Filipino dish sisig showcased in 'Iron Chef' reboot


Posted at Jun 22 2022 03:30 PM

Sturgeon Sisig with Taro Chips, as seen in 'Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend' on Netflix
Sturgeon Sisig with Taro Chips, as seen in "Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend" on Netflix

A fresh take on the Filipino dish sisig was recently showcased by renowned Chinese-American chef Ming Tsai in the reboot of the TV cooking competition "Iron Chef" on Netflix.

Tsai, one of the Iron Chefs on the show, prepared Sturgeon Sisig with Taro Chips. The surf and turf dish has pork belly and sturgeon, the featured ingredient in his match against chef challengers Mei Lin and Gregory Gourdet.

"So we are going towards the Philippines. My chef at Blue Dragon is from Manila and we used to have sisig on the menu, which is made from braised pig's head," the Iron Chef said. "This is a sturgeon challenge, so I wanted to do a surf and turf sisig. So we have pork belly with sturgeon."

"And one of the keys of sisig is palm vinegar. We deglazed big time with that vinegar," he added.

The judges of "Battle Sturgeon" -- food and travel expert Nilou Motamed, chef and food critic Andrew Zimmern, and chef and restaurateur Wolfgang Puck -- were all impressed by Tsai's sisig dish.

"I gotta tell you, you're so right about that coconut vinegar. The flavors are so good. This is just a really fun way to deal with that center-cut top loin of the sturgeon," Zimmern said. 

"I love the spiciness on it. Everything comes together beautifully and you'll get a spoonful of flavor," Puck said.

"The flavor profile is nothing like the other dishes you've served. There's brightness, there's acid, and then perfectly cooked piece of fish. It's just great," Motamed said. 

Sturgeon Sisig with Taro Chips was Tsai's second creation under his "around the world" theme, which also included Tea Smoked Sturgeon with Coconut Lime Crema (Peru), Sturgeon Tonkatsu with Kimchi Jjigae (South Korea and Japan), and Sturgeon Coulibiac with Soba Noodles, Maitake, and Truffles (France and Russia).

The Iron Chef also prepared an appetizer of vinegar-steamed sturgeon topped with caviar and served with tomato water with vodka at the 30-minute mark of the competition.

In the end, Tsai won the "Sturgeon" round with 86 points against Lin and Gourdet's 85. The score was based on taste, presentation, and the use of the featured ingredient during the 75-minute cookoff.

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