of Tourism's Flavors of the Philippines campaign. Now called "Sisig Fiesta", the festivities were held at Valdes Street, Angeles (also known as "Crossing" since it was a former railroad track), where Aling Lucing reinvented the dish. The newly revived Sisig Fiesta was a one-day event that featured a line up of sisig sampler banquet, sisig and BBQ stalls, cooking demonstrations with celebrity chefs, and a showcase of Angeleño culinary talent through competitions.[citation needed]

See also


  1. ^ "Sisig Recipe - Calorie Count". Retrieved October 6, 2009.
  2. ^ "Definition of Sisig by Oxford Dictionary". Retrieved December 15, 2020.[dead link]
  3. ^ Angeles Ordinance No. 405, Series of 2017 “An ordinance declaring Sizzling Sisig Babi as an intangible cultural heritage of Angeles, and establishing systems and policies in safeguarding the original recipe of Sizzling Sisig, providing mechanisms of implementation, and for other related purposes”)
  4. ^ Bergaño, Diego (2007). Vocabulary of the Kapampangan Language in Spanish and Dictionary of the Spanish Language in Kapampangan. Angeles, Pampanga, Philippines: Holy Angel University Press. ISBN 978-9719367215.
  5. ^ Bergaño, Diego (1732). Bocabulario de pampango en romance, y diccionario de romance en pampango. Manila, Captaincy General of the Philippines: Impresso en El Convento de Nuestra Señora de los Angeles.
  6. ^ "The Pilgrim's Pots and Pans". Archived from the original on February 21, 2006. Retrieved July 10, 2007.
  7. ^ Estrella, Serna (August 6, 2013). "Sisig: The Tragic History Behind Our Favorite Pulutan". Retrieved September 21, 2016.
  8. ^ Carlo Osi (March 26, 2009). "Filipino cuisine on US television". Mind Feeds. Inquirer Company. Archived from the original on July 14, 2012. Retrieved June 18, 2011.
  9. ^ "Sisig: A Cultural Heritage of Pampanga". January 19, 2019.
  10. ^ a b "RP's sisig queen found dead in Pampanga home". GMANews.TV. April 16, 2008. Retrieved April 16, 2008.
  11. ^ "Festivals and Events: Pampanga". The Ultimate Philippines Ultimate Travel Guide For Tourists. Department of Tourism. Retrieved April 16, 2008.
  12. ^ Nora, Villanueva Daza; Michaela Fenix (1992). A Culinary Life: Personal Recipe Collection. Anvil Publishing. p. 14. ISBN 971-27-0212-X.
  13. ^ a b Banal, Ruston (April 30, 2018). "Sisig with egg and mayo? Thanks, but Kapampangans aren't having any of that". GMA News Online. Philippines: GMA Network. Archived from the original on July 30, 2019. Retrieved July 30, 2019.
  14. ^ Fabian, Dante M. (December 13, 2004). "Sisig Fest eyed as annual tourism event". Sun.Star Pampanga. Archived from the original on June 22, 2009. Retrieved April 12, 2008.
  15. ^ Reynaldo G. Navales (December 9, 2006). "Kapampangans show cooking skills at Sisig festival". Sun.Star Pampanga. Retrieved February 22, 2009.
  16. ^ "Sizzling Pork Sisig Recipe by Recipe ni Juan".
  17. ^ "Food of the Philippines: Sizzling Pork Sisig". Archived from the original on December 18, 2016.