*This post is dedicated to my brother Noel.
Filipino-inspired pork barbecue with unsweetened cocoa and coconut oil.
This recipe is another childhood favorite and is very popular among Filipinos, especially the street vendors. They can be eaten as a meal or as an appetizer. I was going to wait for summer to share this recipe, but I wanted to make it and share in hope that my brother will get to read it.
I’ve been feeling emotional and distraught the past few months, but more so the past few days, especially on Mother’s day. I cried so hard. I wish I can convey what transpired on that day, but I can’t without revealing what truly happened. Maybe when I’m ready I will, but not anytime soon.
The reason why I chose this particular recipe is because it reminds me of my youngest brother. He used to make these. I miss him terribly. He’s been in my thoughts. There’s never a day that I don’t think about him. Wherever you are, I hope that you are okay and healthy. I want you to know that you are loved and can’t wait for you to come home. You are always in our prayers.
My brother would cut the meat in tiny bite pieces to accommodate those who couldn’t afford to buy. I chose to cut mine in larger pieces. I prefer longer wooden skewers, but I am making use of the shorter ones that I have at home. Since we are not cooking these pork barbecue skewers on a grill, you don’t have to soak the wooden skewers in the water.
However, I made some changes in the recipe and added unsweetened cocoa and coconut oil. Come again? Your read it right. Or you can add coffee granules or a Tablespoon of melted semi-sweet chocolates if you prefer. It’s all up to you. I am sure it would be equally or probably even more delicious. These barbecue skewers would taste even better if you cook them on the grill, but I’m cooking them on a deep, non-stick skillet.
This is a family recipe. If you want to use or adapt this recipe, please be kind and considerate and mention my blog. Thanks.
To make this recipe, you will need the following:
- 2.44 lb. organic pork butt or shoulder
- Wooden Skewers (6 to 12 inches long)
- 1/2 cup dark soy sauce
- 6 large cloves of garlic, crushed
- 2 Tablespoons Sesame oil
- 1/2 cup organic Wegman’s ketchup
- 1/2 cup firmly packed organic dark brown sugar OR white sugar
- juice of 2 large lemons or 3 limes
- Zest of 2 whole lemons or 3 limes
- 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa or instant coffee granules
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil, plus more if you are cooking this on a skillet
Cut the meat in bite pieces; set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk the soy sauce, garlic, Sesame oil, ketchup, sugar, lemon or lime zest, fresh lemon or lime juice, unsweetened cocoa or instant coffee granules and 1/4 cup melted coconut oil. Reserve about 1/3 cup of the marinade mixture; set aside. Add the sliced meat. Cover with plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator and marinate for at least 4 hours; overnight is best.
Remove from the refrigerator. Allow to set in room temperature for 15 minutes. Skewer the marinated pork and placed on a tray; set aside.
Cook the reserve marinade and bring to a rapid boil. Turn off the heat and transfer to a ramekin. Use this to baste the pork skewers while they cook. If you are using a barbecue grill, cook each side of the skewers until they turn brown or reach 160 degrees. If you are using a non-stick skillet, heat the skillet in medium-low heat. Add the skewers and cook each side. The meat will sweat. Cook until the pork skewers turn brown and the sauce thickens and caramelized.
Serve warm with your favorite sides.
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