January was supposed to be the month that I will repent from all my holiday eating sinfulness, but alas--my resistance crumbled at the thought of making sisig from real pig's head. I sent someone to buy one whole pig's head from the wet market for a surprisingly low price. The butcher made my job easier by cutting the meat off the head, hooray for butchers!
There was too much meat to make sisig, so I halved the meat and set aside the other half for binaggoongan. Sisig according to wikipedia is a dish made from parts of pig's head and usually seasoned with chili peppers and calamansi (which is used like lime). It's thrice-cooked meaning it goes through three cooking methods. The first method it goes through is boiling in water, pineapple juice (for softening), garlic cloves, peppercorns, dried bayleaves and salt. This is done for an hour until until meat is tender. After drying the meat, it's grilled until the skin is crispy. The meat is minced into very small cubes and marinated in calamansi, soy sauce, white vinegar, bird's eye chili and finely minced onion. The third and final step is to heat up the sizzling plate over high heat and then the marinated meat is fried and served very hot. Some cooks add egg, mayonnaise or ox brains but I opted to keep mine simple.
For the other half, after boiling the meat for one hour, the meat is set aside, dried and cooled. The meat is then deep-fried, drained and cut into pieces. I sauteed minced garlic, sliced onions, sliced finger chili and a good-quality shrimp paste. When the vegetables have wilted and the shrimp paste is fragrant, I added the meat and a little water. The mixture is simmered for 5 minutes. Serve immediately.