We went to the Auckland Night Markets over the weekend and a Filipino food stand was back selling beef kaldereta, laing/Bicol Express and pork sisig. I got the sisig ($7) and didn't really care about the kaldereta or the laing. I don't want to brag, but our family does better Filipino food than most; the kaldereta didn't even have olives.

But it's not easy making sisig so I grab any chance I get to buy it ready-made. It's not always guaranteed that it's made according to how I normally like my sisig. As it turned out, the sisig I bought could have done with a few other additions, but the familiar chewy, sticky texture was there along with that porky-sour-creamy taste, and that's just what you need really when you don't have the time to make it yourself. Heck, I get so desperate sometimes I even buy the canned sisig from the Asian store.

The great thing about sisig is that it comes with so many tweaks and I actually like them all- toasted, so that you get the crispy bits that stick to the pan; slightly moist and gelatinous punctuated with the nutty creaminess of the pork brain (gross to some, but the taste is sublime); intensely sour from a dousing of vinegar; or even westernised with slashings of mayonnaise.

I remember $2 pig-heads at the butcher in my first two years in New Zealand- you bought one, seasoned it, roasted it in the oven, chopped it all up as fine as you can, added onions (I would use both red and white) and seasoning, and grilled it just before serving. Obviously it's great with rice, but I can honestly eat it in spoonfuls just by itself, hot or cold.

I ate mine mixed with a kale and savoy cabbage salad.