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How to make Inihaw na Baboy : Grilled Pork Shoulder Barbecue

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A garlic-like, vinegary aroma on char-grilled pork filled the air. It was a hot smoldering kind of day. Large slabs of pork lazily lay on the outdoor grill — it was the Inihaw na Baboy – Grilled Pork Barbecue Strips, Filipino-style. Each side was char-grilling to a darker hue, the sides more burnt than the middle. It was  summer and the onslaught of heat pierced through our pores. But that didn’t bother us one bit. We were about to feast on a delicious grilled meal and that made everything okay.

Take any old warm summer day and Filipinos know how to cope with it. After all, we grew up in a tropical country with nearly hundred degree days daily, all year long. We were used to heat. We were used to living and eating in these conditions. And we knew exactly what to cook on a day as hot as today. A huge meal of “inihaw na babi” (the Capampangan term for grilled pork barbecue) was in order.


Several years ago, during one of her visits from Manila, my sister requested for us to make some “inihaw na babi” here in our American backyard grill. I knew what she meant and I knew why she wanted it.

No matter what the weather, there was nothing like the succulent pieces of pork, char-grilled to perfection, flavored with the right amount of garlic, salt and pepper….then dipped into a side sauce of vinegar, soy sauce and lots of chili peppers. Yes, the hotter and spicier the dipping sauce, the more fun it was to eat in the heat.

So here it was, hot off the grill and as simple as a good recipe can be! Seared, grilled, cooked tender with the right amount of spicy vinegars to go with it, and the customary huge bowl of garlic fried rice served alongside.

So when the heat wave strikes in your area, just go grill it! It’s the best on a hot summer day!

Postcript: A big, enormous THANK YOU to The New York Times Diner’s Journal for mentioning this post on the “What We’re Reading” column July 9, 2012 edition. Thank you NYTimes! I am so honored !



How to make Inihaw na Baboy - Grilled Pork Shoulder Barbecue

One of the best ways Filipinos beat the heat is to grill barbecue for meals. Inihaw na Baboy, simply translates to Grilled Pork Barbecue. Use a good cut of pork shoulder, lean and fat trimmed, for this grilled favorite. Marinate it overnight in garlic, salt and pepper. Then the next day, fire up the grill and slather on the basting sauce of vinegar, ginger ale, garlic and seasonings. When the char-grilled pork is done, serve alongside a spicy dipping sauce of vinegar, soy sauce and chili peppers. Pair this with a big bowl of garlic fried rice. This is an Asian in America recipe. Serves 2 up to 4 with rice.
Course: Appetizer, Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Asian, Filipino
Keyword: Filipino Inihaw na Baboy Grilled Pork Barbecue
Servings: 2 people
Calories: 590kcal
Author: Asian in America


  • 2 pounds pork shoulder sliced thin, boneless, fat trimmed
  • 2 Tablespoons finely minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper powder
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar for marinade
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice from a fresh lemon
  • 1 cup ginger ale
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar for glaze
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 stalks scallions chopped for garnishing scallions
  • for serving garlic fried rice
  • 1/2 cup vinegar for dipping sauce sprinkled with minced garlic for dipping sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic for dipping sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt for dipping sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper for dipping sauce
  • 2 to 3 pieces bird's eye chilies for dipping sauce


  • The night before, prepare the pork shoulder by marinating with the minced garlic, salt and pepper.  Place in a resealable plastic bag and keep refrigerated overnight.
  • The following day, just before grilling, pour into the pork the half cup of vinegar and juice of a lemon. Blend this well with the rest of the marinade on the pork.
  • Preheat the grill to a high temperature. Prepare the glaze for basting on the meat while grilling by mixing together in a bowl : half a cup of vinegar, ginger ale, vegetable oil, and soy sauce.
  • Grill the pork over high heat, at a total cooking time of 30 to 35 minutes per pound. Keep turning the meat for even grilling. Baste all over every few minutes, for a shiny and moist grilled pork shoulder.
  • Serve the barbecued pork straight from the grill, warm with a spicy side dipping sauce and a big bowl of garlic fried rice.
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Serving: 1g | Calories: 590kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 55g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 185mg | Sodium: 3064mg | Potassium: 1083mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 120IU | Vitamin C: 4.5mg | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 4.5mg

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  1. that pork looks amazing! I don’t grill pork very often, because it never comes out very good for me, but your recipe sounds so good, I’m going to have to give it a try!

    1. Thanks, Nami. This was a simple Sunday afternoon grilling meal. And I had to shoot the photo quickly before it got cold, so I rushed through it. It all worked out and I had a good blog post and a good meal. In the end the NYTimes found this post and featured it, which was really awesome ! Nice of you to stop by 🙂

  2. i am going kamayan style with this. yes plenty of kamatis salsa and all sorts of dippings on the side.
    craving level: dangerously high haha. I have pork, but i just don’t have the griller in my deck here at our condo. I think i am goin to use george foreman here.
    thanks for sharing! will share photos with you later.

    1. Thanks, Malou! I wish you lived closer, then I could invite you over for a BBQ. You could bring that banapple bread, and throw in some dinengdeng while you’re at it! Nice of you to stop by. Enjoy the rest of summer 🙂

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