A garlic-like, vinegary aroma on char-grilled pork filled the air. It was a hot smoldering kind of day. Large slabs of pork lazily lay on the outdoor grill. Each side was char-grilling to a darker hue, the sides more burnt than the middle. It was summer and the onslaught of heat pierced through our pores. But that didn’t bother us one bit. We were about to feast on a delicious grilled meal and that made everything okay.
Take any old warm summer day and Filipinos know how to cope with it. After all, we grew up in a tropical country with nearly hundred degree days daily, all year long. We were used to heat. We were used to living and eating in these conditions. And we knew exactly what to cook on a day as hot as today. A huge meal of “inihaw na babi” (the Capampangan term for grilled pork barbecue) was in order.
Several years ago, during one of her visits from Manila, my sister requested for us to make some “inihaw na babi”here in our USA backyard grill. I knew what she meant and I knew why she wanted it.
No matter what the weather, there was nothing like the succulent pieces of pork, char-grilled to perfection, flavored with the right amount of garlic, salt and pepper….then dipped into a side sauce of vinegar, soy sauce and lots of chili peppers. Yes, the hotter and spicier the dipping sauce, the more fun it was to eat in the heat !
So here it was, hot off the grill and as simple as a good recipe can be! Seared, grilled, cooked tender with the right amount of spicy vinegars to go with it, and the customary huge bowl of garlic fried rice served alongside.
So when the heat wave strikes in your area, just go grill it! It’s the best on a hot summer day!
Some perfect sides to pair with this grilled pork dish …
One of the best ways Filipinos beat the heat is to grill BBQ for meals. Inihaw na Baboy, simply translates to Grilled Pork Barbecue. Use a good cut of pork shoulder, lean and fat trimmed, for this grilled favorite. Marinate it overnight in garlic, salt and pepper. Then the next day, fire up the grill and slather on the basting sauce of vinegar, ginger ale, garlic and seasonings. When the char-grilled pork is done, serve alongside a spicy dipping sauce of vinegar, soy sauce and chili peppers. Pair this with a big bowl of garlic fried rice. Serve hot and enjoy!
- Pork shoulder - 2 pounds, sliced thin, no bone, fat trimmed
- garlic - 2 Tablespoons finely minced
- sea salt - 1 Tablespoon
- black pepper powder - 1 teaspoon
- vinegar - 1/2 cup, for marinade
- fresh lemon juice - from 1 fresh lemon
- ginger ale - 1 cup
- vinegar - 1/2 cup, for glaze
- garlic - 1 teaspoon minced
- soy sauce - 1 Tablespoon
- vegetable oil - 1 Tablespoon
- garlic powder - 1 teaspoon
- scallions - 1 bunch, chopped for garnishing
- garlic fried rice - for serving
- vinegar dipping sauce - sprinkled with minced garlic, salt, pepper, chilis, for serving
- The night before, prepare the pork shoulder by marinating with the minced garlic, salt and pepper. Place in a plastic bag and keep refrigerated overnight.
- The following day, just before grilling, pour into the pork the half cup of vinegar and juice of a lemon. Blend this well with the rest of the marinade on the pork.
- Preheat the grill to a high temperature. Prepare the glaze for basting on the meat while grilling by mixing together in a bowl : half a cup of vinegar, ginger ale, vegetable oil, soy sauce, garlic powder.
- Grill the pork over high heat, at a total cooking time of 30 to 35 minutes per pound. Keep turning the meat for even grilling. Baste all over every few minutes, for a shiny and moist grilled pork shoulder.
- Serve the BBQ pork hot with a spicy side dipping sauce and a big bowl of garlic fried rice.