"Everywhere you travel in the Philippines you will see small barbecue set-ups outside shops selling this traditional snack," writes Kuruvita. "It is always nice to sit down for a few minutes, have a conversation with the store owner and take in what is happening around you. The secret to what makes these barbecued skewers unique and so tasty is the use of lemonade. This tenderises the meat and adds flavour to the marinade. It does make a sticky mess of your grill but the taste is well worth it."
- 1 kg boneless pork belly, skin removed
- 1 small garlic head, finely chopped
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 55 gm soft brown sugar or white sugar (¼ cup firmly packed)
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 250 ml soy sauce (1 cup)
- 125 ml tomato sauce (ketchup) (½ cup)
- 125 ml lemonade or beer (optional) (½ cup)
- 60 ml calamansi juice (see note) or lemon juice (¼ cup)
- 20 bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes
- 1Cut the pork into long pieces about 5mm thick and 5cm wide and place in a large bowl. Add the garlic, onion, sugar, pepper, soy sauce, tomato sauce, lemonade and calamansi juice and combine well using your hands. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, turning occasionally.
- 2Preheat a charcoal barbecue or regular barbecue grill to medium. Thread the pork strips onto the bamboo skewers, reserving the marinade. Barbecue the skewers until cooked through (about 8-10 minutes), turning and basting with the reserved marinade every few minutes. Serve hot.
Note The calamansi is a citrus fruit widely used in Filipino cooking. My Feast with Peter Kuruvita is published by Hardie Grant ($49.95, hbk). The recipes here have been reproduced with minor GT style changes.