It’s ubiquitous. It’s street food. But Filipino skewered pork BBQ, or satay elsewhere in Southeast Asia, is a popular dish for the noche buena meal. Served with two simple but tasty and colorful side dishes, it will look lovely on your holiday dinner table.
There are three recipes in this post: one for the pork BBQ, one for the pearl potatoes and another for the green beans and tomatoes.
The idea here is to divide the work. Start by cutting and marinating the pork on day one. Steam the pork on day two. Make the side dishes just before you grill the pork.
Holiday-style Pork BBQ
The cooking instructions allows you to divide the work over several days. I know how toxic the holidays can be and spreading the cooking in stages will leave the cook less harassed and tired.
- 1.5 kilos pork shoulder
For the spice rub
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 whole garlic peeled and minced
- 1 onion finely chopped
- one-inch knob ginger grated
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 star anise ground until fine
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
- 2 bay leaves (just leave them whole)
Marinate the pork
Rinse the pork and pat dry with a kitchen towel.
Cut the meat into thin slices, about 1/4 inch thick. Cut the slices into strips about an inch wide and four to five inches long.
Place the pork in a large mixing bowl. Mix all the ingredients for the spice rub and add to the pork. Mix well.
Cover the bowl. Marinate the pork in the fridge for at least 24 hours.
Skewer and steam the pork
Start heating about four inches of water in a large steamer. Prepare two to three steamer baskets.
Cut three circles of non-stick paper to fit into the steamer baskets. Punch the paper to create plenty of 1/4-inch holes all over. Arrange at the bottom of the steamer baskets.
Thread each strip of pork into a cocktail-sized bamboo skewer.
Arrange the skewered pork in a single layer in each of the steamer baskets.
Steam the skewered pork and leave in the steamer baskets to cool. At this point, you may wrap the steamed pork in cling film and keep in the fridge. They will stay moist for 24 hours.
Grill the skewered pork
Take the pork out of the fridge. Peel off the wrapping and allow the meat to come to room temperature.
Mix all the ingredients for the glaze until smooth.
Heat up your grill.
Grill the skewered pork brushing the meat with the glaze several times. The pork is already cooked so you're just really giving them a charred texture. Don't overdo the grilling to prevent the meat from drying out.
Serve the skewered pork BBQ immediately.
Buttered Pearl Potatoes
This is a simpler version of two other pearl potato recipes in the archive. The absence of herbs will ensure that picky children will not shy away from this lovely side dish.
- 1 to 1.5 kilograms pearl potatoes
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 1 teaspoon vinegar
- 125 grams butter chilled and cut into small cubes
- ground black pepper to taste
Rinse the pearl potatoes, scrubbing each well with a soft brush. Rinse again.
Cut each potato into halves.
Place the halved potatoes in a pot and cover with water.
Add the salt and vinegar to the potatoes.
Bring the water to the boil, lower the heat, cover the pan and cook the potatoes until tender but not mushy.
Drain the potatoes and dump into a mixing bowl.
Add the butter to the potatoes. Toss gently until the butter is melted.
Sprinkle pepper over the potatoes and toss them again.
Leave the potatoes to absorb the butter and pepper at room temperature for about 15 minutes.
Taste a piece of potato. Add salt if needed and toss again. Let sit for another 10 minutes before serving.
Green Beans and Baby Tomatoes
- 800 grams green beans
- 500 grams baby tomatoes
- Rinse and string the green beans.
- Steam the green beans until tender. Depending on their size, the steaming time would be anywhere from 12 to 15 minutes.
- While the green beans are in the steamer, make the dressing by mixing together all the ingredients.
- Spread the cooked green beans on a tray and drizzle half of the dressing over them. Using kitchen tongs, toss them around to make sure that every inch of their surface are coated with the dressing. Leave to infuse for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, rinse the tomatoes, dry with a kitchen towel then cut into halves.
- Transfer the green beans to a mixing bowl, add the tomatoes and drizzle in the remaining dressing. Toss gently but thoroughly. Serve.
And, Filipinos being rice eaters, if you still feel you will miss rice despite the presence of potatoes on the plate, I recommend Java rice. It is, after all, the favorite partner for pork BBQ.