Filipino BBQ
Filipino BBQ
Southeast Asia is well-known for having some of the most delicious dishes due to the region’s diverse cultural influences as well as its broad array of tropical fruits and vegetables and fragrant spices. But up until recently Filipino cuisine was ignored, despite the fact that Filipino-Americans are America’s second largest Asian ethnic group behind Chinese. Filipinos, who are sometimes called the Latinos of Asia, have a rich culinary history influenced by Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Spanish and American cuisine. I was first introduced to Filipino food while living in Taipei. Every Sunday afternoon my husband and I would head down to a little neighborhood known as “Little Manila” to hang out with our Filipino migrant worker friends in the park behind the Catholic church. Most of the men were factory workers, while the women were usually maids, nannies and caregivers. Many of them worked long hours under difficult working conditions, but they would really let loose on their one day off a week.

Even though they didn’t have much money, our Filipino friends always brought a huge amount of food and drinks to share, which I’ve often tried to make myself. Many Filipino dishes are made with a few simple ingredients but are packed full of flavors.

Summer is the perfect time to share with you this oh-so-simple Filipino-style barbecue chicken.

(serves 4 to 5 people)


8 to 10 chicken thighs, with bone and skin
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 scallions, chopped
the juice of 1 lime
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
12 tsp. black pepper
14 tsp. white pepper
112 cup Sprite
12 cup soy sauce
12 cup ketchup
chopped scallions and lime wedges for garnish


Start by cleaning the chicken thighs and then butterfly them, leaving the bone and skin on. This will help ensure that the meat cooks evenly. You may use the boneless chicken thighs that are already butterflied, but I do think the bone and skin give it more flavor. (photo 1)

Mix everything in a Tupperware container or ziplock bag along with the chicken thighs. Then add the Sprite to the marinade. Although it may seem like a weird ingredient, the Sprite not only sweetens the bbq but, most importantly, it helps to break down the protein in the meat and tenderizes it while making the meat extra juicy when it’s cooked. Let the meat marinate for 8 hours to overnight in the refrigerator. (photo 2)

Once the meat has been marinated, it’s ready to go on the grill. Grill the chicken thighs on high heat with skin side down for five to six minutes. Then turn it over and let it cook for another five minutes until both sides are golden brown. Note: time may vary depending on the size of the meat. (photos 3 & 4)

Sprinkle some chopped scallions and lime juice over the cooked barbecue chicken.

Share this easy and delicious meal with your family and friends.

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