Bowl Me Over: Sisig Tuna Bowl


The alternate title was going to be Eating Healthy Doesn’t Have to Suck: Sisig Tuna Bowl. Mostly because I’ve been trying to tell myself this as of late.

March and April have been eventful months, hence my absence from this blog.  The chronicle of events is as follows: The mom of one of JJs classmates died of a brain aneursym.  Shortly after, my aunt had a really bad infection, became septic and was in the ICU for weeks.  JJ turned 6.  He turned 6 the same day Pru passed a kidney stone.

The first of these aforementioned events had a profound effect on Pru and me.  Exactly two weeks before she died, this mom and Pru were sitting on the bleachers watching JJ and his classmate run around the basketball court.  She and Pru talked of summer plans, our families going to each others houses to barbecue and smoke cigars while the kids played or watched movies together. Two weeks later, at the age of 41 this woman who ran marathons and was the picture of health died, leaving her husband and two daughters–one seven and the other, JJs age.  It’s been more than a month since her passing and I can write about it now but the weeks after were hard ones; we were suddenly reminded of our own mortality and tried to explain to JJ what this all meant since we were attended the services. I don’t think we did a very good job.

I know this because the day Pru passed a kidney stone and we were en route to the hospital at 6:45AM on JJs birthday, he asked me, “Mom, I won’t have a daddy anymore like Y__ doesn’t have a mommy anymore?”

Had I not been driving I would’ve dissolved into a puddle of tears.

So as a result of all this, Pru and I got religious about our health and started sporting a FitBit (him) and a Jawbone (me).  I admit that when I first started wearing the Jawbone, I wasn’t reaping its full benefits.  It was getting a lot of compliments and so I kept wearing it.  The barrista at Peet’s said, “I like your bracelet.  Looks edgy.  What does it do?”  I responded sheepishly, “It’s supposed to get my ass off the couch.  So far, it just gets me random compliments from barristas.”

Since then, we’ve been consistent about getting our steps in even though we look like a couple of loons walking in circles around the house and logging all the food we eat.  While keeping a food journal appeals to my innate OCD tendencies, a meal at The Cheesecake Factory becomes a very interesting exercise.  I either log the 1,383 calories from the Bang Bang Chicken and Shrimp and the 1,079 calories from the Dulce de Leche cheesecake, or I just suspend disbelief for the duration of the meal.

I usually opt for the latter.  When the choice is denial or misery/denial or guilt,  I almost always choose denial.

So on to the Sisig Tuna Bowl:

1 1/2 to 2 lbs of frozen ahi tuna
1/2 onion, diced
olive oil
1 T lemon juice
1/2 t lemon pepper
1/2 t Old Bay
1 Mama Sita’s *sisig packet

Combine olive oil, lemon juice, lemon pepper and salt. Brush both sides of tuna steaks with the marinade and refrigerate for an hour.  Using a stove top grill pan, grill tuna over medium heat for 5 minutes on each side. Remove from heat and cool. After cooling for 10 minutes, cut the tuna in a small dice. Follow instructions on sisig packet which is essentially add 1/2 c. of water to the seasoning packet. Saute diced onions along with the tuna.   Pour sisig mixture over tuna and onions, making sure all are coated in the marinade. Cook over medium heat until tuna and onions are sizzling in the pan and all the liquid is dissolved.

You can get creative with your bowl.  I usually assemble mine with brown rice, sliced avocado, queso fresco and Trader Joe’s frozen roasted corn. Sprinkle the whole thing with a dash of *Tajin and a splash of lime or lemon juice.

Sisig is…hard to explain if you aren’t Filipino or don’t know Filipinos. It is probably the We are a sisig loving people. It basically means anything–and by anything I mean pig parts you don’t often eat like cheeks and ears–cooked in a citrus and chili pepper mixture. Here’s the Wiki link that is remarkably accurate (must have been written by a Filipino or someone who knows a Filipino). What DID we do before Google and Wikipedia?

Tajin is a lemon, salt, chili powder seasoning that makes everything you put it on taste salty, spicy, magical. Again, here is the Wiki link for your reference on the Tajin.


IMG_2089This nifty gadget saves me time and tears when dicing onions.  The sisig packet is pictured above.

IMG_2097After grilling your tuna, saute the diced pieces with onions