As a child, Edwin's mom told him, "If you want to eat, you should cook it yourself." And that's exactly what he's been doing ever since.
Summer Barbecue Tradition
As a child growing up in the Philippines, I looked forward every year to one of our summer traditions: grilling chicken in our backyard barbecue pit. Preparing the barbecue was my job. I'd cut up, marinate, and skewer the meat during the day. Then, I'd load up the barbecue pit with coconut shells for firewood and proceed to grill the meat.
Now that I live in the United States, I continue this summer tradition. This barbecue is still one of my favorite Filipino dishes. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
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- 2 pounds chicken thighs
- 3/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup banana sauce/ketchup, available at Asian stores
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed calamansi juice, available at Asian stores
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- Cut the chicken into slices that are 1 1/2 inches long, 1 inch wide, and a 1/4 inch thick.
- In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and marinate the chicken. Refrigerate overnight.
- The next day, soak 4 bamboo skewers in water for at least 1 hour before grilling (this prevents the sticks from burning).
- Heat up the grill.
- Skewer the meat onto the bamboo sticks, about 4-5 pieces on each skewer. Reserve the marinade to baste the meat during grilling.
- Grill the meat for 5 minutes on each side, turning the meat over every now and then. Make sure to baste the meat with the marinade each time you flip the meat over.
- When fully cooked, remove from heat and serve.
Tips and Variations
- Instead of using bamboo skewers (available at Asian stores), you can use metal skewers.
- Substitute vinegar or lemon juice for the calamansi juice. Calamansi is a type of round, green or orange lime, found in Asian stores.
- Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper if desired before serving.
- Traditionally, this is served with a dipping sauce made of vinegar, salt, and chili peppers. But you can use any sauce you want.