Savor significantly good sisig

Columns What's Cooking?

January 25, 2015

Story By: Rachel Breit | Photos by: Rachel Breit

Spicy, salty and a little tangy, sisig hits all the right notes when it comes to snacking. The chopped and seasoned protein is just right for noshing, pint in hand. But, it’s not only for the beer drinkers. At beloved Filipino eatery Max’s of Manila, the popular Kapampangan dish is served in more ways than one and always arrives sizzling.

The classic Pork Sisig ($9.95) showcases pig head in all its tender yet crunchy glory. “This is one of the original sisig we have,” says manager Elizabeth Joven. “It is made of pork snout, face and ear. Of all the sisig we have, it’s the most labor intensive.”

To prepare the dish, the pork pieces are marinated, grilled, chopped and then mixed with ginger and onion in a hot pan. Fresh, thinly sliced jalapenos add a touch of spice, while white vinegar gives the dish a kick. Joven suggests pairing the dish with rice as well as a vegetable dish, like Asparagus and Tofu. “That one has a sweet, tangy taste that compliments the sisig,” she explains.

New to the menu, Beef Sisig ($13.50) features chopped tenderloin seasoned with soy sauce, red pickled chiles and topped with crunchy chicharrones. The addition of chicken liver gives the dish an extra richness. There’s no vinegar in this combination, but a squeeze of citrus can add a punch. “Most customers like the sour taste, so we give a slice of lemon if they want,” Joven says. Order this dish with a chicken entree, and you’ll be very satisfied.

The bone-free milkfish in Bangus Sisig ($15.95) is ready for you to dig right into. The fish belly is seasoned then fried before it’s chopped.

“The crunchy part in here is the skin, which we cook separate and use as a top-ping,” says Joven. The special-turned-menu-mainstay can be made spicier if you like. “The bangus is best to be paired with Pinakbet,” she adds. “It’s a vegetable dish made of bitter melon, squash, string beans and seasoned with a lemon.”

Can’t decide which one to pick? You’re not alone. “Most of the time, people order one of each to share,” says Joven. “Everybody has their favorite.”

Max’s of Manila

801 Dillingham Blvd. (also located in Waipahu)
Daily, 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m.

Honolulu, HI 96817

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