17 Apr2012

Don’t they look just fabulous? Succulent pieces of pork interspersed with fresh slices of sweet and tangy pineapple. Long time readers of the blog might be aware that I seem to only have one acute food allergy — to pineapples. I used to LOVE eating pineapple as a kid, particularly the hard juicy core, and consumed a LOT of pineapples. Then sometime after college, and living abroad for many years, I started to get an itchy mouthfeel whenever I ate fresh pineapple and now my throat starts to constrict, I get rashes, and frankly, I can’t even be close to anyone peeling and slicing a pineapple! Despite this, I still occasionally try dishes with cooked pineapple, or canned pineapple, but try to stay away from fresh pineapples. I even get nailed if I take fruit from a hotel buffet and the utensils have touched some pineapple earlier in the day… :(

But the “pork barbecue on a stick obsession” was taking root, and on the way to Nasugbu, I concocted a pork and pineapple version while driving by pineapple plantations and vowed to give it a go at the beach. We stopped and purchased a few fresh pineapples in Silang, Cavite, and thankfully we were traveling in several vehicles, so the pineapples were exiled to another car, far away from me and my allergy. :) At the beach, the crew peeled a pineapple, blitzed it in a powerful blender, and strained the pulp to yield nearly two cups of insanely fresh pineapple juice. To about 2/3 kilo of sliced pork, I added about a cup or so of pineapple juice, several tablespoons of brown sugar, some Sprite, several tablespoons of Kikkoman soy sauce, and some salt and pepper. I let this marinate for about two hours or less, intuitively worried about meat texture with excessive time in the marinade…

The pork was then skewered onto the bamboo sticks, with pieces of freshly peeled pineapple in-between the pork. The leftover marinade was placed in a small saucepan and brought to a boil, with a touch more brown sugar added and seasoned with salt and pepper. I didn’t taste this until it had boiled for several minutes, and it seemed to be a nice balance of sweet and sour. My tongue still got a little itchy despite the pineapple juice having been boiled.

Onto a nice hot grill, the pork and pineapples were basted several times with the sauce, and cooked until slightly golden, with a few charred bits of fat. When we tried to flip them over, some of the pineapples and meat stuck to the grill, the first sign of something going awry…

…but they looked really appetizing and smelled amazing. We were all getting quite hungry, and some of the crew who are big on pineapples in food were already counting on several sticks of this version of barbecue!

After taking all the barbecue sticks off the grill and cooling them for a few minutes, I bit into my first piece of pork and within a split second, wanted to spit it back out! It was DISGUSTING! Apparently, the fresh pineapple juice had just truly pummeled the meat, making it a pulpy and obnoxiously distasteful mess. GROSS, actually. Never before have I cooked something so downright unexpectedly AWFUL! I thought maybe my allergies had something to do with my reaction, but the crew all tasted this version and couldn’t even finish a single stick! Yuck. Turns out fresh pineapple and pork can be really, really bad news and a food critic on television a day or two later was railing about the horrible combination and I completely understood why he was being so vehement about the topic. Canned pineapple and pineapple juice is a different story I gather from Bettyq’s comment in a previous post… but I am now elightened. No pork with fresh pineapple ever again! This was the first dish to get a big fat ZERO on the marketman scale. Sorry to say, it’s next stop was the rubbish bin. :(



  1. Faust says:

    Hello MM the taste of pork marinated in fresh pineapple is different from canned ones? canned ones tastes better?

    Apr 17, 2012 | 12:49 am


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  3. betty q. says:

    Maybe you need less of the fresh pineapple juice, just a few tbsp?…1 cup with all those enzymes in it for only less than 1 kg of pork …that is why, I think using commercial tenderizers, one needs to add only a few pinches! I still say, that if you want tender meat, …grill only your pork bbq till you get the grill marks and then finish in the oven. Pag hindi pa naman lumambot iyong meat, ewan ko na!!!!! I just made pork bby over the week-end..Friday, 4 dozens sticks or family of our. Then on Saturday, the boys invited a few friends over and made another 4 dozens…Why does the meat turn hard? Maybe because of the amount of sugar, the meat caramelizes once it is on the grill esp. if it thinly sliced. Ever wondered why tocino turns hard…without first boiling it and then frying it…

    I also mentioned before that I am SOLD on using almost pureed onions as tenderizer…not only does it add flavour, but it tenderizes the meat as well!!!!

    Apr 17, 2012 | 12:52 am

  4. Footloose says:

    I take it that the problem was the pork sat too long in the marinade? And I suspect, the marinade’s concentration too (after reading BettyQ above).

    You know I often brag that I eat all results of my experiments, even the failed ones but I have to admit in all honesty, once in a while, the garbage bin is the only safe receptacle for them. You don’t even want to imperil your pets’ wellbeing.

    Apr 17, 2012 | 1:04 am

  5. Sleepless in Seattle says:

    I had my take on your V1& V2 BBQ this weekend..like Betty Q,i almost,always finish them in the oven, after grill marks on them.They are so good.I did pork stick with canned pineapple before,they were edible,not memorable.

    Apr 17, 2012 | 1:52 am

  6. betty q. says:

    MM…this is what I did over the week-end last Friday…bear in mind I did this 2x totalling 20 POUNDS of pork!!!

    So…for 10 pounds of very thinly sliced porK: I used the pork shoulder
    2 cups light soy sauce ( I start with 1 cup first adding the other cup if needed)
    1 cup vinegar
    1/2 cup water (the vinegar here is soooooo asim!)
    juice from 4 really large lemons
    4 onions, very, very finely minced (I use food processor. till almost but not quite pureed)
    4 large heads garlic, pounded in almires
    lots of frrsh grpund pepper
    3 to 3 1/2 cups sugar ( I start with 2 cups adding more to suit my taste)
    2 cans sprite or 7-UP
    1 small bottle Lea and Perrins
    1/4 to 1/2 cup oyster sauce (I omit this since my son is allergic to seafood but my Ate back home adds this to hers)

    The catsup, I add to the basting sauce.

    OK…season first the pork with salt/pepper and massage the pureed onions into the meat. Let it sit for about 2 hours, then add the rest of the ingredients. Let it sit for a few hours to overnight. Then thread into water soaked bbq sticks and grill over medium to high heat. Now, you can put the almost cooked pork and let it rest on the rack above the grill.

    If anyone, wants the street vendor bbq, try this! My son’s friends called it that!

    Apr 17, 2012 | 2:18 am

  7. betty q. says:

    MM…please allow me to ask Kurzhaar or Gejo something…I was really thrilled to receive my PURPLE SIGARILYAS SEEDS. However, I am getting VERY impatient guys about my Winged Bean (sigarilyas)! It is taking FOREVER to germinate!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I soaked it in warm water till they became swollen and even made a tiny scratch on the surface of the hard coat…NADA!!!! I did the things above about 3 to 4 weeks ago. Is there anything I am missing?

    Apr 17, 2012 | 4:48 am

  8. millet says:

    whoa! At least the pictures are drool-worthy! For me, calamansi juice does an excellent job of tenderizing and flavoring as well. bettyp, that’s a lot of barbecue!

    Apr 17, 2012 | 7:22 am

  9. Betchay says:

    Seems like you’re a classic case of the Oral Allergy Syndrome cause by the cross reaction of airborne pollen to similar proteins found in raw fruits/veggies.It is the protein Profilin found in bananas and pineapples that causes the cross reaction:
    Have you visited your allergologist/immunologist?Maybe a desensitization therapy will be helpful?

    Apr 17, 2012 | 7:38 am

  10. PITS, MANILA says:

    Too bad about your allergy … I depend on pineapples for flavor, as a tenderizer, and of course for the benefits of its fiber. Best sweet-tasting pineapples I’ve tasted came in the size of one’s fist. Very sweet and very crunchy …

    Apr 17, 2012 | 8:02 am

  11. Marketman says:

    Betchay, I love bananas and have no adverse reaction to them, but bad on pineapples. :(

    Apr 17, 2012 | 8:19 am

  12. betty q. says:

    Millet…mabigat lang iyong buto ng pork shoulder! PLus, I would rather grill a lot since we just love leftover pork bbq…makes excellent filling for Banh Mi sandwiches and Vietnamese Salad Rolls!

    Apr 17, 2012 | 9:33 am

  13. Susan says:

    When I started reading this post and saw the cup of pineapple juice on the second picture I said to myself “oh no” but looking at the rest of the pictures of the cooked sticks I thought “ok, maybe not” until I read your last paragraph and I laughed and said, “yup, been there, done that” haha. Except I used beef. Tasted like mush, disgusting alright. Anyone tried canned pineapple juice to marinate? I would think that pineapple would give the bbq sticks an awesome flavor.

    Apr 17, 2012 | 1:58 pm

  14. rie says:

    I can definitely say that canned pineapple juice works better than the freshly squeezed, we use it when marinating our pork bbque. Together with, brown sugar, soy sauce, lea & perrins, minced garlic, pureed onion, calamansi juice, & catsup. =)

    Apr 17, 2012 | 2:52 pm

  15. Pia says:

    MM are you from nasugbu? I notice that you mention the town often., I just came across this blog site and i really enjoy the threads, very informative esp to our kababayans who miss authentic pinoy cooking from backhome.

    Sep 16, 2012 | 4:20 pm


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