Posted in Home Cooking, Restaurant Hopping, The Flavors of Asia, The Grocery Shop-a-holic, The Pinoy Food Route

In Which a Restaurant Favorite Gets a Nifty Little Home Version…

Precious, savory pouches of goodness!
Precious, savory pouches of goodness!

Mesa Filipino Moderne‘s sisig in a pouch has to be one of my all-time-favorite restaurant appetizers.  While my initial impression of this dish was just awful (too soggy and, worse, the damned things were weeping oil!), subsequent visits to Mesa showed a marked improvement in the quality of the dish.

The most recent trip to Mesa brought the beasties you see at the top of this post to our table: golden-brown pouches filled with a rich, vinegary, chili and garlic infused mix of chopped pig’s ears, cheeks, snouts, and livers and bound with spring onion strings.  These things are so delectable, the meat within irresistibly unctuous and gorgeously flavored that you might not want to order anything else.  (But you will; everything at Mesa is good!)

I’ve always wanted to do a spin on this dish at home; something like a sisig meets lumpia (spring rolls) or gyoza sort of vibe.  The closest I could get was a version of a local favorite, pinsec frito (pastry-wrapped triangles of pork and water-chestnut forcemeat which are deep-fried till crunchy).

This version is a tribute to all the easy ways out: tinned sisig, store-bought pastry wrappers.  Dead-easy and the results are certainly tasty.

Give it a try; I’m pretty sure you’ll find it the perfect thing to serve as a party canape or just a round of wee nibbles to go with an ice-cold beer.

Pinsec con Sisig

  • 1 150g tin Purefoods Sizzling Sisig (or use about 1/4 of a package of frozen sisig)
  • 1 medium red onion, minced
  • 1 pack (approximately 1 dozen sheets) pastry (siomai/molo) wrappers
  • water
  • oil for deep frying

Drain the oil out of the tin and into a medium frying pan over medium heat.  Once the oil is sizzling, add the onion and cook until softened.  Add the sisig and cook whilst stirring till crisp in some parts and moist in others.  Set aside.

Put a scant teaspoon of the sisig into the center of each pastry wrapper.  Dab water at the edges and fold to seal.  Chill for about 30 – 40 minutes.

Heat the oil in a wok over medium heat and cook the pinsec until golden brown.  Drain on paper towels; serve immediately

Makes approximately 12 pieces.



Midge started her career in PR writing at seventeen when she began drafting documentaries for a government-run television station in the Philippines. Since then, she made a career in advertising and public relations which ended in June 2016 These days, she works full time at Philippine Tatler as a features writer under the nom de guerre Marga Manlapig. Aside from what she does for a living and her poetry, she has turned her home kitchen into a personal culinary lab and is currently working on another novel. Follow her on Instagram at @midgekmanlapig.

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