Rowena Dumlao-Giardina resides in Italy, cooking and photographing her family's interesting meals on Apron and Sneakers. After moving to Italy in 1999 from the Philippines, she has traveled extensively around the country and the rest of ...
Stovetop Asian pork skewers prove it doesn't have to be summer to enjoy the flavors of barbecue
Pork barbecue skewers are everyone's favorite street food in the Philippines, where the skewers are grilled on fire right in front of you. Though we don't tend to take out our grills in the colder months, you can still enjoy these skewers at home on the stovetop or in the oven — your choice. Of course you won't have the smoky flavors that coals give, but in my opinion, and after growing up with these skewers, they are still delicious.
Soy sauce, ketchup, sugar and lemon — those basic pantry staples give these pork skewers tons of flavor. You might wonder why plain old ketchup plays a key role in the marinade, but it adds a very interesting contrast of flavor with the rest of the ingredients.
Just a tip: Since cooking with ketchup leaves a sticky residue, cooking these skewers in more than one batch can harden the residue on the griddle between batches, and it can be hard to clean it off. So the best way to cook them if you are making a big batch is in the oven on a lined baking pan (and they all cook at the same time).
In a small bowl, mix together all the marinade ingredients except for the olive oil. Adjust the taste if needed. Set aside 1/4 cup of the marinade, and mix it with the olive oil. Place it in a small bowl, cover, and refrigerate.
Place the meat in a container with a cover, then mix it with the remaining marinade. Cover, and refrigerate for 24 hours.
When ready to cook, discard the marinade, and thread the meat on the skewers.
You can cook them 2 ways: on the stovetop or in the oven. If you are cooking a small batch, it's easier to cook them on a hot stovetop griddle. If it's a large batch, then it's better to bake them in an oven heated to 375 degrees F for 20 - 25 minutes or until they are cooked through. While cooking, baste them with the marinade that you had set aside.
Serve hot. You can serve them with a simple vinegar sauce by combining vinegar, salt, sugar, pepper and minced onions.
Note: Ketchup will leave a sticky residue after cooking. If using a griddle, make just 1 batch, because the longer the ketchup stays on the griddle, the harder it becomes. Pour some water on the griddle immediately after cooking to soften the residue. If baking, line the baking pan with baking paper.