Filipino BBQ recipe – Grand Rapids Magazine

TEsteban’s passion for cooking was inspired by his grandfather. “Growing up, my grandfather was a hobby of cooking. He was able to retire at a young age, so he was always in the kitchen changing, switching and experimenting with recipes. He loved to feed everyone and anyone. I was always very caring and loved being his taste labs,” Esteban said.

Esteban especially enjoys Filipino food. “My father’s family immigrated to the United States in the 1960s when he was 9 years old. I was raised on Filipino recipes that are rich in flavour.”

In particular, Esteban enjoys Filipino barbecue – “The King of Street Food!”

Compared to other types of barbecue, which can take hours or days, Filipino roast is quick and easy.

For this recipe, Esteban said, “It’s traditionally cooked over hot coals, so a charcoal grill is best, but you won’t complain if it’s cooked on a gas stove.

“You will find that you will probably double this recipe for your next cookout; most people will eat five to eight skewers themselves. That’s fine!”

Filipino Barbecue


  • 4 pounds pork, cut into strips about ½ inch thick (cut across the grain for a tender bite)
  • 2 cups lime soda (preferably 7up)
  • 1½ cups light soy sauce
  • 1½ cups white vinegar
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • ½ cup garlic (minced)
  • 2 lemons (halves)
  • 30-40 bamboo skewer
  • 1/3 cup sesame oil
  • ½ cup oyster sauce

Combine lime soda, soy sauce, white vinegar, brown sugar, black pepper, garlic, and lemon in a large bowl.

Add the pork and make sure the meat is completely covered. Soak for at least 3 hours (overnight is best).

Soak the bamboo skewers in water for 30 minutes and add 2 to 3 pieces of meat to each skewer.

In a bowl, combine sesame oil and oyster sauce.

Grill the meat kebabs for 2-3 minutes per side. Brush the meat with the sesame mixture and oysters and grill until the meat is fully cooked.

Pro tip: Don’t crowd the grill. Cook the skewers in batches until you get a good charcoal dish – overcrowding will only steam the meat, grilling is all about the char!

This recipe can be found in the July/August 2021 issue of Grand Rapids Magazine. To get more recipes delivered to your inbox, subscribe here.