Filipino BBQ Pork Sticks

October 1: National Pork Month

Whenever Islander’s Daddy had a weekend work party at the beach with his Filipino Pearl Harbor Navy buddies and their families, BBQ pork sticks were always on the menu. Hot off the grill, these petite pork pieces were one of Islander’s favorites! In fact, she would shamelessly leave her playgroup and hang around the grill with her Daddy until he finished cooking the pork sticks. Her Daddy was super shy so cooking for others while they “talked story” was his way of showing that he cared and knowing that everyone was enjoying themselves. And Islander kept him company for some valuable Daddy-daughter bonding time, too.

This recipe brings back happy “hanabata day” memories of Islander’s time at the beach with her family and friends in Hawaii. Pig out Pinoy style and make Filipino BBQ pork sticks, especially during National Pork Month!


(Adapted from Asian in America)

For the marinade

  • 2 pounds pork belly or shoulder
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup calamansi or lemon juice
  • ½ cup lemon-lime soda
  • ½ cup banana sauce or tomato ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the glaze

  • ½ cup lemon-lime soda
  • ½ cup brown sugar


Cut up the pork into 1-inch bite sized pieces. In a large bowl, mix together the soy sauce and calamansi or lemon juice.

Stir in the lemon-lime soda, banana sauce or tomato ketchup and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the pork pieces and soak. Cover and refrigerate overnight. The next day, soak 14-18 wooden skewers in water. Thread 6-7 marinated pork pieces on the skewer. Discard the marinade.

Fire up the grill. Meanwhile, make the glaze just before cooking by combining the lemon-lime soda with brown sugar. Lay the pork sticks on the hot grill. Baste with the glaze and turn the sticks occasionally. There will be a little char but grill the meat until cooked through. Do not overcook or the pork will be tough and dry. Serve on a long platter.


  • Make the glaze just before grilling to avoid sugar crystallization which makes the meat harden and not tender.
  • Take care not to overheat/overcook the pork pieces or they will be too dry. Islander’s Mommy liked hers a bit charred, though. Fattier or marble meats are more juicy and flavorful.
  • Search our more Filipino recipes under the Theme Menus.
  • Search our blog for more pork recipes.