Barbecue is well-loved outdoor dish all over the world and each country have different styles and methods where meat is marinated, basted or rubbed with a special sauce and cooked either by the use of smoke, charcoal, open flame, gas or even electricity. This cooking style originated hundreds of years ago from the Taino people of the Caribbean where it involved digging a big hole in the ground and placing a whole goat with a huge pot below that acts as a catch basin for the juice which then later on made into a broth. This pit is then covered with leaves and hot coal; they call this pit “barbacoa” which translates as “sacred fire pit”.
Now many years’ later different countries around the world have developed their own techniques on barbecued meats and Philippines had developed its own style which I can call a cross of the American Barbecue flavour and Asian style skewers, it has that sweet savoury smoked flavour but prepared in bite size pieces skewered in bamboo sticks. It is very popular in Philippines not just as a home prepared dish but as street food as well where you see street vendors on every street corner fanning charcoals while basting their barbecue with a special Pinoy style sauce. The special Pinoy sauce consists of calamansi/lemon juice, vinegar, lemon soda (7-up or Sprite), soy sauce and tomato ketchup, but for this recipe I will not be using the lemon soda, I guess it was used only for its soda content which tenderizes the meat to a texture similar to those beef stir fry dishes in Chinese restaurants. In this recipe I will be using baking soda instead to get the same tender meat but not wasting a whole bottle of lemon soda, and using this method I can control easily the level of tenderness I want but adding more or less of it.
Of all of the Philippine dishes I had posted, I will highly recommend you to try this as most of my friends from different nationalities and demographics really enjoyed this tender juicy sweet smoked pork barbecue on skewers.
1 kg pork shoulder chops, excess fat removed and deboned
1/2 cup soy sauce, Philippine Soy Sauce or Kikkoman
1/2 cup banana catsup or any sweet style tomato catsup
1/4 cup calamansi or lemon juice
1 tsp baking soda
1 head garlic, minced
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tsp ground black pepper
4 tbsp brown sugar, you can add more if you prefer it sweeter
4 tbsp canola oil
Ingredients (Basting Sauce)
Leftover marinade from above
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp banana catsup or any sweet style tomato catsup
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp sugar
bamboo skewers, soaked in water for at least 6 hrs. (this prevents it from burning easily)
1. Slice pork meat into bite size piece, roughly around 2 x 1 inch.
2. Mix all of the remaining ingredients together except that canola oil.
3. Place the meat into the marinade making sure that each piece is coated evenly. Marinate for at least 24 hrs. Remove from fridge then add the oi, mix it by hand ensuring oil is distributed well.
4. Place 3 pieces of meat per skewer.
5. Mix all basting sauce ingredients.
6. Using a barbecue grill or charcoal grill place pork skewers and cook until it is lightly charred on one side, turn on the other side and baste with the marinade. Repeat this process until pork barbecue is cooked.