Inihaw is simply a method of cooking over coals or other heat source for grilling. Inihaw na Baboy (Grilled Pork) is considered one of the dishes that you can easily find in many of the food stalls that you may see as you wander the streets of the Philippines. The flavor profile of this dish is sweet, smoky, and savory, with a nice punch of pungent garlic flavor.
The following recipe is the one that was passed down in my family and is the same recipe that my dad prepared whenever there was a large family gathering. In addition to the traditional ingredients, he would pour in a touch of dark rum which added a nice complexity to the marinade. One of the best food memories I have is helping my dad prepare the dish, eventually assembling everything on the bamboo skewers. The reward of spending time cooking with my dad as we manned the grill and served up the most popular dish at the party is one that I will always cherish. I miss him every day, and it is food memories like this one that keeps his memory alive.
The traditional recipe calls for calamansi, banana ketchup, and lemon-lime soda, of which these ingredients help to add a sweetness and tenderizing effect on the pork. To make the recipe more accessible to the home cook, substitutions have been made while maintaining the same flavor profile.
Filipino Pork Barbecue
- 2 ½ lbs | 1.125 kg of pork shoulder sliced into thin pieces (roughly 2″ x 1″ x 1/4″)
- ¼ cup | 60 ml of soy sauce
- ¼ cup | 60 ml of dark rum (Like Kill Devil Rum with Pecans & Honey)
- 2 tbsp | 30 ml of lemon juice
- ½ cup | 100 g of brown sugar
- 2 tbsp | 30 g of crushed garlic
- 1 tsp | 2.4 g of salt
- 1 tsp | 2.4 g of pepper
- bamboo skewers
The following recipe is the one that was passed down in my family and is the recipe that my father prepared whenever there was a large family gathering. In addition to the traditional ingredients, he would add in a touch of dark rum which added a nice complexity to the marinade.
- In a clean non-reactive bowl combine the soy sauce, dark rum, brown sugar, crushed garlic, salt and pepper and mix well.
- Add the thinly sliced pork to the marinade mixture and allow it to sit for a minimum of three hours or overnight covered and refrigerated.
- Take the bamboo skewers and soak them in water for at least 15 minutes.
- Thread 4 to 5 pieces of pork on each skewer taking care to not leave any spaces in between to prevent burning of the skewer when barbecuing.
- Heat up the grill and cook the barbecue over medium high heat for at least 4 minutes per side.
- Transfer to a serving platter and serve with a side of kanin (rice), achara (Filipino pickled vegetables), and a vinegar dipping sauce.