A Filipino barbecue sauce recipe that you will absolutely love! Sweet, tangy, garlicky, and packed with so much flavor. Use as a marinade, basting, and even as a dipping sauce.
This is my go-to recipe for making Filipino pork BBQ skewers, BBQ pork belly, BBQ pork ribs, and even BBQ chicken.
Filipino BBQ vs Other BBQs
Filipino-style barbecue is sweet, tangy, garlicky, and bold in flavor. It is similar to American-style barbecue, but here's what makes it unique:
- It uses soda / soft drinks, particularly lime sodas like 7-up or Sprite.
- It uses banana ketchup instead of tomato ketchup which is slightly sweeter and has a distinct fruity flavor.
- Unlike other Asian-style barbecues, this recipe uses minimal spices. In fact, just two–garlic and black pepper and an optional red chili if you want to make it spicy.
What you'll love about my recipe is it's not overly sweet and doesn't use too much sugar. It has a good balance of saltiness, sweetness, and tanginess.
Barbecue Sauce Ingredients
Here are the ingredients to make Filipino-style marinade:
A few notes about the ingredients:
- Lime Soda (soft drink) - use 7 up or Sprite helps tenderize the meat along with vinegar.
- Banana Ketchup - is the best for Filipino barbecue but you can also substitute it with tomato ketchup which is more accessible in the U.S.
- Brown Sugar - or white sugar, if preferred.
- Vinegar - the secret to a tender pork bbq. The acid in the vinegar helps break down the meat fibers which will make it easier to absorb the flavors.
- Soy Sauce - preferably Filipino soy sauce which is darker in color compared to a regular soy sauce.
- Oyster sauce - the secret to making the best Filipino BBQ sauce! Don't tell anyone 🙂
- Calamansi - or lemon juice. We need just a hint to give the sauce a fresh flavor.
- Fresh garlic - lots of it! Pressed then finely minced to bring out its flavor. You can also use garlic powder but fresh is best when making BBQ sauces.
- Oil - adding oil to BBQ marinades helps to keep the meat moist and juicy. Use oil with a high smoke point such as canola oil, avocado oil, vegetable oil, and peanut oil.
How to Make It
Making the Filipino barbecue sauce is as simple as combining all the ingredients in a bowl. Stir it well until the sugar is dissolved. Do a taste test and adjust the sugar, or vinegar depending on your preference.
Divide the marinade into two parts–one to be used for the marinade and the other to make the basting sauce.
To use as a Marinade
Place meat in a large mixing bowl or large resealable bag. Pour the mixture directly into the meat. Massage the meat until each piece is coated in marinade.
How long to Marinate
Marinating time will vary depending on the type and cut of meat you're going to use. Basically, the thicker the cut the longer marination is needed.
Thin cuts of meat like pork skewers and chicken wings, marinate for a minimum of 6 hours up to 8 hours.
For thick cuts of meat like pork belly, chicken thighs, and pork ribs, marinate overnight.
To use as a Baste
To make the Filipino BBQ baste, pour 1 cup of the marinade into a small pot. Add ¼ cup ketchup and 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Adding these two ingredients will make the sauce smooth and spreadable.
Simmer in medium heat until it thickens like a thin gravy consistency. Keep stirring to prevent the sugar from burning. Add chopped red chilies to make it spicy or more black ground pepper.
That's it! Easy!
Uses for this Filipino BBQ Sauce
This recipe works well with Filipino BBQ cooked in a charcoal grill, oven, pan-grilling, and even air-frying, including:
- Filipino Pork BBQ Skewers
- Chicken BBQ
- Pork Belly Strips BBQ
- Oven-Baked Pork BBQ Ribs
Shelf-life and Storage
The uncooked marinade keeps well for 1 day in the refrigerator stored in an airtight glass jar. To extend the shelf-life simmer for 2 minutes, and let it cool. Transfer to an air-tight container and place it in the fridge.
The homemade BBQ sauce (cooked marinade) keeps well in the refrigerator for about one month.
Frequently asked questions
The best type of vinegar to use for making barbecue marinades are rice vinegar, white wine vinegar, red wine vinegar, and cane vinegar. All these are milder in taste and smell.
More Sauce Recipes
Filipino BBQ Sauce and Marinade
- 1 cup marinade recipe
- ¼ cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoon oil
- Place all marinade ingredients in a large mixing cup or bowl. Stir until sugar is completely dissolved.5 cloves garlic, 1 cup / 1 mini can sprite or 7 up (7.5 oz), ⅓ cup ketchup, ¼ cup vinegar, 3 tablespoon brown sugar, ⅓ cup Filipino soy sauce, 2 tablespoon oyster sauce, 2 tablespoon calamansi juice, ground black pepper, to taste
- Pour 1 ¼ cup of marinade over the desired type of meat. Cover and refrigerate. Marinate for a minimum of 6 hours or overnight.
To make the baste/ sauce
- Pour the remaining marinade into a small pot. Add ketchup and oil. Simmer over medium heat until it thickens into a thin gravy consistency. Stir frequently to prevent sugar from burning.1 cup marinade recipe, ¼ cup ketchup, 2 tablespoon oil
- Let it cool. Use as a baste for your favorite Filipino BBQ or dipping sauce.
Recipe Notes and Tips:
- Ketchup - you can use banana ketchup or tomato ketchup.
- Vinegar - I recommend rice vinegar, white wine vinegar, red wine vinegar, and cane vinegar. All these are milder in taste and smell.
- Soy sauce - if using regular soy sauce like Kikkoman, use ⅓ cup plus 1 tablespoon soy sauce.
- Storage and shelf life - The uncooked marinade keeps well for 1 day in the refrigerator stored in an airtight glass jar. To extend the shelf-life simmer for 2 minutes, and let it cool. Transfer to an air-tight container and place it in the fridge. The homemade BBQ sauce (cooked marinade) keeps well in the refrigerator for about one month.
- Nutrition per serving, assuming 1 kg/2lb pork which approximately makes 18 skewers. Sodium can be reduced by using less soy sauce or low sodium soy sauce. No meat was included in the calculation.
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