Filipino Pork Barbecue made of pork slices marinated in a sweet BBQ sauce and skewered in bamboo sticks. Sweet, salty, and slightly spicy, these Filipino-style kebabs are seriously addictive!
Since we’re amid Summer here in California and G has been firing up the charcoal pit almost every day, I thought I’ll repost our most favorite thing to grill.
Filipino pork barbecue is popular street food in the Philippines as well as a regular mainstay at parties and special gatherings. Commonly peddled at street corners on makeshift grill carts, these delectable pork skewers are widely enjoyed as a viand with hefty servings of rice or as portable appetizers to complement cold beer.
Like most mainstream dishes, every Filipino cook or household has their versions of barbecue pork. While calamansi or lemon juice appears to be standard for most Filipino pork barbecue recipes, I use vinegar instead to help tenderize the meat.
I first marinate the thin pork slices in a mixture of vinegar, 7-up, soy sauce, oyster sauce, brown sugar, chili peppers, and copious amounts of garlic to amp up flavor and then finish off the partially grilled meat with a basting mixture of oyster sauce, banana ketchup, and sesame oil to achieve gooey, sticky, yummy goodness.
This recipe makes about 50 barbecue sticks. Who needs 50 pieces of Filipino pork barbecue you say? Please take one bite. You’ll thank me later. These barbecue pork on a stick are seriously addictive; you’d wish you made more! A delightful marriage of sweet, salty and spicy, you’ll be hard-pressed to stop at just one.
Ready to grill a batch? Check out my tips below for the best pork barbecue ever!
How to Make Filipino Pork Barbecue
- Soak the bamboo skewers in water for at least 30 minutes before skewering the meat, so they don’t burn during grilling.
- The success of your pork barbecue is half the marinade and half the type of pork you use. For great texture and flavor, choose a cut with adequate ribbons of fat such as pork butt. Make sure to slice in very thin, uniform sizes to ensure even cooking.
- Drain the sliced pork well and pat dry, so the excess liquid does not dilute the marinade. For food safety, I discard the marinade and make a fresh batch of basting sauce. If you want to use the marinade, bring to a boil for a good 10 to 15 minutes to reduce the marinade and to kill off any bacteria from the raw meat.
- To prevent excessive charring and to prevent the meat from burning before fully cooked, grill the pork FIRST for a few minutes on each side before basting. Once the meat changes color, you can start brushing with the sauce.
- For great depth of flavor, marinate the meat for at least 4 hours or overnight for best results. I don’t recommend marinating the meat longer than overnight as the acids in the marinade will break down the protein fibers of the meat.
- As the recipe makes a huge amount, you may want to keep the seasoned meat in the freezer for future use. Transfer into resealable bags or air-tight containers and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Filipino Pork Barbecue
- 6 pounds pork butt, sliced to 1-inch wide and 1/4-inch thick
- 3 cups 7-up
- 2 cups soy sauce
- 2 cups vinegar
- 2 cups oyster sauce
- 3 cups brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup garlic, peeled and minced
- 10 Thai chili peppers (siling labuyo), minced
- 2 cups banana ketchup
- 1/2 cup sesame oil
For the Spiced Vinegar Dip
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1/2 onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 3 Thai chili peppers, chopped
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Rinse pork strips and drain well. Pat dry.
- In a large bowl, combine 7-up, soy sauce, vinegar, 1 cup of the oyster sauce, brown sugar, garlic, black pepper, and chili peppers.
- Add pork and massage meat to fully incorporate. Marinate, turning meat once or twice, in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight for best results.
- Thread 2 to 3 meat slices onto each skewer.
- In a bowl, combine remaining 1 cup of oyster sauce, banana ketchup, and sesame oil. Set aside.
- Grill meat kebabs over hot coals for about 2 to 3 minutes each side.
- When pork starts to lose its pink, baste with oyster sauce-ketchup mixture. Continue to grill and baste, turning on sides, until meat is cooked through. Remove from heat and serve as is or with spicy vinegar dip.
For the Spiced Vinegar Dip
- In a bowl, combine vinegar, garlic, onion, chili peppers, ground pepper, and salt.