(Chicago) – Filipinos have sweet tooth.  I am not just talking about dessert. Even the dishes we eat for breakfast, lunch or dinner, most Filipinos like them sweet.  From tocino to longganiza, even our version of spaghetti is sweet.  I remember how an American colleague got so confused and almost disgusted with the spaghetti at Jollibee because it is heavily sugared. To each his own; I prefer mine sweet as well, like most Filipinos do.

The level of sweetness in Filipino dishes is one of the things that make our food distinct; hence, the references, Filipino-style spaghetti sauce, Filipino-style sausage, etc.  Here is a typical Filipino barbeque recipe and as you may have guessed it already, it is sweet, yet rich and tasty.


  • 3 lbs chicken quarters cut into 2: thighs and drumstick
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • 1 head garlic, grated
  • 1 medium onion, grated
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • ½ cup beer, dark preferred
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ½ cup ketchup, banana preferred
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha or any hot sauce


Prepare the chicken.  Trim the excess skin off the chicken quarters and cut the quarters into 2 coming up with thighs and drumsticks.

Combine all the ingredients, except chicken, in a gallon-size freezer bag (ziplock).  Mix the marinade well in the bag and then, put the chicken pieces in. Zip the bag tightly and toss carefully to distribute mixture evenly. Refrigerate the bag overnight, preferably, but remove from fridge an hour before grilling for the chicken to come to room temperature.  If you’re tight on time, at least marinade the chicken for an hour and no need to refrigerate.

Pre-heat the grill to medium. Put the chicken with skin facing directly the heat and cook for 10 minutes. Turn the chicken and cook the other side for another 10 minutes.  Cover the grill during the cooking process. Baste the skin side of the chicken with the marinade and turn back facing the heat for another 3 minutes.  Then, baste the other side, turn and cook for 3 minutes. Cut through the thickest part of the chicken to check for doneness. If the inside meat is still pinkish, cook for a few more minutes.

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