Thursday, February 17, 2011

Pinoy Barbie (Filipino Style Barbecue)

And I do not mean a variation to the popular fashion doll. Rather, “barbie” is how Aussies affectionately refer to one of the favourite pastimes downunder, barbecue/barbecuing. Hence it is the cooking method of choice every Australia Day celebration (I meant to post this on that day for that particular reason…but just did not find the time). Large pieces of marinated meat/seafood are “thrown on the barbie” for a quick and tasty summer meal in the great outdoors.

We Filipinos have our own barbecue tradition if you like. Instead of large chunks of meat we like them bite size and skewered (using bamboo) much like the more well-known Southeast Asian satay. But rather than a spicy peanut sauce we Pinoys favour the smoky savoury sweet taste not too dissimilar to the style of our North American brothers.

There is another stark difference between the Aussie and the Pinoy barbie. Rather than cooking over charcoal the preferred antipodeans’ method is the use of a gas heated hot plate or a grill. You will not get the smoky barbecue finish doing it this way so I still revert back to using coal (or heat beads).

Barbecuing is meant to be easy. That is why I do not bother concocting a complicated alchemy of ingredients. The main component of my marinade is a pre-made mix made by Mama Sita’s (a popular Filipino food manufacturer). I add pineapple juice for some fruity freshness and some tomato ketchup for a right sweet and sour balance.

The marinade works well with other kinds of meat but my preference is pork. You do not have to skewer the meat if that’s too much of a chore. I tried this using pork chops and the result was still fantastic. It’s best to use cuts with a little bit of fat to keep the barbecue moist. Otherwise put a bit of oil in your marinade and use it to baste the meat as it cooks.

Grilled eggplants to make an Asian style salad

Quick & Easy Pinoy BBQ ala Beancounter

1 packet Mama Sita’s Barbeque Marinade

¼ cup soy sauce

1 cup pineapple juice

¼ cup tomato ketchup

Chillies (optional)

1 kg pork (belly strips, chops or any pork cut you prefer)

1. Mix all the marinade ingredients.

2. Pour the marinade on the meat and set aside for at least an hour.

3. Prepare your barbecue using charcoal or heat beads.

4. Length of cooking time depends on the thickness of your meat. Baste it from time to time to avoid drying out.

5. Serve with rice and some grilled eggplant salad.

My de-glamorised BBQ assistant