Filipino BBQ Skewers
What was I thinking when I attempted to make Filipino BBQ last week from a cookbook? Why would I ever do that when I have direct connections to family from the Philippines that could have warned me what I was doing was wrong? I don't really know why I chose to do things the way I did, but I made sure to correct the problem before the grand Filimeato Feast. I went straight to the source for a recipe, provided by the bbq maker in the gf's family, and the end result was everything I ever wanted.
Just because I had a source for a family recipe didn't mean this was easy. To start, just trying to get the recipe proved difficult, since it turns out the uncle who makes the bbq works a night job and was always asleep when anyone tried to go to him to get it. Second, when a recipe finally came through, there were no measurements, and not being a chef plus Filipino cooking still uncharted territory for me, the task of making sense of it all was a little daunting. Yet I forged ahead, seeing as I had promised a feast and was not about to make bad on that commitment.
So I took my best shot on making the marinade, having a little bit of reference based on my earlier attempt and some other recipes I saw on the internerd. Although I was constantly tasting the mixture and adjusting, it's still a little tough to really know how it was going to turn out when all is said and done. Once I arrived at a suitable flavor, I set the pork and chicken to soak and take it all in for 24 hours in the fridge.
Now the first moment of truth arrived. After skewering all the meat, it was time to grill. I knew right away something was amiss with my previous bbq when I noticed they were not becoming nice and glossy and caramelized over the hot coals. Part of getting this recipe right was making sure they looked right, since we eat with our eyes first. So the skewers were all down on the grill and I waited an excruciating few minutes to turn the first one, but when I did, I saw the marvelous sight of success, huzzah!
I was able to wipe the sweat from my forehead, but I wasn't out of the woods yet. After another 10 minutes or so of grilling came the most crucial moment of this whole process, the taste. I started with the chicken. First bite, pretty good, very close to what I was expecting. I was pleased. After a chicken skewer, I went for a pork, and *oh my god* was that thing delicious. Not only was the flavor almost nail-on-the-head perfect, but it was so tender and juicy, every bite created an urgency to get to the next to keep the goodness going.
Now I was kicking myself in the head, since I had made twice as many chicken skewers than pork. My desire to cook them all and eat them myself had to be restrained, seeing as it was only fair to let every Meatwaver get a taste of their own. In the end I did get one more pork bbq, and was pleased with my success and happy seeing everyone else enjoy this part of Philippines I was able to bring back with me.
Filipino BBQ Skewers
- Yield 12 servings
- Prep 30 Minutes
- Inactive 8 Hours
- Cook 15 Minutes
- Total 8 Hours 45 Minutes
- For the marinade
- 1 cup Sprite
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 1/8 cup lemon juice
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 4 lbs of pork tenderloin or skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes
- Place all marinade ingredients in a medium saucepan and whisk to combine. Simmer over low heat for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Place chicken or pork cubes in a large zip lock bag and pour marinade all over. Seal the bag, removing as much air as possible, and set in the refrigerator to marinate overnight, turning the bag over at least once during the process.
- Soak about 25 wooden skewers in water for at least 30 mins. Drain water and thread meat onto the skewer. Each piece of meat should touch the next, but not pushed tightly together.
- Grill directly over a hot fire, turning every 3-5 minutes until each side is nicely browned and the meat is cooked through.
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tim i've seen recipes that use Coke instead of sprite -- probably good for color?
Meatmaster Thanks for the tip, I'll try it out next time.
Mellissa Wow, I was searching for recipes again, since I lost the ones I had for Pinoy pork bbq stick (usually make w/ chicken since family prefer it). Found out by experience that recipes with out the vinegar added, tasted sweet but not enough kick. Glad I found yours and thanks so much for the hard work put into it.........:-)
Chris Cox Sounds delicious. I have been using Jerk Sauce (store bought), but I want to try this too. Thanks
Valerie I looove your blog. First off I love meat, it must be bred in me since I'm a Filipino. I moved stateside when I was 14 yrs old but I never really learned to make most of the Filipino food I crave. Calling my lola (aka. grandma) in the Phils would have been a harder option at such short notice. You even have a kick ass dipping sauce as part of the recipe. It doesnt get much more authentic than that. Every Filipino meal is not complete unless you have some sort of dipping sauce. I'm so glad I found your blog. I can't wait to try this recipe for 4th of July.
josh! @Valerie: Filipinos have the dipping sauce right, just a little vinegar and hot peppers, and it goes with almost anything! Glad you enjoy the blog...I'll be bringing more Filipino meat recipes here shortly (think tocino).
Janice Looking forward to trying this for the Pacquiao-Cotto fight next weekend!
Lamar This recipe is absolutely delicious. My family is forever grateful for you bringing this recipe back home from the islands.
Christine of MyFilipinoRecipes Wow! Your BBQ just taste delicious! I tried it at home for my visitors...my friends tasted it...and you know what! Everybody loves it. Thank you soooo much!
Emmy Sooo...I've been meaning to try making filipino bbq since I got my first ever grill this summer, and I finally did today and it was the BEST THING EVAR. Seriously, tell the uncle that makes this that he is a genius. I've been homesick for my favorite filipino place in the bay area where I grew up and this hit the spot! I did use coke in the marinade, and used chicken thighs instead of breasts, and it was awesome and now I can't wait to try it with pork too. Thank you so much for the recipe!
Janet Yummy! The best BBQ recipe i've tasted! I've tried so many online recipes and it tasted too sweet and something was missing until I found yours. It's the best & only will use from now on. I also used Coke and tried it on chicken thighs, thinking the fat in the food makes it more tastier. My friends who aren't Filipino loved it! I also had tried it on pork with some fat in the meat and it was the best tasting bbq I ever tasted. Thank you so much!
Josh @Janet Glad you liked it! I actually haven't made Filipino BBQ in a while, but your comment has brought on a real craving.
Horst04 I grilled the meal last weekend. The chicken was good, tip the pig.
Some photos and as I have grilled it can be seen here.
Greetings from Germany!
Dianne That's the first time I've seen orange juice as part of a bbq marinade. Did you use regular ketchup or banana ketchup? The liempo recipe you have is legit so I'm going to try your bbq recipe next week, thanks for sharing!
William No basting???? I recall watching them baste the skewers on the street carts.