June 22, 2010

Pork BBQ on a stick for Kulinarya Cooking Club

When I found out this month's theme is Pinoy BBQ, I immediately thought of cooking Pork BBQ on a stick - a childhood favorite! Usually considered street food, vendors hawk these (and other cuts of meats on a stick) out on the street corners cooked from their makeshift grills. They are also a very popular party food. When you serve them, they are usually the first thing that gets eaten right away; people look out for and hoard these right off the grill (at least in my family)!

I learned to make Pork BBQ sticks from my Lola (grandma). She had already been in the U.S. for several years before my family came to join her; I was fourteen. She had always been in charge of all the cooking for our family parties. When I arrived, I was not sure how it happened but I ended up as her assistant in the kitchen. I "got stuck" peeling cloves after cloves of garlic and crushing them using a pandikdik (mortar & pestle); never a food processor. The next day, the daunting task of skewering the cold meat that's been marinating in the fridge overnight. Daunting only because when our big family cooks Pork BBQ sticks, we start with at least 20 pounds!

My Lola's recipes were never written and she was quite a bossy lady (I was always a little scared of her) so I just did what she tells me. Along the way, I picked up a few kitchen wisdom from her. The one that stuck in my head with this Pork BBQ stick recipe (besides using 7-up soda) is a 1-to-1 ratio of sugar and soy sauce. Then you can play around with the other seasonings: more crushed black pepper or siling labuyo (bird's eye chili) if you want it spicy, add more garlic to make them extra garlicky (we always do), even a few drops of patis (fish sauce) and/or kalamansi juice if you like a little tang to them.

Another thing I remember from cooking Pork BBQ sticks with my Lola was she never basted with ketchup when they're grilling. It just masked the already flavorful meat, she said once. So I don't but would brush on some of the marinade to keep them moist. It also helps to NOT use a lean cut of meat; pork shoulder is a great choice here.

Pork BBQ sticks are usually served with achara, pickled green papayas. I haven't had luck eyeing green papayas but had some mangoes today so I combined them with cucumbers to make a quick relish. And since the coals were still burning in the grill, I threw in some eggplants to roast. Once cooked, I just slit them open and topped them with tomatoes for a quick side dish to make it a complete meal. I have posted a fire-roasted eggplant salad once before here.

Lola's Pork BBQ on a Stick
makes about 20 skewers

1 head of garlic, peeled and crushed
1 TBSP salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 TBSP freshly-squeezed kalamansi juice (optional)
2 pounds pork butt, cut into 1/4 inch slices
3/4 cup 7-Up soda

Combine the first 6 ingredients in a small bowl. Stir until all the sugar is melted.

Place pork in a shallow glass container. Pour in the marinade and stir in until all the meat is coated. Pour in the soda and stir again. Cover tightly and place in the refrigerator overnight, or for at least 8 hours.

Soak skewers 30 minutes before using. Skewer meat and set aside. You may use marinade by placing in small pan and boil for 2 minutes. Set aside.

Prepare grill. Cook Pork BBQ sticks over medium-hot coals about 3-5 minutes on each side, basting every so often. Serve immediately.

Kulinarya was started by a group of Filipino foodies who are passionate about the Filipino culture and its colorful cuisine. Each month we will showcase a new dish along with their family recipes. By sharing these recipes, we hope you find the same passion and love for Filipino Food as we do.

Please visit my fellow Kulinarya members for their Pinoy BBQ creations:

Kath - http://www.acupcakeortwo.com/
Trisha - http://sugarlace.com/
Trissa - http://trissalicious.com/
Olive - http://www.latestrecipes.net/
Ninette - http://bigboldbeautifulfood.blogspot.com/
Peach- http://www.thepeachkitchen.com/
Althea- http://www.busogsarap.com/
Asha - http://forkspoonnknife.blogspot.com/
Malou - http://www.impromptudiva.com/
Cherrie - http://sweetcherriepie.blogspot.com/
Acdee - http://acdee.blogspot.com/
Valerie - http://www.acanadianfoodie.com/
Sheryl - http://crispywaffle.com/
Divina - http://www.sense-serendipity.com/
Anna - http://www.anniesfoodjournal.blogspot.com/
Dahlia - http://www.energychef.blogspot.com/
Joy - http://joyjoycreativeoutlet.blogspot.com/
Maribel - http://www.foodgeek.webs.com/
Jen - http://www.jen-at-work.blogspot.com/
Pia - http://bisayajudkaayo.blogspot.com/
Malaka - http://thegrandinternational.com.
Mimi - http://lapinchecocinera.blogspot.com
Erika - http://ivoryhut.com/
Kat - http://www.caterersearch.com/tabletalk/default.aspx


Anonymous said...

Oh my! that's delectable!!! I couldn't participate this month but I wish I could have.. I can see what i am missing!!!

Anonymous said...

Can you mail me some , please, penpal?

A cupcake or two said...

I like your version of Pork BBQ. It looks lovely and sweet. I never get Pork BBQ right. I always tend to overcook it. I will definately try your recipe. Cheers to another great KCC month.

sheryl said...

lol, lolas are the best source of cooking knowledge!
btw, I've been trying a combo of pork shoulder and pork belly -- then some of the fatty pieces 'baste' the other pieces of shoulder. :)

chef_d said...

Love love love your pork bbq on a stick. Your story about your lola reminds me of my childhood too. The roasted eggplant and the mango-cucumber relish looks yummy!!

Olive said...

same here , pork bbq on a stick is what first came into my mind and this is my fave too..yum, yum! :)

♥peachkins♥ said...

Every pork barbecue family recipe has a story. Those look extremely delish!

Trisha said...

I wish we have readily available calamansi here in Australia... these look so good I just want to grab one stick after another! :)

cusinera said...

I like the combination...bbq sticks with roasted eggplants (am a self confessed eggplant lover!)and the mango/cucumber relish...ay ang sarap:)

TS of eatingclub vancouver said...

"The next day, the daunting task of skewering the cold meat that's been marinating in the fridge overnight. Daunting only because when our big family cooks Pork BBQ sticks, we start with at least 20 pounds!"

Haha, I know EXACTLY what you mean! We also do massive amounts of meat, and the meat is soooo cold! =D

Caroline said...

Thank you guys for commenting! Now, get grilling. :)

Cooking Book Club said...

I am from Indonesia, and we have something similar called 'Sate' or 'Satay' in thai. I will try your recipe because it sounds delicious.

arnold | inuyaki said...

Thanks for making want BBQ first thing in the morning. :)

LetMeEatCake Eat With Me! said...

yum! those are my fave too! growing up i used to get them from Bernie's in Echo Park :)


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