The flavors are a bit complex, it’s smokey, savory, with deep flavors of soy, chiles, acidity from the vinegar and calamansi. I don’t know what it is about, but whenever I went to the bars with my friends, I would always order my own sisig plate. There’s something about this dish that’s just goes well with nice cold beer, I mean, in my opinion it’s the perfect bar food.
- 1 cup (30g) – dried wood ear mushrooms or black fungus, https://amzn.to/38y8byd see notes
- 1 cup (40g) – dried shiitake mushrooms, https://amzn.to/2XuqyNW see notes
- 3–4 cups – hot water
- 1 medium – red onion, roughly diced
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 green finger chili pepper (siling haba), thinly sliced, see notes
- 2–3 Thai red chili pepper (siling labuyo), thinly sliced, see notes
- 1 block of tofu, diced into small cubes
- 2 tablespoons – vegan butter
- Oil, for frying
- Calamansi or lemon, for topping
- ¾ cup (177g) – soy sauce
- ⅛ teaspoon – liquid smoke, see notes
- 3 tablespoons – coconut vinegar (sukang tuba) or white vinegar, https://amzn.to/3nudbrB see notes
- 1 ½ teaspoon – white sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoon – vegan worcestershire https://amzn.to/3q7YNag
- 1 ½ tablespoons – calamansi juice or lemon juice, see notes
Mushroom chicharon (Optional, but tastes great in the dish!):
- 1 cup (50g) – fresh oyster mushrooms, diced into cubes
- ¼ cup (60g) – cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon – paprika
- ½ teaspoon – garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon – onion powder
- Pinch of salt and black and pepper
- Chef’s knife
- Chopping board
- 1 large mixing bowl
- 2 medium mixing bowls
- 1 small mixing bowls
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Large saucepan
- Large pan or large cast-iron pan (optional)
- Add the dry black fungus mushrooms and dried shiitake mushrooms in a medium mixing bowl. Pour in hot water, make sure it is enough to submerge all the mushrooms. Set aside to rehydrate for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, press your tofu to release the excess water. Either use heavy books or a tofu press. Press for about 15-30 minutes, or until most of the water has been released.
- Next, chop up all the vegetables, the fresh oyster mushrooms, red onion, garlic, green finger chili and Thai red chili peppers, and set them aside until ready to use.
- Then, dice the tofu into ½ inch cubes and set aside.
- When the dried mushrooms are fully hydrated, drain the water and quickly run them under cold water. Then, squeeze out the excess water from the mushrooms.
- For the black fungus mushrooms, cut the hard woody center. After, you can continue to chop them, along with the shiitake mushrooms, to ½ inch pieces. Set them aside in a large mixing bowl.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients for the marinade. Add it to the bowl with the rehydrated black fungus mushrooms and shiitake mushrooms.
- Allow the mushrooms to marinate for 20-30 minutes.
- In a small mixing bowl, mix together the cornstarch, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper.
- Toss in the chopped oyster mushrooms with the cornstarch mixture. After, in a large saucepan, preheat enough oil to fry the mushrooms. When the oil is ready, fry the coated oyster mushrooms for about 3-5 minutes or until slightly golden brown.
- Remove from the oil, and place them on a cooling rack to drain the oil. Set aside until ready to use.
Cooking the sisig:
- Heat about 2 tablespoons of oil to a large pan, over medium-high heat. When the oil is ready, fry the tofu until golden on all sides. Remove the tofu and set aside over a plate or bowl.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add the butter to the pan. When the butter is melted, add in the minced garlic. Sauté until fragrant, don’t burn them.
- Next, add in the onions and sauté until they are soft and translucent.
- Add in the green finger chili peppers and red Thai chili peppers. Sauté it all together for a minute.
- To the pan, add the marinated mushrooms along with sauce, then add in the fried tofu. Mix to combine, and continue to cook until the sauce has evaporated. Remove from heat, squeeze a little bit of calamansi or lemon, top it off with the mushroom chicharron, and serve with rice. Enjoy!
- You can find most of these ingredients at your local Asian Supermarket.
- If you can’t find wood ear mushrooms, you can sub it for dried fungus mushrooms.
- You can use fresh shiitake, but I find that dried shiitake gives a better texture.
- When cutting the chili peppers please use gloves, as flesh and seeds can cause the skin to burn.
- Liquid smoke is very potent, in this recipe, you only need a small drop of it. Too much, and it’ll overpower the dish. What I like to do is pour a small amount over a spoon, and then add a bit from the spoon to the dish. You’re looking for a smokey essence, and not necessarily a flavor. This is to mimic the smoky flavor from a grill.
- I found coconut vinegar at my local Filipino store, but you can sub it for white vinegar.
- If you can’t find fresh calamansi, you can use lemon or calamansi extract. If you do find calamansi extract, you will need to use less of it. Taste as you go.
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