Filipino BBQ (Pork Skewers)

By Jeri Mobley-Arias
September 20, 2023 | Updated on January 24, 2024

Filipino BBQ is marinated pork grilled until perfectly tender and juicy then glazed with a sweet, savory sauce. BBQ pork skewers are a mouthwatering Filipino delicacy that is bound to be a crowd-pleaser.

For more Filipino pork recipes, try Pork Belly Lechon, Pork Lumpia Shanghai, and Filipino Pork Adobo.

plated Filipino BBQ with Sinangag and Toyomansi

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Few things are more enticing than sweet, sticky, smoky Filipino BBQ pork. Marinated, skewered, and grilled, this appetizing pork dish is a street food staple in the Philippines. Here in the States, I love to throw them on the grill and serve them to family and friends.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Great Party Food – These work as an appetizer or main course for barbecues, cookouts, picnics, and parties. Growing up, these were always at family and friend get-togethers.
  • So Flavorful – It’s not a Filipino barbeque without this dish. It’s made with a marinade that’s so delicious, you have to use it twice! Sticky, sweet, and savory, the sauce penetrates the pork for deep flavor and more is slathered on as it grills.
  • Easy to Prepare – This recipe has easy-to-follow instructions and most of the time involves waiting for the meat to marinate.
glazing bbq sauce over filipino bbq pork skewers on a grill

Tools You’ll Need

Ingredients You Will Need for Filipino BBQ Pork

Make this dish without taking a special trip to the grocery store because most of the marinade ingredients are pantry staples.

  • Ketchup – Add for a sweet, flavor that is the base of your marinade.
  • Lemon-lime soda – This may come as a shocker but soda actually tenderizes the meat. Feel free to use Sprite or 7-Up.
  • Soy sauce – Use for umami flavor. I only use Lauriat brand.
  • Brown sugar – This provides that gooey, caramelized flavor when the pork is finally grilled.
  • Fresh garlic – This adds a deep, savory, garlicky flavor. Mince for the best results.
  • Vinegar – This helps the meat better absorb the marinade. I only use Datu Puti brand.
  • Freshly ground black pepper – Fresh pepper adds a pop of peppery flavor.
  • Pork shoulder – I prefer this cut (also known as pork butt) because it’s versatile and flavorful. The marbling adds a rich flavor but it also has plenty of lean meat, with a balance of enough fat for that unctuous mouthfeel. Slice the pork into 2½ x 1½-inch strips.
  • Neutral oil – Use this to grease the grill grates so the pork doesn’t stick and burn.

For Serving

  • Sinangag (or garlic rice) This simple and Filipino staple garlic rice pairs perfectly with Filipino BBQ.
  • Toyomansi Whip this dipping sauce up in just 5 minutes for some salty/sour flair.

How To Make Filipino BBQ

This recipe requires patience. Marinate the pork overnight if possible, skewer, than add them to the grill for about 20 minutes.

  1. Add the ketchup, lemon-lime soda, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, vinegar, and black pepper to a large bowl.  Whisk until the sugar dissolves. Reserve ½ cup of marinade in a separate bowl.
  2. Add the sliced pork to the large bowl with the marinade and mix until the meat is well-coated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to marinate overnight or at least 5 hours.
marinated pork in a bowl

3. Preheat the grill to medium heat.

4. Thread the meat onto the soaked skewers, leaving about 1 inch of space at the top and bottom of each skewer.

5. Brush the grill grates with neutral oil, then arrange the skewers on the grill. Cook for 4 minutes, then brush with the reserved marinade, turn, brush again, and continue cooking until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 140°F (60°C).

6. Serve the skewers immediately with sinangag and toyomansi. Enjoy your Filipino BBQ pork!

filipino bbq pork skewers on a plate

Tips and Tricks

  • Although pork belly is popular for a lot of recipes, don’t use it for this one. It’s too fatty. On the other hand, pork tenderloin will dry out too quickly. Pork shoulder is a happy medium.
  • Slice the pork evenly so the meat cooks at an even rate.
  • Soak wooden bamboo skewers in water for about 30 minutes in order to prevent them from burning on the grill. The last thing you want is for your skewers to catch on fire.
  • Remember to set aside half of the marinade so you can use it as a basting sauce. It’s easy to get zealous and just dump the entire mixture on the raw pork. Once the marinade comes in contact with raw meat, it can’t be reused or you risk food contamination.
  • Don’t baste the pork too soon. Wait for it to brown (about 4 minutes) before adding the sauce. Otherwise, it may burn.
filipino bbq pork skewers on a grill

Variations

  • Sweetener Swap the ketchup, sugar, and garlic in the marinade for banana ketchup.
  • Citrus – If you don’t have vinegar, use lemon juice or lime juice instead.
  • Chicken – Don’t eat pork? Use chicken thighs instead. This also cuts back on the marinating time. Marinade for 3 hours.
plated Filipino BBQ with Sinangag and Toyomansi

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between Filipino BBQ and American BBQ?

Traditional Filipino BBQ uses wet marinades and is prepared over charcoal. Whereas American BBQ often involves seasoning BBQ meats with a dry rub and using a gas grill.

Filipino barbeque is very meat-centric (pork and chicken) and the dishes are usually served with simple dipping sauces and rice. In American cuisine, BBQ is comprised of beef brisket, pork ribs, pulled pork, and chicken. It is usually served with a variety of sides like potato salad, grilled corn, coleslaw, and baked beans.

What do you serve with Filipino pork skewers?

You can enjoy them as is, as an appetizer or snack. Make it a meal by serving Filipino BBQ pork with pancit canton, garlic rice, or toyomansi.

plated Filipino BBQ with Sinangag and Toyomansi

Looking for More Filipino Recipes

Loving this Filipino BBQ Pork Recipe?

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plated Filipino BBQ with Sinangag and Toyomansi

Filipino BBQ

Filipino BBQ is marinated pork grilled until perfectly tender and juicy then glazed with a sweet, savory barbecue sauce. BBQ pork skewers are a mouthwatering Filipino delicacy that is bound to be a crowd-pleaser.
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Marinate Overnight 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 50 minutes
Servings 10 skewers
Author Jeri Mobley-Arias
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Filipino

Equipment

  • 10 8-inch (20-cm) bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 15 minutes
  • Mixing bowl
  • Basting brush

Ingredients

  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 7 ounces lemon-lime soda
  • ½ cup soy sauce, Lauriat brand
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup fresh garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup vinegar, Datu Puti brand
  • teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • pounds pork should, sliced into 2½ x 1½-inch strips
  • neutral oil, for greasing

For Serving

  • Sinangag (or garlic rice)
  • Toyomansi

Instructions

  • Add the ketchup, lemon-lime soda, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, vinegar, and black pepper to a large bowl.  Whisk until the sugar dissolves. Reserve ½ cup of marinade in a separate bowl.
  • Add the sliced pork to the large bowl with the marinade and mix until the meat is well-coated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to marinate overnight or at least 5 hours.
  • Preheat the grill to medium heat.
  • Thread the meat onto the soaked skewers, leaving about 1 inch of space at the top and bottom of each skewer.
  • Brush the grill grates with neutral oil, then arrange the skewers on the grill. Cook for 4 minutes, then brush with the reserved marinade, turn, brush again, and continue cooking until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 140°F (60°C).
  • Serve the skewers immediately with sinangag and toyomansi. Enjoy!
Keywords Filipino BBQ, filipino bbq marinade, filipino BBQ pork, filipino bbq recipe, filipino bbq recipes, filipino bbq sauce, filipino bbq skewers recipe, filipino pork bbq, how to cook pork bbq filipino style, how to make bbq sauce filipino style
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plated Filipino BBQ with Sinangag and Toyomansi

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Hey, I'm Jeri!

At Whisper of Yum, we explore ALL cuisines - comfort foods, classics, elevated originals. If you love food like me, I invite you to settle in to this place, where swoon-worthy food is attainable + inspo for your next meal awaits.

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