July 28, 2014

Street Food of the Philippines

By: Leah Eveleigh, Culinary Arts Student & Cutthroat Kitchen Winner

skewersThere are two seasons in the Philippines: rainy season and summer season.

My trip back home to the Philippines in February of this year was an amazing journey. When I landed in Manila International Airport it brought me back instantly to the feeling of home and as soon as I stepped out I felt the beautiful hot breeze of Filipino summer. When I left Denver it was snowing so it was a much needed escape to the tropical islands. My visit was mainly to surround myself with family, the Filipino people, the culture and especially the food. I love traveling and because I’m writing my first cookbook, I wanted to experience and taste new flavors.

Street food is incredibly popular in the Philippines. You’ll find food cart vendors on every corner selling food like banana que – fried banana on a stick that’s glazed with caramelized sugar, fish balls on skewers with sweet and tangy dipping sauce, green mangos with bagoong (shrimp paste), grilled fresh whole fish, marinated BBQ chicken and many other Filipino treats to satisfy the palate. The most popular ones and my favorites are the BBQ pork on skewers– marinated pork on skewers that is grilled to perfection and marinated pork belly–served with a spiced vinegar dipping sauce (vinegar with crush garlic, ground black pepper and red hot Thai chili peppers). When you place pork on a hot grill, you’ll hear the sound of sizzle as the right amount of fat melts away and the aroma wafts through the air, stretching for blocks and inviting customers along the way. That is summer in the Philippines.

As well as being my favorite, BBQ Pork on skewers is a special dish to me. I really just love cooking food of all kinds on the grill. The skewers work so well for shrimp, fish, scallops, beef and vegetables and everything tastes immaculate with the same base marinade of soy, lemon and ginger.

When I had my food booth at the Dragon Bowl festival, some customers would come and order the pork on skewers in tons of batches. It never comes as a surprise when these are the first ones to sell out. In my home cooking class, pork skewers are always a hit. I will share with you my recipe and hope you enjoy them because they’re simply delicious.

Summer season is here so fire up the grill and enjoy BBQ pork on skewers. Until next time, keep on grilling!

BBQ Pork skewersBBQ Pork Skewers Recipe
4 lbs Pork Butt cut into 2’’x1½ x ¼ inch thick
Marinade:
1 juice of lemon
1 juice of orange
1 cup pineapple juice
½ cup soy sauce
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbs fresh ginger, finely chopped
½ cup banana sauce (sold in oriental store)
1 tsp black pepper
40 pieces 10” inch bamboo skewers, soaked in cold water

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk all marinade ingredients until blended. Set aside.
  2. Cut the pork to desired sizes. Place the pork in marinade mixture for 30 minutes.
  3. Soak the bamboo skewers in cold water for 20 minutes.
  4. Thread 2 or 3 slices of pork onto skewers.
  5. Heat the grill to 350 degrees. Grill the pork turning 2 or 3 times and brushing with marinade mixture until the pork is tender and cooked through, about 8 to 10 minutes. Serves 10