Tofu Sisig – The Vegetarian Alternative

Have you ever let somebody eat something and not tell them what’s inside, and then they’re either horrified or pleasantly surprised when you do tell them afterwards?

I have.

Thankfully, the Tofu Sisig was more of the pleasantly surprising fair.

Not everyone is a fan of tofu on this side of the planet. Some detest the texture, while some are just bored by its total lack of flavor.

This inherent blandness is what makes tofu good. It keeps the flavors you subject it to, making it a very versatile ingredient.

Tofu Sisig (Serves 2 – 3)

  • 400 g tofu, drained and cut into 0.5 cm slices
  • vegetable oil, for deep frying
  • 4 – 6 onions, chopped (chop only after cutting fried tofu)
  • 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/8 cup Maggi Seasoning Sauce
  • 1 Thai chili pepper, chopped
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 2 eggs, scrambled
  • Mayonnaise
  • Röstzwiebeln (fried onions)

1 Fry the sliced tofu until crispy. Place on paper towels to remove excess oil.

2 Cut fried tofu into tiny cubes.

3 Chop enough onions such that it’s in a 1:1 ratio with the chopped tofu.

4 In a big saute pan, cook together the chopped tofu and onions until the onions have browned.

5 Mix balsamic vinegar and Maggi seasoning sauce together then pour onto the tofu and onions. Mix.

6 Adjust taste with salt and pepper.

7 Mix in chili pepper and allow the tofu sisig to simmer for a few minutes then take off from heat until before serving.

8 To serve, heat  up the tofu sisig on a sizzling plate or a regular pan. Add the eggs and mix well. Top with a small amount of mayonnaise and Röstzwiebeln.

Everyone was surprised to find out that there wasn’t a hint of meat in the recipe. You know when a dish is convincing when the lone vegetarian was still doubtful, even after I assured him that there was no meat inside.

The Original Sisig. Had we served the original Sisig, I predict that my European friends would not have spoken to me after my birthday lunch. If you don’t know what the original Sisig is, it is basically parts of a pig’s head chopped and cooked with lots of onion, seasoned with calamansi and Maggi Savor, crisped on a sizzling plate and topped with an egg. It is eaten best with your favorite brand of beer.

Crisping the tofu. If you are like me, you’re not a fan of deep frying. I tried to crisp the tofu once by placing the slices on the top layer of the oven, at 220 degrees Celcius for 20 minutes. After that, I took out the tray and flipped the tofu so the other side can crisp. The texture was the same minus the calories.

Why not dice the tofu before crisping? Good question. I ask myself this too. David has to enlighten us about it.

Adjusting the sauce. I only guesstimated the volume of balsamic vinegar and Maggi seasoning sauce in this recipe. It seems reasonable for the amount of tofu that’s included. I suggest you have some extra vinegar and Maggi available just in case the taste is not savory enough for you.


We used in total 1.4 kg tofu, almost 1 kg of onions (chopped by Janet who claimed that she liked doing this. Go figure), and a small bottle of Maggi. This was enough to serve 12 people a cup of Tofu sisig each. Not bad eh?  We even had leftovers.

If we can make a pork version of this that uses the more common types of pork, maybe this recipe will fly in Saarland. Just a little bit of trivia to all of you: people from Saarland love Maggi. So much so that there’s a bottle on every table in our Mensa and giant bottles are available in the supermarket. By giant I mean one friggin liter.

So the Birthday lunch has started. Off to the next, Asian BBQ Pasta (to be posted by David).


7 thoughts on “Tofu Sisig – The Vegetarian Alternative

  1. yay! tofu sisig – need to try out it for myself (though i will probably try to pan-fry the tofu because of the lack of oven…)~

  2. nice!! I like experimenting with tofu! Just one thing: I read an article long ago about the sisig festival in Pampanga, and it turns out that “sisig” is a manner of cooking (much like sinigang or nilaga) instead of the name of just one dish. They make sisig from everything from veggies to meat, it’s just that in Manila, it was the meat version that gained popularity. ^_^

  3. I live & work at the moment in Nairobi Kenya, & some of the ingredients are not available here like Maggi, Thai red chili pepper, etc. What’s available here is Knorr Aromat. Will be able to follow only the recipe to the letter once I’m back in Holland. It will be nice to try it here first & make the 9 African children under my care taste this vegetarian Tofu sisig because most of them if not all just hate/detest eating tofu!

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