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Filipino Pork Barbecue Skewers

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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

One of the most awaited dishes during fiesta events are these Filipino Pork Barbecue Skewers on the Grill. Almost all Filipino parties, serve this delightfully skewered, shiny, sweet, popular pork shoulder dish, alongside the usual suspects of “
(noodle dish),
” (egg rolls), “f
resh vegetable lumpia”
(sautéed vegetables in a Filipino crepe wrap) and so many other party fare delicacies. This is an AsianInAmericamag.com recipe. The recipe that follows makes about 12 to 14 skewers.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian, Filipino
Keyword: Filipino Inihaw na Baboy Grilled Pork Barbecue
Author: Elizabeth Ann Quirino


  • 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.
  • Hello, Friends! All the images and content on this blog are COPYRIGHT PROTECTED and owned by my media company Besa-Quirino LLC. This means BY LAW you are NOT allowed to copy, scrape, lift, frame, plagiarize or use my photos and  recipe content I wrote, on your website,books, films or videos  without my permission. If you want to republish this recipe or content on another website, video or news article, please ASK my permission, 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. Thank you. Email me at [email protected]
  • Disclosure: As a participant in the Amazon Affiliate program, some blog posts contain links to products used in the recipe and sold on Amazon. The price stays the same for the readers who wish to purchase these products on my links. I earn a small commission from Amazon which helps maintain the blog expenses. Thanks in advance for your support.

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.

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    1. Hi Paula! The Filipino pork barbecue is an all-time favorite! You must try this one. Banana catsup is available in Asian groceries, some Filipino brands are “UFC”. If you are adventurous, there are homemade recipes for it, too. Thanks for the blog-love!

  1. Yes, this is also a favorite! Hmm… it’s probably the banana catsup that makes it different from other types of barbecue. Here in Auckland, there’s always a long queue whenever there’s a pinoy barbecue booth – pinoys and non-pinoys all wait in line. One just can’t stop the urge to follow the mouth-watering aroma!

    1. Hi,Iska! I know what you mean. We’re the only Filipino family in our development. When I bring this + lumpia shanghai to potlucks, it’s gone in 10 secs! Thanks for stopping by.

    1. Hi, Malou!Yes, the sesame oil was a unique twist I tried & seemed to make it even more tasty, giving it that Asian taste we all like. Pls. do try it! Thanks for stopping by ~ have missed you 🙂 Glad to have you back!

  2. Oh wow, this is my childhood favorite ! i love making it “palaman” sa pandesal =) This will definitely included on my bday menu ! thank you for sharing !

  3. Yummy ! this is my childhood favorite ! i love making it “palaman” sa pandesal =) This will definitely included on my bday menu ! thank you for sharing !

  4. Ginger Ale and Sesame Oil make this BBQ stand out. The use of Sprite is just so common among pinoys. Sweet!! Cheers!

    1. Thanks, Erwin. The use of ginger ale gives it a hint of “ginger” flavors and of course the sesame oil gives that Asian appeal. Nice of you to stop by!

  5. Oh now I remember. I started to blog hop around this time last year and I saw several posts about May as festive month in the Philippines! Wow one year has passed! The pork skewers look so yummy – love the glaze on the meat. I’m drooling~~.

    1. Thanks, Nami. The sweet glaze looked so good as it came off the grill, so I quickly snapped a photo. These pork skewers are an all-time fave. Glad you came by.

  6. I really want one of these skewers right now! In Serbia we also make pork shoulder (or neck meat) skewers on the grill, but these would be such a great change.
    I actually bought a bottle of banana ketsup at 99 Ranch Market, and had no clue what to do with it. I used it in marinades and as an addition to sauces.
    My sister travels to the Philippines often (scuba diving) and adores calamansi. I am yet to try them:)
    Thanks for this recipe! As soon as I buy my ingredients, I’ll make the kebobs:)

    1. Hi Lana! So glad you stopped by. You must make this~ they’re a Filipino classic favorite, no matter what the event! Let me know how yours turn out, I’m sure it will be divine! Yes, use banana catsup for marinades on pork, chicken . I also use it as an ingedient for sweet sour sauce. Thanks for dropping by.

  7. I really need to buy an outdoor grill if only to make Pinoy BBQ! Pork on a stick is always a winner and your version looks amazing!

    1. Hi Senorita Sisa! This pork bbq is great char-grilled outdoors. But in the winter, when we can’t grill outdoors, I’ve tried this indoor, baked & broiled in the oven. I basted it every now and then so it has the glaze too. Both ways, indoor or outdoor was good! Thanks for stopping by!

    1. Thanks, Jenni! This is a classic Filipino party fare favorite. And it’s so versatile — you’ll also find it as “street food”. Try it. It’s unbeatable. So happy you stopped by, amiga 🙂

  8. You mentioned during winter this can be baked and broiled. How? Whats the temp and how many minutes? Can i put he bamboo skewers in the oven?

    1. Hi Andie! Thanks for asking about cooking indoors.I just added the “Cooking Indoors” part to the end of the recipe. You’ll notice I mentioned you can roast the skewered BBQ in the oven. Yes, I’ve done it and just put BBQ skewers last week for a dinner. Be sure to use a shallow baking pan, and put the skewered BBQ pieces over the grill rack which has those horizontal vents. This type of grill plate comes with the grey or black roasting pan of an electric oven. If you don’t have this, use a shallow baking pan or baking sheet. It’s important your pan is narrow in height so the oven heat circulates faster. Also, keep basting your BBQ, every 10 to 15 minutes with the marinade so you have a nice shiny glaze. This is an easy recipe. Try it and let me know how it turns out. Happy Holidays!

  9. Job well done on your blog. Thanks for the wonderful recipes and sharing them. May I ask your permission to feature your bbq recipe on our food info hand-out at our missions conference? Thanks for your consideration.

    1. Thanks, Tess for the interest and the inquiry. May I please request you to email me with more specific information about this inquiry? I would appreciate hearing more about your project.

      1. Our church will be hosting a luncheon for the different missionaries in our denomination featuring the Philippine culture and we will be serving filipino food. One of the dishes that will be served is filipino bbq skewers. The requirement of the church is to provide information about the foods being served. Our attendees will be a mix of different nationalities. I came across your blog and was impressed how well its photographed and the simplicity of the instructions. So if you would allow me, I would like to use your photo and recipe on the food information handout that im working on. The name of your blog will be printed as source of the information on the particular dish. Thanks.

  10. I will try making this tonight! yummy! my husband loves barbecue … Thanks for posting this, it helps a lot

  11. This sounds different from the others. I will give it a try for celebrating the 4th of July B-b-q.
    I will make it Asian food this time. 🙂

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