Shrimp Étouffée

Filipino-style Pork BBQ

Skewers of savory, sweet, little char-grilled pork bits of juicy deliciousness. Masarap pulutan!  Delicious finger food!


I mean really, it's great to grill all year long, even when Ol' Man Winter's chilly presence makes you scoot quickly in the back door, beaming, with your prized plate of I-cooked-this-outdoors-even-though-it's-snowing goodness.

But, here in the Okanagan, once May long weekend hits, those BBQ cravings wham-bam, thank-you ma'am, kick into high gear.  With pizzazz!

Thanks to my ever so special, lost-family-found heritage, and my deeply entrenched passion to explore in any new culinary directions, we have added tender, tasty, barbecued pork skewers to our family favorites. 

I have come to know that this style of pork BBQ is standard family fare and very popular street-food in the Philippines.  Lucky ducks! 

Pork shoulder is cut into irregular, thin slices, rather than cubes, and marinated overnight, to get all happy. The next day the meat is strung on wooden skewers (that have been soaked in water) and grilled, whilst being basted with the marinade that has been deliciously doctored up and simmered down.  The char-grilled goodness that results will have you, Mmmm-ing, from the very first nibble.

SquirrelAnd the aroma that wafts when these babies are oh my! 

In fact, the oddest thing happened, when I was on the back deck queing up these skewers.  Never happened before.  There is a squirrel that visits our forest back yard every day, but he's pretty shy, so never comes too close to us.  But, the entire time I was grilling this pork, that squirrel stayed, perched on a deck chair, eye-balling me and chattering away.  Almost unnerving!

Obviously the aroma is more enticing than I thought.

Filipino pork BBQ makes great appies, with icy cold bevies.  But also, of course, a perfect main course with rice and salad. Or (oh yessss!!) a couple of skewers laid across the top of a steamy bowl of wonton soup or saimin make quite an irresistible combination.


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Thanks to Vancouver Eating Club blog for sharing Yaya's coveted recipe!

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PHILIPPINE PORK BBQ - Makes 16-18 skewers

For marinade:
1 head garlic, all cloves peeled and minced
2 teaspoons sea or Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (I use a good bit more, for a fine pow!)
1/3 cup dark soy sauce
5 tablespoons brown sugar
1 can 7-Up or Sprite
1-2 lemons, juiced

1.5 kg. boneless pork shoulder, sliced thin into 1 1/2 - inch pieces

16-18, 11-inch bamboo skewers

For basting sauce:
Left-over marinade
3/4 cup ketchup or *banana ketchup*
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons corn or vegetable oil
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For marinade, mix all ingredients together, add pork, mix, mix, cover and refrigerate overnight.

Soak bamboo skewers overnight, to avoid splitting and burning.

An hour or two before grilling, drain marinade into a medium pot, for basting sauce. Set aside. String marinated pork pieces onto skewers, spreading out the meat a bit, so it cooks evenly.  Refrigerate skewers until ready to grill.

Meanwhile add ketchup or banana ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, oil, brown sugar and freshly ground black pepper to marinade, in pot, and stir over medium-high heat until it comes to a gentle boil.  Reduce heat and simmer sauce 15-20 minutes. 

Pre-heat BBQ to medium-high.  Grill skewers, turning occasionally, for approximately 12-15 minutes per side, basting generously with the sauce, til meat is evenly cooked and there's lots of tasty little charred edges. Total grilling time, about 30 minutes.

Serve hot from the grill.  Mmmmm......

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**Banana Ketchup or Banana Sauce is a popular Philippine condiment made from mashed banana, sugar, vinegar and spices. Banana ketchup was made when there was a shortage of tomato ketchup during World War II.  Available in the Asian Food section of many grocery stores, or Asian food specialty stores. Our local SuperStore always has a good supply.**