May is a festive month for Filipinos. In the Philippines, the traditional Santacruzan, or “Flores de Mayo”, a floral festival, is celebrated, both as a religious and social event. The weather is mildly hot and the torrid summer months give way to slightly cooler days as the onset of the rainy season in the tropics is anticipated.
Many different towns in provinces hold their “fiestas”, a town or city’s “feast day” centered around religious saints and traditions. Fruits and flowers are in full bloom in the Philippines at this time of year, too. And amidst all these festivities, fiesta food like these Pork Barbecue Skewers, Filipino-style are the centerpiece of every event.
Even here in America, there are Filipino communities that get together to celebrate all these traditional May events. And lately, even Mother’s day, a traditional American holiday, is celebrated in the Philippines
One of the most awaited dishes during most fiesta events is the Filipino pork barbecue. Almost all Filipino parties, serve this delightfully skewered, shiny, sweet, popular pork shoulder dish, alongside the usual suspects of “pancit” (noodle dish), “lumpia” (egg rolls), “fresh vegetable lumpia” (sautéed vegetables in a Filipino crepe wrap) and many other party fare delicacies.
I have known friends, families and even non-Filipinos to travel far and wide just to have a bite of this sweet, tender, char-grilled pork morsel. Once you bite into each succulent pork slice, the irresistible barbecue aromas of the lime-like calamansi – soy sauce mixture mixed with Asian flavors of sesame oil and hints of ginger, captures your taste buds like no other. It’s addicting, it’s magnificent and best, it is one of the simplest party fare recipes to make.
So simply marinate it, grill it, serve it.
Filipino Pork Barbecue Skewers
- Outdoor grill
- barbecue tools
- bamboo skewers
- 2 pounds pork shoulder or pork belly thinly sliced in 1-inch cuts
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/2 cup soy sauce, Filipino or Chinese brands
- 1/4 cup calamansi juice, fresh or frozen; or use lemon
- 1/2 cup banana ketchup, or use tomato catsup
- 8 ounces ginger ale
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper powder
- 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
- 12 to 14 pieces bamboo skewers
- Mix the marinade ingredients together in a bowl : minced garlic, soy sauce, calamansi juice, banana catsup, half of the ginger ale, salt, black pepper, sesame oil. Leave ½ cup of the marinade plus the sugar, aside for the grilling glaze. Pour the rest of the marinade over the pork shoulder. Keep in a non-reactive container. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate the pork overnight.
- The next day, pre-soak the bamboo skewers in water for about 20 minutes. Then skewer the pork pieces into each bamboo stick, allowing approximately 6 to 7 pieces on each one.
- Pre-heat the outdoor barbecue grill to a medium high heat. Get ready with the grilling glaze set aside from the day before, add the sugar and remaining ginger ale. Grill the barbecued pork, about 12 minutes on each side while rotating the skewers. Total grilling time should take about 30 minutes. Baste the pork barbecue every few minutes so that it gets moist and shiny.
- When cooked, serve hot on long platters and garnish with tomatoes, cucumbers and green pickled mangoes or some "achara", green papaya pickle relish.
- Cook's Comments: I always add the sugar ingredient in the marinade or glaze just before grilling the meat. This way, the sugar does not crystallize or stay too long on the pork cuts which causes the barbecued meat to harden.
- *Recipe Notes: Filipino banana catsup can be found in Asian groceries in the Philippine aisle, or else at online Asian groceries. If you have time, there are recipes for homemade banana catsup. But if you prefer, substitute tomato catsup in this recipe and the results are just as good.
- *Cooking Indoors: In the winter months, we shut down the outdoor grill for safety reasons. But this does not stop us from enjoying our Filipino barbecue. To cook indoors, thread the pork slices in pre-soaked bamboo skewers as directed above. Preheat the oven at 375 F degrees. Grease and prepare a shallow baking pan, measuring approximately 9 x 13 inches with a height of not more than 2 inches. Place the grill rack over the shallow pan, which has the horizontal slots across it. Grease the entire grill rack. Place the skewered pork pieces on the grill rack. Position the shallow pan in the center of the oven. Roast in the oven 375 F degrees for 30 minutes, basting occasionally so it has a shiny glaze.
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Thanks for reading my entry to this month's KULINARYA COOKING CLUB.
- KULINARYA was started by a group of Filipino foodies living in Sydney, who are
- passionate about the Filipino culture and its colourful cuisine. Today, we are a group of Filipino foodies from Sydney, the USA, Canada and the Philippines.
- Each month we showcase a new dish or family recipes, based on a theme. For the month of May, our theme is "Fiesta Food during Santacruzans, Fiestas & regional specialties and Mom's favorite dishes".
- By sharing these recipes, we hope you find the same passion and love for Filipino Food as we do.
- If you’re interested in joining our Kulinarya Cooking Club,
- please feel free to drop by our food blogs and leave a comment. Follow us on Twitter, using the hashtag #KCC post, & Facebook. We would love to hear from you!
- Here are some of the Kulinarya Cooking Club members who posted their May specialties. Go visit them, too!
- Embotido - Iska of Iskandals
- Pinaupo - Erwin of Iskandals
- Ensaladang Talong - Jenn of Storm in My Kitchen
- Lumpiang Ubod in Pandan Wrapper - Day of Chef by Day
- Baked Binagoongan - Gio of Hungry Giant
- Dinakdakan and Dinengdeng - Malou of Skip to Malou
- Crispy Noodles with Beef and Oyster - Joy of Gastronomy by Joy
- Fiesta Pancit - Ms. Mandaluyong of Senorita Sisa Blog
- Maja Blanca - Ray Gingco of Wok with Ray
- Fish Ube Jam - Oggi of I Can Do That Blogspot
- Filipino Beef Morcon - Margarita of Pinoy Kitchenette
- Gallego - Kai of Bucaio Blogspot
- Hello, Friends! All the images and content here are COPYRIGHT PROTECTED. This means BY LAW you are NOT allowed to use my photos or content on your site without my permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write it in your own words and simply link back to this blog to give proper attribution. It’s the LEGAL thing to do. Thanks for your cooperation.