The Philippines, on the other hand, presents another distinct style of BBQ, deeply rooted in tradition and cherished as both a street food and backyard tradition. Under the monikers “inasal” or “haw-ihaw,” Filipino BBQ paints a picture of comfort and flavor. Here, the meats of choice, often pork and chicken, are not just prepared; they are meticulously pampered in wet marinades enriched with local treasures. These include calamansi, a small citrus fruit native to the Philippines, providing acidity and citrusy notes, as well as annatto seeds, which not only lend the marinade a reddish-orange hue but also impart a subtle earthy flavor. Banana Ketchup, a sweet and tangy alternative to traditional ketchup, becomes an essential component of the marinade. Even carbonated soda beverages, find their place in these complex marinades, acting as a secret ingredient for tenderizing the meat.
Once adorned in this flavor cloak, the meat is skewered and carefully grilled over an open flame, bestowing upon it a delightful smokiness and an irresistible caramelized allure.Served alongside aromatic garlic rice and a dipping sauce known as “sarsa,” this Filipino BBQ captures the essence of comfort, creating a palatable bridge to tradition, which beckons all to savor the flavors of a culture rich in culinary history.