This is it, folks.
This is our Holy Grail of recipes.
Wait, this is the BEST recipe in the whole wide world! ;)
This is our recipe for Philippine "barbecue", which is different from American barbecue as you shall see. I treat this recipe with respect and always speak of it in hushed tones.
Except, of course, when I have to shout, "This is the BEST RECIPE in the WORLD!" ;)
We were a little hesitant to post this recipe at first, because this recipe is very close to our hearts. We are not alone in this: talk to anybody who grew up in Manila and nothing evokes that childhood more than marinated pork on skewers (aka Pork BBQ), "barbecued" or grilled over charcoal.
This mass nostalgia is the reason why the few restaurants we have in Vancouver catering to Filipinos can get away charging as much as $8 dollars for a skewer!
Of course, I won't ever pay $8 for a skewer. I'm cheap that way.
Also, this is our Yaya's recipe, one that she has years tinkering with and perfecting to the taste that we like. I happen to think that our Yaya's version is the best version of pork barbecue skewer there is, and when I try some other skewer, I always think back and compare the other unfavourably to our Yaya's barbecue skewers.
My apologies to the other pork skewers I have tried recently, but my heart already belongs to our Yaya's skewers.
We only made pork barbecue skewers half a dozen times in our years in Vancouver, because the skewering of it is very labour-intensive.
View pictures of Philippine Pork "BBQ". I am drooling already just thinking about them.
You may say, "What's so hard about skewering some meat onto sticks?!" I'll tell you why!
First of all, the pork is not cut into cubes. Skewering cubes is easy. The pork in this case, however, is sliced thinly, and somehow, not in regular shapes. That is, they're not all the same size and in perfect rectangles. So manoeuvering them onto the sticks and making them look pretty takes some effort. Also, the pork would be sooooo cold!!! It hurts the fingers and hands, the cold.
Second, when we make pork BBQ, we can't just buy 1 or 2 pounds of pork and call it a day. That amount won't even last until the start of dinner! Those skewers disappear fast during the walk from the grill outside to the dining table inside. There is quite a number of us in the household, after all.
Besides, we are ones who, for some reason, cannot control ourselves. Must've been raised that way. Whereas other people would be satisfied with 2 or 3 skewers, we prefer to GORGE ourselves. In fact, if for some reason each of us only gets 2 skewers, whines and complaints would ensue.
"Is that everything?"
(Yun lang?! Wala na ba?!!?!)
"How come there's no more?!!"
(Bakit wala na?!)
"Why did you make so little?!! Why even bother making any!"
(Bakit ang konti-konti?!?! Gumawa ka pa! Bitin naman, e! 'Kakainis.)
Usually, we also invite some people over when making this. Hence, 2 pounds of pork will never cut it. We buy 15 to 20 pounds of pork. Imagine the labor!
Why are we going on and on about Pork BBQ when the title clearly says chicken?
Well, here's the twist.
We're doing "Chicken Barbeque" instead. Chicken is much easier to skewer. Although, we bypass that whole step and don't even skewer the chicken pieces anymore.
This recipe is reminiscent of Aristocrat's chicken barbecue and I don't know how Yaya ever managed to come up with this recipe. She must have access to information unknown to us.
We're submitting this to Dhanggit's party. We weren't sure what type of party it's going to be: is it an elegant hors d'oeuvres-y type party? Or is it going to be a buffet-style party reminiscent of fiestas? We finally decided to forge ahead with this "hearty" type food because the flavours here are part of the childhood of every Filipino and we hope that Mayumi gets to enjoy them, growing up in France.
A note regarding Aristocrat
Aristocrat is a very famous restaurant in the Philippines, famous for its chicken barbecue plate, served with pieces of chicken, a bowl of "Java" rice, and a small mound of atsara (pickled green papaya). The chicken is also served with a peanut sauce.
In the land where delicious chicken dishes abound, Aristocrat's chicken barbecue is ranked as one of the top -- if not the top -- chicken recipes throughout.
At least, this is how I remember it, from the vantage of having grown up during Aristocrat's heyday, when they had just that one big restaurant along Roxas Boulevard, along Manila Bay.
The restaurant is still standing, with numerous branches across the country, but I cannot vouch for the quality of the food now, not having eaten there for a long, long time, close to 15 years.
On the Aristocrat website, it states: "The insatiable craving for Manila's famous Chicken Barbecue sends regular patrons in droves." Haha. Insatiable! In droves! =D Although, from what I remember, although it was so long ago, that statement is not hyperbole.
So, finally, we get to the dish itself.
Here below is Yaya's typewritten recipe written specifically for me. You see from its stained self that it's been used a lot. The measurements are not too exact, but I'll re-type it at the end of the post. She also addresses me personally in the procedure part of the recipe. =)
As with most of the recipes we know, this one starts with the marinade. Yes, 7-up!!
The marinade includes garlic (the massive amount you see), soy sauce, sugar, kalamansi juice, 7-Up or Sprite, salt and a generous amount of black pepper. For so long, we've been living without kalamansi, so we've always used lemon instead. Limes would work as well.
I taste the marinade as I add ingredients, adjusting it as I go. When it is acceptable, the pork slices go in. In this case, the chicken parts went in.
Please, the meat should marinate at least overnight. At least. Yaya says to marinate chicken for 2 days and 2 nights(!).
Then, off to the grill! Of course, charcoal is best. But we're too lazy for that, so we just use our ol' propane grill.
To make the basting sauce (the "barbeque" sauce), I use some of the marinade and add ketchup, worcestershire sauce, a touch of oil, and adjust the sugar and soy sauce levels. I heat the sauce until "cooked."
Baste, baste, baste(!) with the barbeque sauce while the meat is cooking.
As for the peanut sauce, again, I use some of the marinade and add the same things above (not so much ketchup, though) plus some peanut butter. I heat this to cook the marinade and make the mixture smooth. Serve peanut sauce with your chicken barbeque. It is heavenly on it!
If you're iffy about using the used marinade for the barbeque sauce and peanut sauce, simply make a new mixture with the marinade ingredients and use that as your base.
There you go! Some chicken barbeque!
Now we'll just have to work on getting that Java rice correctly. ;)
Happy Birthday, Mayumi!
Yaya's Barbequed Pork
(copied exactly, except the translations)
1- big head garlic, crushed
2- tsp. salt
1- tsp. black pepper
4- Tbsp. soy sauce
4- sugar (I assume this is in tablespoons.)
1- can 7-up or Sprite
10- pcs. calamansi
1- kg. pork, sliced thin into 1-1/2" pcs. (We get shoulder butt.)
Mix all ingredients together including the pork. Marinate overnight in the refrigerator.
shobe, ang sauce bali itong binabaran, dagdagan mo nalang ng catsup, lea perrin, 2- oil, sugar. ang chicken barbecue naman ganon din ang timpla sa barbecue pork, kaya lang wala itong catsup; kaya lang ang manok kailangan dalawang araw at dalawang gabi ang pagbabad mo, ok.
("Shobe" is my "nickname"; it's Fukien/Hokkien for "Little Sister", but it's become my nickname, be it in Filipino or Fukien.)
Shobe, the sauce is the marinade itself, just add catsup, Lea & Perrins, 2- oil, sugar. For chicken barbeque, the marinade is the same as barbeque pork, but without the catsup, and you have to marinate the chicken for 2 days and 2 nights, ok?
Click here for Philippine Pork "BBQ".
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We're also submitting this to Monthly Mingle.
This month: Grill it!, hosted by Sig of Live to Eat.
More Monthly Mingle information at What's for Lunch, Honey?
We're submitting this to Culinarty's Original Recipes.
More information here.
The Round-ups here.