I've mentioned my love for Filipino cuisine, but it took some time to work my way from dish to dish to develop this fondness. The first delicious item I ever tried that kicked off this journey was Filipino barbecue, a sweet and sticky skewer of grilled pork or chicken.
I rarely leave a Filipino restaurant or family function without having some barbecue, and even though it's so common, it's been a continuous challenge trying to replicate it exactly at home. This recipe first came to me as a list of ingredients--no measurements--from the fiancée's uncle, who is known as the family barbecue chef. I'm still perfecting just the right amount of everything, but I'm proud to say that I've come pretty close, and it grills up a beautiful batch of those glistening sticks of meat.
Read more: Guide to Filipino Vinegars
- For the marinade:
- 1 cup Coke
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 1/8 cup lemon juice
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 4 lbs of pork shoulder or chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch cubes
- Wooden skewers, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes before use.
Place all marinade ingredients in a medium saucepan and whisk to combine. Simmer over low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
Place chicken or pork cubes in a large Ziploc bag and pour marinade all over. Seal the bag, removing as much air as possible, and set in the refrigerator to marinate overnight, turning the bag over at least once during the process.
Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread coals out evenly.
While the fire is lighting, thread meat onto the skewer. Each piece of meat should touch the next, but not pushed tightly together.
Grill directly over a hot fire, turning every 3 to 5 minutes until each side is nicely browned and the meat is cooked through.