It has almost been seven months since the community quarantine has been imposed in the country. And as with the rest of the world, travel has been put into halt. Despite things are slowly getting back to normal, the travel scene is still far from how it used to be. What a better way to somehow get back on our feet is to take on nearby road trips and explore local destinations. As the Philippines is one culinary gem, that exploration may mean a simple food tour. Pampanga, the culinary capital, is definitely worth a visit. And if there is one dish you shouldn’t miss here, it’s Aling Lucing’s sisig.
With a number of cancelled trips I have for the year, a simple visit to a nearby coffee shop or town has been a luxury for me. When we had the chance to drive to Pampanga, we thought of trying the province’s culinary pride, sisig, from none other than Aling Lucing, the known creator of the dish.
Aling Lucing Sisig in Pampanga
Sisig has gained so much attention in recent years. Even the most beloved chef, the late Anthony Bourdain, claimed it to win the hearts and minds of the world. The Kapampangan term sisig literally means to snack on something sour and in the province, it actually refers to sour, unripe fruits. Lucia Cunanan, also known as Aling Lucing, re-invented the dish by grilling pig heads and added some onions and vinegar.
Today, it’s popularly served beyond Pampanga on a sizzling plate usually topped with raw egg. Many people want it paired with beer as it is also a favorite partner with rice. A number of variation has also been made from chicken to tuna sisig. Even the recipe has evolved with some adding other ingredients like mayonnaise.
Dining in at Aling Lucing
Compared to the previous moths of community quarantine, more establishments have opened their doors to the public following safety protocols. When we went in Pampanga for an appointment we were hoping to find Aling Lucing’s restaurant. Fortunately, they are open and accepting dine-in customers.
Arriving a little early before lunch, we were the only ones at the place. The members of the staff warmly greeted and accommodated us. Aling Lucing’s restaurant has that friendly atmosphere, typical of a Filipino eatery. Simple and clean, it is a comfortable place to grab a meal.
Surely, the first thing we ordered was sisig. Their menu is not that extensive but there was quite enough to choose from. As usual, the sisig was served on a sizzling plate that also came with chili and calamansi. The chewy meat was simply mixed with onions.
Aside from sisig, we also had Chicharon Bulaklak, Pinaputok na Bangus, and Pinaputok na Pusit. It was indeed a simple yet appetizing lunch. There was nothing fancy but we enjoyed the food. It tasted like home.
As we were on our way home, we thought what was extraordinary with Aling Lucing’s sisig. Sisig has been widely served in many restaurants, even in expensive ones, each attempting to improve and incorporate their own twist with the dish. I had tried quite a number of them before that of Aling Lucing. Aling Lucing’s sisig recipe is surprisingly simple. It doesn’t even have a raw egg on top which I thought was a sisig must-have. But sometimes, simple is enough. In the case of Aling Lucing’s sisig, it was more than enough. I had high expectations because it was dubbed as the original one. I must admit, I wanted to be disappointed at first, thinking, that’s it? That’s all there is to it? But that thought vanished in split seconds. With a smile on my face, I was glad they preserved the original recipe.
In case you find yourself in Pampanga, do pay tribute to the sisig queen and visit Aling Lucing’s restaurant. Nothing fancy really. Just a good, memorable meal that will keep you full.
Aling Lucing Sisig
Address: Glaciano Valdez St. Brgy. Agapito del Rosario Angeles City, Pampanga
Operating Hours: Monday – Sunday, 9AM-9PM
Contact No.: (0906) 288 8905