It’s No. 1’s birthday tomorrow. To celebrate, we’re having a Filipino dinner. I’m making Filipino pork barbecue among other things. Pork barbecue is a favorite party food in the Philippines and is often the first thing to disappear from the table. It’s also a popular street food and you can always find barbecued pork, chicken or innards being sold on city street corners. Filipinos prefer their barbecue a little on the sweet side and it is often served with a spicy vinegar dipping sauce made by stirring finely chopped chili peppers, onions, garlic, salt and pepper into a bottle of white vinegar.
I learned to make the original recipe for pork barbecue from Mrs. Carrion, my 7th grade cooking teacher at the Assumption Convent where I went to school. I can still hear her trying to impress upon a bunch of young girls the importance of cleaning up as you work. Since then I’ve modified her original recipe, making changes and additions to suit my own taste. And yes, I do clean up as I work. That part of making this hasn’t changed.
FILIPINO PORK BARBECUE
- 3 lbs. boneless pork butt or shoulder, cut into 1/2-inch thick chunks
- 1 cup soy sauce
- 1 cup Mafran or Jufran banana ketchup
- 1/2 cup 7-Up
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup worcestershire sauce
- juice of 1/2 of a lemon
- 1 whole head garlic, peeled and crushed
- 1 tsp. hot sauce (optional)
- Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Marinate the pork overnight.
- While the pork marinates, soak bamboo skewers in water overnight. This helps to keep them from burning on the grill.
- Skewer the marinated pork onto the soaked bamboo sticks.
- In a small bowl make a mixture of 2 parts Mafran ketchup to 1 part of the marinade mixture for brushing over the pork while grilling (i.e. 1 cup Mafran + 1/2 cup marinade).
- Grill pork until done, brushing with Mafran mixture while grilling.
NOTE: Nowadays, you can purchase Mother’s Best or Mama Sita’s Barbecue Marinade in Filipino or Asian grocery stores. I think both brands are very good and make a quick and easy marinade when you don’t have time to gather and measure out all the ingredients for the traditional recipe. You’ll have to try both brands yourself to decide if you like one better than the other. They both taste delicious to me so I usually just pick up whichever one is on sale at the time I’m at the store.
QUICK AND EASY MARINADE:
- 2 cups Mama Sita’s or Mother’s Best barbecue marinade
- 1 cup 7-Up
- 1 head garlic, peeled and crushed
Follow the steps above, including making the 2:1 Mafran/marinade mixture to brush over the pork while grilling.