Filipino-Style Barbecue Pork
A Family Christmas Tradition
As a child growing up in the Philippines, I looked forward every year to one of our annual Christmas Eve traditions: making pork barbecue in our backyard BBQ pit. Preparing the barbecue was my job. I'd cut up, marinate, and skewer the pork during the day. Then, just before midnight, I'd load up the BBQ pit with coconut shells for firewood and then grill the meat.
Besides getting presents from Santa, barbecuing the pork was one of my favorite parts of the holiday.
Now that I live in United States, I tend to grill more in the summer rather than at Christmas, but this barbecue is still one of my favorite Filipino dishes. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
- 2 pounds pork shoulder
- 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 pork into slices that are 1 1/2 inch long, 1 inch wide, and 1/4 inch thick.
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and marinate the pork. 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.