Pork Barbecue

Millions of recipes had been posted about BBQ: be it pork, chicken, beef or lamb via charcoal, firewood or gas grilling medium. In the Philippines most popular are the ones formulated in the Visayas (the middle peninsula) particularly those from Iloilo, Bacolod and other Visayan regions which they aptly call: “INASAL” or “SINUGBA.

Deviating from the usual, with “innovation” as my main drive, I formulated a marinade mix which will showcase the “Tagalog” taste (Tagalogs are natives of National Capital Region of the country habitating the mid and southern part of the north peninsula)that could also be enjoyed by other-grill loving foodies worldwide.
As against using ham part which elicits a bit toughness when grilled (being 90-95% lean), pork loin is utilized for the inter-layering of lean and fat makes it perfectly tender and juicier post grilling.

Nothing especial is needed to serve this simple weekend family bonding recipe much so when done in our own backyard cook out. 


For marinating:

  • 1 kilo pork loin rind-on
  • Water                  450 grams
  • Soy sauce           130 ml
  • Cane vinegar        70  ml
  • Brown sugar       200 grams
  • Kosher salt           30 grams
  • Ground black pepper     6 grams
  • Crushed garlic cloves   20 grams
  • Chopped red onion       30 grams
  • Sliced red cayenne pepper    2 grams

For grilling:

  • 22-24 pieces bamboo skewers 12 inches long
  • Soya oil  80 ml.
  • Basting brush
  • Charcoal

Cooking Instructions:

Prep and marinating/curing:

  1. Remove pork rind and cut rectangularly 1.5 x 3 inches long. Set aside.
  2.  Slice pork loin ½ inch thick and cut rectangularly 1.5 X 3 inches long. Set aside.
  3. In a suitable container, add in and mix well all liquid ingredients, all spices, salt and sugar.
  4. Give the mixture a good wire whisking and mixing.
  5. Add in sliced pork and rind. Toss and tumble well giving meat a simple massage to break its protein thereby letting its flesh absorb the marinade. Refrigerate. DO NOT FREEZE for freezing will solidify moisture in a matter of 45 minutes-1 hour thereby blocking entry of flavor unto pork’s flesh.
  6. Tumbling and tossing again every hour, minimum of 3 hour-ref marinating is enough but 5 hours would be perfect.
  7. In a suitable container, soak skewers in tap water for as long as meat is under curing/marinating. This method prevents burning of bamboo skewers while grilling.

Grilling prep:

  1. Summon wet skewers and starting with rind first, insert skewer into the 1.5” area getting out the other 1.5” end (or skewer it horizontally)
  2. Follow with 3-4 pieces of porkloin leaving a little free inches of skewer to handle.
  3. Go through until all are in BBQ sticks. Set aside.
  4. Start firing up your charcoal.
  5. Make sure that heated charcoal in no more than 4 inches below your steel, stainless or cast iron slotted griller.

Basting sauce:

  1. While waiting for the charcoal to be fully fired up, in a container mix the “leftover” marinade and soya oil.
  2. Blend and whisk thoroughly.
  3. Mix or blend or whisk thoroughly each and every usage.

Grilling process:

  1.  Wait until charcoal emits full reddish heat as half heated ones will render “smokey” aroma and taste to your BBQ.
  2.  Dump brush unto container, use this to mix well basting sauce then FULLY and abundantly baste each and every meat stick you will char-grill.
  3.  Lay flat onto grill.
  4. After 2 minutes, turn to other side fully basting again repeatedly.
  5.  This time just grill this side for 1 minute.
  6. Done. Tenderness and flavor will be prefect.
  7. Don’t over-grill as meat will toughen.

This procedure could also be applied when grilling pork belly (liempo) where slices could be thicker, length longer and grilling time is doubled or to desired done-ness.

Recipe by J. Dante Morado