The Happy Home Cook: Pork Barbeque

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Pork Barbeque (Photo by Elizabeth Ann Quirino)

Pork Barbeque (Photo by Elizabeth Ann Quirino)

Whenever we had friends and family over at my parents’ home in the Philippines, these pork barbecue skewers were the centerpiece of the table. I can still savor the char-grilled aroma and the sweet flavors of these juicy pork pieces while they were cooked in the warm outdoors at the back of our kitchen. I was always fascinated by the embers on the charcoal lighting up when droplets of the pork marinade trickled down. These Pork BBQ, Filipino-style are a must today in my own home here in America especially during the summer when we do lots of outdoor grilling. This recipe is from my cookbook My Mother's Philippine Recipes: Filipino Cookbook Recipes from Asian in America.

Serves 4 to 6


½ cup soy sauce
½ cup calamansi juice (unsweetened) 
1 Tablespoon black peppercorns, grounded
2 whole heads of fresh garlic, peeled, minced
1-piece siling labuyo (bird’s eye chilies), sliced
1 (8 ounce) Sprite or 7-Up soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 pounds pork shoulder sliced in 1-inch cubes
¾ cup brown sugar
20 to 24 pieces bamboo skewers pre-soaked in water

For glaze 

2 teaspoons vegetable oil
¼ cup banana catsup
1 teaspoon siracha
1 Tablespoon calamansi juice


  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine these ingredients: soy sauce, calamansi juice, ground peppercorns, garlic, siling labuyo, Sprite (or 7 Up) and salt. Blend well. 

  • Soak the pork shoulder cubes in the marinade. Cover and keep pork marinated for 6 hours or overnight in the refrigerator. 

  • When ready to grill the barbecue, pre-soak the bamboo skewers in water for 30 minutes. Set aside. 

  • To the marinated pork, add the brown sugar. Mix thoroughly.  

  • Skewer the pork pieces through the bamboo sticks. Place 4 to 5 pieces in each skewer. 

  • In a small bowl, mix the glaze ingredients: vegetable oil, catsup, siracha and calamansi juice. Baste the pork barbecue with the glaze every few minutes. 

  • In a pre-heated outdoor grill set at medium high, grill the pork barbecue for 12 to 15 minutes each or till thoroughly cooked.  

Mothers cookbook.jpg

Elizabeth Ann Quirino

Elizabeth Ann Quirino

Elizabeth Ann Quirino, based in New Jersey is a journalist and author of the “How to Cook Philippine Desserts: Cakes and Snacks” Cookbook. She is a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals and blogs about Filipino home cooking on her site

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