I am almost certain that somewhere on the planet, a Filipino national out there is currently consuming a stick of Pinoy style pork barbecue. Pork barbecue is definitely a favorite, even though it didnâ€™t come out as such in Marketmanilaâ€™s survey of favorite pinoy dishes whose results were summarized in this post. From small towns to hidden corners of large cities in the Philippines, sidewalk vendors are fanning the coals as they cook up some pork barbecue. I suspect we all have our favorites, but the key to this dish is the flavor that emanates from local pork, and ideally, the fat to meat ratio that results in the flavor, mouth feel, moisture and the taste that only comes from our own brand of charcoal roasted heaven on a stick. Everyoneâ€™s marinade differs a bit; whether salty, sweet, spicy or all of the above, pork barbecue is the stuff of good memories. I have perhaps consumed hundreds, possibly even thousands of sticks of pork barbecue since I was a child, and at home, my mom used to make it herself and I can distinctly recall how she used to skewer the meat so that it was impaled just right. And homemade from street-bought was distinguished by one clear differenceâ€¦the homemade didnâ€™t have the totally fatty piece of pork at the bottom of the stick! A couple of weeks ago, I decided to try making it on my ownâ€¦
I started off with a big piece of pork pigue (not sure what that cut is in English)and cut it into smallish pieces. I think this was the first error. The pork didnâ€™t have enough fat. While I had intended to make a leaner barbecue, this may have been a touch too lean. Next, the pieces were too thin/small. If I had increased them by about 50%, they would have been ideal. Too thin and it dries out. Too thick and it doesnâ€™t get cooked enough and you risk trichinosis or whatever cooties pork can have. You need to get the size just right. For the marinade I went a little overboard. I added Kikkoman, dark soy sauce, chilli sauce, pepper, sprite, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, a touch of tomato paste, etc. I let it marinate in the fridge for at least two days then skewered it and barbecued on a medium charcoal flame. They tasted pretty good but there was definitely room for improvement. I am curious what makes your pork barbecue special? Do you just buy it frozen and ready to cook (as I did from Inengâ€™s for a while), or do you make it yourselves? What ingredients do you use, how long do you marinate it, what cut of pork is ideal, do you tenderize it? Please let us know if you have any suggestions for the next time I make it. Oh, I almost forgot, we served the barbecue with my homemade papaya acharra and it was terrific! If you don’t feel like battling with a grill you can just pan fry the pork pieces in a hot stainless steel pan and eat it with rice and some chilli vinegar, yum!