Vegan Filipino-Style “Pork” Barbecue skewers – soy meat chunks marinated in a sweet and savoury sauce served with garlic turmeric rice.
My earliest memory of spending New Year’s Eve was with my cousins who’d always come over to our house where my parents would prepare out griller outdoors to grill some hotdogs with marshmallows and Pinoy or Filipino-style barbecue in skewers.
BARBECUE IN FILIPINO CUISINE
Barbecue is a very big part of Filipino cuisine and can be found in pretty much all Filipino restaurants. This version I made is of course vegan and I used soy meat chunks in replacement of the meat that’s traditionally used. These Vegan Filipino-Style “Pork” Barbecue skewers are soy meat chunks marinated in a sweet, tangy, and savoury sauce before being cooked to a light char and served with garlic turmeric rice.
For this vegan Filipino barbecue version, I used vegan soy meat/chunks, which I purchase dry and just rehydrate in boiling hot water until doubled in size.
Here’s the exact soy meat I used! PS. Link is not an affiliate link. I purchased these from Shopee and can be shipped in the Philippines.
For my US-based friends, here are similar meat substitutes that you can find on Amazon:
(these araffiliate links)
After soaking in water, I squeezed out the liquid from the soy chunks.
I prepared a really simple marinade and the key here is to get that perfect balance of sweet, tangy, and savoury. I love to use either tomato or banana (yes, banana ketchup) for this marinade. Here in the Philippines we have banana ketchup and it’s really so unique in terms of taste and can’t really be compared to tomato ketchup. But either ketchup will work for this marinade.
You can also of course opt to adjust the sugar level depending on how sweet you’d like your barbecue to be but vegan Filipino barbecue is distinct for its sweetness.
These chunks absorb liquids very well so they really soak in the marinade so well! I leave mine to marinate overnight for the best flavour.
I just placed mine in an air-tight container then left it in the refrigerator overnight.
The next day I took it out from the fridge and soaked the bamboo skewers. I placed enough of the chunks in each skewer for me to still be able to hold the ends of the sticks when cooking.
These are really best cooked on a charcoal grill outdoors but since I was only cooking this small batch, I opted to use a griddle pan and just cooked them until lightly charred on the edges.
WHAT TO DO WITH THE EXCESS BARBECUE MARINADE
I also of course brushed the excess marinade on the barbecue while cooking for these to soak up even more of that sauce!
I then served this with some garlic turmeric rice (you can get the recipe here) and even added in the small bits of barbecue that broke apart from the larger chunks.
I served the vegan Filipino barbecue and rice with a side of vinegar with red onions, atchara (Filipino picked papaya), calamansi (Philippine lime), and chili. The barbecue skewers are also lying on some fresh pandan leaves! Just wanted to add that extra green on the plate hehe. ◡̈
Hope you enjoy this recipe!! ❤️
Are you looking for more delicious, vegan recipes?
Check out my latest Vegan Kitchen eBook, that has over 95 recipes (and a whole section for Asian recipes!) that are packed with flavour and made with simple and easily accessible ingredients! Also, two trees (instead of 1!) will be planted for every download of my eBook through non-profit organisation One Tree Planted.
You might enjoy these recipes, too:
- Filipino Kaldereta or ‘Meat’ Stew
- Filipino Lumpiang Gulay or Fried Vegetable Spring Rolls
- Japanese Chahan or Fried Rice
- Crispy Eggplant Katsu
- Scalloped Potatoes in Creamy Lemon Dill Sauce
- Chili Garlic and Black Bean Eggplant Noodles
- Easy Sweet, Spicy, and Saucy Noodles
- Stir-Fried Tofu and Basil Noodles
- Pan-Fried Tofu Cakes
- Tofu ‘McNuggets’
- Tantanmen (Vegan Ramen)
- Yaki Udon
- Chinese-Style Bolognese
- Ginger and Scallion Noodles
- Chili Garlic Oil Noodles
- Mie Goreng (Indonesian Fried Noodles)
Vegan Filipino-Style “Pork” Barbecue
- 5 8-inch bamboo skewers, you’ll need more or less depending on the length of yours
- Grill or griddle pan
- Silicon brush
- Neutral oil
- Remaining marinade
Vinegar for Dipping
“Pork” and Marinade
- You can check out the video below to see how these are made!
- Place the dry soy meat or chunks in a large heat proof bowl. Pour in boiling hot water and then cover the bowl with a heat proof lid or larger plate. Leave the chunks to soak for 20 to 25 minutes or until doubled in size.
- Meanwhile, prepare the marinade by mixing everything together. You can mix this directly in the large air-tight container or tupperware you'll use to store the soy chunks.
- Once the soy chunks are rehydrated, leave these to cool for a few minutes and then carefull squeeze out the excess liquid with your hands. Transfer the soy chunks into the marinade.
- Repeat this for the rest of the soy chunks until you have all pieces in the marinade. Mix the soy chunks well in the marinade.
- Cover the container and then leave to refrigerate overnight for the best flavour. You can opt to leave this to marinate for even longer but note that the barbecue can turn out saltier because it’ll continue to absorb the sauce, so I recommend starting with 2 tbsp soy sauce if leaving to marinate for longer than a day.
Preparing the Skewers
- Soak the bamboo skewers in a deep plate or tray with some water for at least 15 minutes. This is to prevent the sticks from burning when cooking.
- Get a skewer and then pierce a piece of soy meat/chunk into the stick before moving down, leaving at least 1” (2.5 cm) part of the stick exposed that you can hold on to. Repeat this until you’ve filled up the skewer.
- Repeat this for the rest until you’ve filled the skewers. Note that you may need more or less skewers depending on the length of each stick you have.
- Don’t discard the excess marinade because we’ll be brushing this on the skewers when cooking.
- Heat your griddle pan over high heat or prepare your grill. If using a griddle pan, brush some oil on the pan.
- Once hot, add in the skewers. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes on high heat until lightly charred, then turn around to cook the remaining side.
- While cooking, brush the remaining marinade on the skewers. The barbecue will continue to absorb the sauce for more flavour!
- Once all the sides are lightly charred and browned, remove the barbecue from the grill/pan.
- There can be small pieces of the soy chunks that will fall out of the bigger chunks. I simply gathered these and mixed the small bits into the garlic turmeric rice I cooked afterwards.