Facing the challenge of the 6-pound Sisig Burrito

Sizing up the challenge

Sizing up the challenge

Diving in

Diving in

Humbled: The Burrito was a superior foe

Humbled: The Burrito was a superior foe. TFLA photos

By Lawrence C. Ochoa

“Sisig,” is the ultimate ‘pulutan’ companion for beer.

In bars and restaurants, the many varieties of the sisig dish are bestsellers to pair with your favorite drink or to be chowed down with hot steamed rice.

Originally, sisig was made from chopped parts of a pig’s head, containing ears, snout, the brain, etc. Over the years it was reinvented into simple minced meat served on a sizzling platter with chili, liver, onion and seasoned with calamansi and vinegar. Different orders of sisig come in pork, chicken, tuna, chorizo, bangus, and tofu.

Sisig is a Kapampangan (natives of Pampanga, one of the provinces in the Philippines best known for its cuisine) term which means “to snack on something sour.” It also refers 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. There’s boiling, broiling, grilling process for most recipes.

Adding raw egg on the dish while it’s sizzling hot heightens the flavor.

Now with the background of this delicious dish in mind, I decided to engage in a Sisig Burrito-eating competition at the White Rabbit Restaurant in Winnetka, some 18 miles north of Los Angeles. This particular restaurant prides in bringing “fusion” to Filipino and Hispanic cuisine, with the original moniker being derived from the White Rabbit food truck originating from downtown L.A.

The challenge: devour six pounds of combined pork sisig and fried rice wrapped in a flour tortilla (with generous helpings of breakfast eggs inside the bowels of this overwhelming monstrosity of a food dish). Already familiar with the dish, which happens to be one of my favorite Filipino food, I signed up. The challenge is to consume the Sisig Burrito in one hour or less.

With the burrito in my grasp, I enthusiastically dove into this gargantuan delicacy, quickly finishing two pounds (which is one third of the actual burrito) within five minutes of the allotted hour. (My meal had been one banana before the challenge).

My enthusiasm led to a downturn, as the onslaught of protein and carbohydrates nullified my appetite — and my digestive system, for a few hours, I must say. Six pounds of anything to consume in one sitting? That’s pretty immense.

I unfortunately forfeited myself to the mercy of my food-based nemesis, realizing how much I underestimated the scale of this massive food item.

Notwithstanding my downfall to a superior foe, I had done my research about the sisig dish, and how much of a cultural mark this food plays within the Filipino culture. The dish in fact speaks of how my heritage had deftly combined left-over of sorts — poultry, pork, beef, vegetables — and made it into a delectable cuisine, similar to the Chinese style of the “Chop Suey.”

I had bested others on some “chow-down” competitions like those hamburger or hot dog-eating competitions. Unfortunately, this combination had been deadly in my pursuit of my food-conquering quests.

Recipe Ingredients for Sisig
2 1/2 lbs. pork

1/2 lb. liver

1 cup pineapple juice

1 tsp black peppers

1 cup onions

3 hot peppers

1/4 cup vinegar

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup pineapple juice

1 tbsp. ginger

1 clove garlic

1 tsp black pepper

One Comment

  1. Johnd976 wrote:

    Hey, thanks for the post.Really thank you! Really Cool.

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