Street Food in Philippines

Filipino Food: Barbecue (BBQ) in the Philippines

Filipino Food: Barbecue (BBQ) in the Philippines

Introduction: Filipino Food: Babecue (BBQ)  in the Philippines

Eating is one of the fun things that Filipinos love to do. Filipinos would love to eat most types of food, but what more if the food has been cooked and presented more deliciously?

You may have stayed in or have come from a country where barbecue is either uncommon or expensive. In the Philippines, you can either purchase some at a low price (while we still make good profit from it) or prepare them yourself.

Barbecue marinade

I do not know how barbecues are made in other countries (but I would prefer them not being so different than in the Philippines), but I really know how to prepare and cook them.

The basic ingredients used to make barbecue marinade in the country are soy sauce, ground black pepper, lemon juice, banana ketchup, garlic, onion and brown sugar. I could not say the ideal recipe here because every Filipino who prepares barbecue may have as much as double the proportion of one ingredient than what is used by another person, but the recipes still make great barbecues.

Barbecue as a street food

Barbecue is considered as street food in the Philippines, because almost anyone could vend at any street. It does not require a big capital – a starting amount of $10 would be enough to make $20 in a single day. Filipinos could easily pass the skills to another, so there is no need to become a great cook to prepare great barbecues.

Filipinos selling barbecue at the streets practically use coal made from highly-heated wood (called as “uling” in the Filipino language) so that they could save money in the production of heat. In preparing barbecue with available grill appliances, they could either use electricity or LPG (which means “Liquified Petroleum Gas” in case someone does not know).

The smell of grilling barbecue is already good enough to attract the attention of any passerby. There is no need for a barbecue vendor to actively invite people to look at his or her barbecue products.

Types of barbecue

Almost any type of meat can be used for preparing and cooking barbecue. However, when you say “barbecue” in the Philippines, you are mostly referring to pork which is grilled on a stick. I have not heard of any barbecue in the Philippines that is neither made of pork nor chicken. You cannot ask for a veggie barbecue unless you are in a top class restaurant which will serve any edible food that you can imagine.

·         Pork barbecue – This is the most commonly available, and also the most commonly bought. If they are marinated and grilled well, they will taste so great for just a low price.

·         Chicken barbecue – This is generally more expensive than the one made of pork, but this is also larger. The most commonly used parts of chicken for barbecue are the leg and wing parts (because they are smaller and easier to grill).

The list of barbecue below are only sold by street vendors (or Filipino eateries selling street foods).

·         Taba ng baboy (pork fat) – As its name suggests, these are made entirely of pork fat. When I ate some of these, they tasted good for a price that is half of pork meat barbecue.

·         Tainga ng baboy (pig ears) – They are cooked the same way as the usual barbecue. They sell well but not all vendors sell them. They are somehow less expensive than pork barbecue.

For the other types of barbecue, they may only be available in the Philippines because Filipinos try not to waste any part of any animal that can be used as food.

·         Isaw (intestines) – These may be the intestines of either pork or chicken. Pork intestines are cut into small pieces then placed horizontally on a stick, while chicken intestines are cut in larger lengths and folded before placing vertically on a stick. The reason why people do not eat this because they think that undigested animal food may still be present with these parts.

·         Adidas (chicken feet) – They may sound like a brand for shoes, but do not mistake this for what Filipinos refer the word to. They are made of cleaned chicken feet. They are also sold at low prices.

·         Betamax (pork or chicken blood) – These are of course dried and solidified first. They are sold at much lower prices.


Barbecue vendors are available in most streets in the cities. The prices of the barbecues from each vendor do not differ much (based from my recent purchases).

In fastfoods, I notice that about 1 out 4 of them offer barbecues as part of the menu. That does not include barbecue-style meals that do not have real barbecues. It depends on their prices if I would buy them. Buying a barbecue meal in the Philippines will most likely be served with rice.


In the Philippines, there are really many types of food. For barbecue alone, there are simply many recipes which may differ in every local community. That said, I hope that this article about barbecue in the Philippines would have informed you about how to make barbecue, where to get it and what types are available in the country.

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  1. Hi, Kevin,

    I am interested in practically everything-Filipino.

    I was born and raised in the Philippines. I had been active in discussions in Yahoo! Groups which, as you may know, have closed.

    How do you feel about getting only a few (as it seems) participants?

    1. Hi i7Sharp

      Thank you for visiting. I hope you are doing well.

      I am not sure what you mean by “a few participants.” I suppose you are referring to how many people leave comments on this website. Yes, not too many comments here. I believe most people are here to help with research for school assignments or to just read and learn a bit about Philippine customs, traditions, etc. There is actually quite a bit of traffic that visits this website on a daily basis. Leaving a comment or starting a conversation, while nice, is not a requirement for visitors to this site. Thanks!

  2. I agree about everything that has been written here, except for me, that I don’t consider isaw, adidas and betamax as another variety of barbecue. I believe barbecue can only be from the lean cuts and does not include intestines other than the meat itself.

    Anyway, this post helped me on an assignment for school. I am a Filipino by the way. Thank you and more power writing such informative content and continue to do your passion which help reader and students.

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