Monday, September 3, 2012

Filipino BBQ Pork Kabobs (Kabob Week Day 1)


Filipino BBQ Pork Kabobs


Happy Labor Day and welcome to Day 1 of Kabob Week! This week, I'll be sharing 5 different kabob recipes with you as we start wrapping up the summer and grilling season.

For Day 1 of Kabob Week, we are having Filipino BBQ Pork Kabobs. I was first introduced to these a couple years ago when I went to LA with my brother Eddy and his girlfriend Tiff. Eddy was in his best friend's wedding, so while he was doing all of his pre and post wedding duties, Tiff and I gallivanted all over LA.

After an afternoon at Venice Beach and stuffing ourselves with fried food, we went up to my brother's friend's sister's house (whose husband is a spitting image of Patrick Dempsey!) who was having a BBQ. Tiff and I were far from hungry, but they were making some kabobs that we had to try. And we continued to eat. And eat. And eat. They were one of the best things I've ever eaten! It was sweet and savory, a little salty and a little fatty, and with this amazing caramelization. Ugh, if you could only bottle up the flavor and savor it every day!!

When I asked what was in them, they said it was just Filipino BBQ that's made with ketchup and Sprite (or 7-Up, I can't remember). So when we came home to Albuquerque, I asked my mom to make them. We found a recipe and it just wasn't the same. Now whenever I see my brother's friend, I ask him about what's in it. And he won't tell me. He confirms the ketchup, but when I ask about Sprite or 7-Up, he just laughs.

The other day I was determined to find the recipe, so I looked up all the Filipino BBQ Pork Kabob recipes that I could find that I thought sounded closest and found this one. Since the original kabobs that I had were a little more sweet, I went for the recipe that had more brown sugar and soda. This particular recipe used 7-Up, so I stuck with that. I prefer Sprite, so next time I might try it with that to see if it comes out any different. In addition, some recipes called for pork loin, pork belly, or pork butt.  Since pork loin seemed too lean (the fatty bits were some of the best parts) and I didn't want to deal with taking off the skin from the belly, I decided to go with the pork butt. I still had to trim some fat from the meat because I didn't want it to be too fatty. I also continuously basted the meat (separated into two bowls-- one for raw meat while it was cooking, another to baste the cooked meat just in case of contamination). I wanted to make sure those suckers had that caramelization thing going on!

The result??? Oh my. Very, very close! Close enough to satisfy my craving and make myself proud. ;-) Next time I make these, I'll have to invite Tiff and my brother over to see how they think they compare.



Me and Tiff on our last day in LA












Filipino BBQ Pork Kabobs
From Big, Bold, Beautiful Food

3 lbs thin cut center cut pork loin chops, pounded until very thin (between 1/8-1/4 inch) and cut into 1 inch wide slices against the grain (or you can use pork butt, partially frozen for easier cutting, and slice thin) (I used pork butt because I like that it has a little more fat. You still might need to trim some of the fat. You can also use pork belly, just remove the skin before slicing.)


Marinade:
1 can 7-up (12 oz.)
1/2 c. oil
3/4 c. soy sauce (I used gluten-free soy sauce)
3/4 c. brown sugar
3/4 c. ketchup or banana ketchup (I used regular gluten-free ketchup)
6 Tbsp. lemon juice (about 2 lemons, squeezed)
8 garlic cloves, smashed
4 big scallions, chopped or 1 small-medium onion, chopped (I used a medium onion)
1 tsp. kosher salt
Ground black pepper
If you like spice, add 2 tsp. sriracha hot sauce or more, or 1-2 tbs. Frank's red hot sauce, or any chili sauce or fresh chilis (optional) (I left this out)

Basting sauce:
1/2 c. 7-up
1/4 c. soy sauce (I used gluten-free soy sauce)
1/4 c. ketchup (I used regular gluten-free ketchup)
1/4 c. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. lemon juice

Prepare the pork as noted above. Mix the marinade ingredients together well. Combine the pork and marinade in a Ziploc bag. Seal and put in the fridge for a minimum or four hours, but better yet overnight or up to 2 days. (I marinated mine overnight.)

Soak bamboo skewers in water for a few hours or overnight to avoid burning when cooking.

When getting ready to cook, slide pork onto skewers, putting several pieces on each skewer as fits with room on the bottom to hold the stick.

Barbecue over medium-high heat over hot coals or gas grill until pork is done, basting as necessary to put a nice glaze on the meat. Depending on the thickness of the pork, you can char the meat first and then move it to a cooler side of the grill to finish cooking. (I also continuously basted the meat. I separated the basting sauce into two bowls-- one for raw meat while it was cooking, another to baste the cooked meat just in case of contamination).



15 comments:

  1. I've never had Filipino BBQ and it sure looks good! These kabobs look sweet and tasty and I would definitely add a little spice!

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    1. MJ, there's a new Filipino restaurant here in Abq. They serve Filipino BBQ as well has halo-halo that served with that yummy purple yam ice cream that's featured on your blog! :-)

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  2. yum! everything about these kabobs looks great! The flavor combo sounds to die for :)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, April! These kabobs are one of the best things ever.

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  3. I had Filipino BBQ for the first time last summer & have been craving it ever since. This looks amazing!!

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    1. Thanks, Starr! Filipino BBQ is just plain awesome! So glad I found a recipe that is like what I originally had. I hope you give it a try. :-)

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  4. If you can get your hands on banana ketchup, use that. For acidity, add just a bit of coconut vinegar or calamansi. And yes, Sprite or 7-up is a must :)

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  5. I made these tonight and they are delish! I marinated for two nights and broiled in the oven since I don't have a grill. I was able to get those crisp "burnt" edges! Yum

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  6. How many servings does this make? And how long do you grill the skewers for?

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    1. This makes about 4-6 servings. Also, for cooking time, it really depends on how thick the meat it cut and how hot your grill runs. For me, it took probably 10-15 minutes.

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  7. what kind of oil did you use ? also will it make a big difference if i use regular ketchup?what did you prefer 7up or Sprite??? lastly the basting did you make it ahead of time with the marinade, just wondering if the soda needs to fresh or not thanks can't wait to try it out,

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    Replies
    1. I used canola oil. You can use vegetable or an oil that doesn't have a lot of flavor. I wouldn't suggest olive oil. You can definitely use regular ketchup if you can't find banana ketchup-- I've used regular ketchup and it's still very good. I prefer sprite, but it really doesn't matter if you use 7-up or sprite-- I'd suggest whichever you prefer drinking! The baste I made it the same day that I grilled the meat.

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  8. hi i was wondering did you prefer 7up or Sprite ? did you make the marinade and the basting sauce at the same time, I didn't know if the soda needed to be fresh or i can prep and have in the fridge?? lastly will it make a big difference if i use regular ketchup vs banana ketchup. Thank you and can't wait to try your recipe

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    Replies
    1. I'd suggest using whichever soda you prefer-- 7-up or sprite will both be fine. I made the basting sauce after the marinade, but I think it might be fine to make it ahead of time. I don't think the fizziness adds much to the baste as much as flavor. And you can totally use regular ketchup!

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  9. I found this recipe when my dad brought over a 6.5lb center cut pork loin for my family. I marinated the pork for 24 hours and skewered the meat with fresh cut pineapple. This is the MOST amazing recipe ever. I will make this again and again.. And I'm going to try it with chicken too. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!

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