Tropical Joe: Tips on Tropical Cooking

by Ireno

This 2nd page of Tropical Joe is all about barbecue and grilling and an islander's techniques on how to enjoy freshly butchered meats, fish and other seafood.

Barbecuing and grilling are two of the most primitive ways of cooking known to man.

Since, biblical times and the so-called evolution theory by Charles Darwin, fire plays a vital role in the development of man's cuisine. From simple grilling of a wild boar, fish or even vegetables, man discovered that it can heighten the succulent taste of a fresh catch.

There are lots of finger foods in the Philippines. I mean, you can eat a lot of street food (just choose those street vendors who are observing safety food handling and cooking) or you can host a barbecue party at home during weekends and enjoy some of the best barbecued tropical dishes that I'll feature here.

It's MORE FUN to Barbecue and Grill in the Philippines!!!

Barbecueing at night by the fire
Barbecueing at night by the fire
Ramil Ramirez

Marketing at the nearest Wet Market

The Hunt for Newly Butchered Pork Liempo, Fresh Tilapia or Bangus and Chicken Breast and Legs is on!

Wet market of La Huerta, Parañaqur City, PhilippinesI'm talking about the procurement of the raw ingredients for our  weekend barbecue and grill get-together.

The market is only walking distance. 

Wearing a a pair of slipper, we usually look and buy the freshest catch as early as 4:00 AM in the morning. 

It is the time when fishermen will unload their catch taken from the Gulf of Cavite and sell it at the port of La Huerta (Parañaque City, Philippines).

Prices of the three raw ingredients are: Php180-190/kilogram for pork liempo, Php120-130 for live tilapia and Php140-150 for chicken breasts or legs. So, if in US dollars, you'll need only USD15.00 or less for it.

Most fresh products are being haggled by the customers (or we make bid or tawad). It's up to the vendor-owner or seller if they will allow you to win your haggled price.


Tips on Barbecuing and Grilling

How to make the Tropical Marinade

If you'll compare how the marinade of my Tropical Joe's barbecue, it is similar to Asian's soya-based concoction. 

But being a Bicolano, you can always expect that our marinade for barbecue will be fiery (as the effect of having bird's eye chilies on the mixture.

A soy sauce-lemon juice mixture (or toyo-mansi in shortened Tagalog for toyo and kalamansi) is now an ordinary marinade.

Here's how I concoct my own.

  1. Mix half cup of soy sauce and  juice extracts from 5 pieces of lemon.
  2. Add minced 1/2 clove garlic and 1 bulb of onion.
  3. Add 5-10 pieces of bird's eye chilies or siling labuyo (Bicol term).
  4. Add 2 tablespoon of brown sugar.
  5. If tomato ketchup is available, you can also add it on the marinade.

This is an awesome mix because you can still baste the barbecue with it, and also dip the cooked mixture on it.

You can also determine the amount of mixture needed by your family or visiting friends,  according to the bulk of your barbecued pork liempo or chicken breast or legs or local fish, like milkfish (bangus) and St. Peter's fish (tilapia).

So, with the coal burning, you can put the pork liempo, chicken breast or legs or the fish on the grill.

Can't wait to eat it with a very aromatic rice (as in jazmine or sinandomeng). Barbecued/Grilled Pork LiempoPork Liempo BarbecueGrilled FishGrilled Tilapia with Soya mixture


Updated: 09/20/2012, Ireno
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