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Traditionally, Filipino BBQ marinade is used to make BBQ pork and chicken skewers, but it also tastes great on grilled pork tenderloin.
If you’re looking for a fun twist on grilled pork tenderloin, try marinating it with the flavors of the Philippines.
Table of Contents
What is Filipino style pork barbecue?
When people refer to Filipino-style barbecue, they are usually referring to skewers of pork butt or chicken thighs that have been marinated in banana ketchup, lemon-lime soda, soy sauce and citrus juice. The marinade is also used as a basting sauce as the meat grills.
When I appeared on BBQ Brawl on the Food Network, my team decided to grill up a Hawaiian feast. There is a large Filipino community in Hawaii, so I knew using my Filipino BBQ marinade recipe would be a good option.
Above is a picture taken on the set of the actual plate that the judges tasted. Judge Carson Kressley said it was one of his favorite bites of the night.
- Pork Tenderloin: One package contains two pork tenderloins. The tenderloin is a tender cut of meat that will grill up in about 20 minutes.
- Banana Ketchup: This is an important ingredient. It’s like tomato-based ketchup but is made with bananas. Surprisingly it doesn’t taste like bananas. You can purchase it on Amazon.
- Soy Sauce
- Lemon Lime Soda: Another important ingredient for Filipino BBQ. You can use regular or zero sugar.
- Brown Sugar: Light or dark is fine. I always use dark brown sugar because I like the richness of the added molasses.
- Rice Vinegar
- Citrus Juice: Traditional Filipino BBQ is made with calamansi juice. I generally use the juice of 1 orange and 3 limes. It gives it a tart and sweet balance.
- Fresh Garlic: You’ll need two garlic cloves peeled and minced.
- Fresh Ginger: Peel the ginger. Then mince it.
- Black Pepper
Substitutions: You can also make this dish with a pork loin. You'll just need to add a few more minutes to the cooking time.
See the full recipe card below for servings and a full list of ingredients.
How to cook Filipino style pork BBQ
- STEP ONE: When you open the package of pork tenderloin, you will see that there is a layer of silver skin on one side. Use a sharp knife to remove it.
- STEP TWO: In a large mixing bowl, combine the barbecue marinade ingredients. Add the pork and marinate the meat in the refrigerator for about four hours.
- STEP THREE: Set your grill up with two-zone cooking. One side should be set to medium heat, and the other side should be off or without coals. Place the marinated pork on the grill grates over the direct heat. (Save the marinade mix.) Grill for about 15 minutes flipping every five minutes or so.
TWO-ZONE COOKING: If you're using a gas grill, turn one burner onto medium and leave the other burners off. If you're using a charcoal grill, push the coals to one side.
- STEP FOUR: Once the tenderloin has a nice char on all sides. Move it to the indirect heat side of the grill. Cook the pork until it reaches an internal temperature of 145F degrees. The total grilling time will be around 20-25 minutes.
PRO TIP: Pork tenderloin is a lean meat, so it's important that you don't overcook it or it will dry out. The USDA recommends cooking pork to an internal temperature of 145F. The best way to check the temp, is to insert your meat thermometer through the end into the center of the meat.
- STEP FIVE: Place the saved marinade in a pot and place it on the grill or stovetop. Because it was exposed to raw meat, it needs to be cooked in order to be used as a glaze. Let it simmer for about 5 minutes.
- STEP SIX: Once the pork has reached the proper internal temperature using an instant-read thermometer, remove it from the grill and let it rest.
- STEP SEVEN: Slice the rested pork tenderloin into one-inch-thick slices.
How to serve BBQ pork tenderloin
When you’re ready to serve up this Filipino pork BBQ recipe, add the slices to a plate, drizzle with the heated marinade and garnish with green onions. If you have extra sauce, you can serve it on the side as a dipping sauce.
These slices go great with my Hawaiian Grilled Pineapple Coleslaw. I served them together on BBQ Brawl on Food Network and one of the judges said it was one of his favorite bites of the night.
If you have leftover pork, save it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. You should also save the sauce. Leftover pork can also be frozen for up to six months.
GCG Pro Pitmaster Tips
- Banana ketchup sounds strange, but try it at least once
- Marinate the pork for at least four hours for the best results
- Cook the pork to 145F degrees for the perfect juiciness
Frequently Asked Questions
When people refer to Filipino BBQ, they are often referring to skewers of pork or chicken that have been marinated in banana ketchup, citrus juice, soy sauce and lemon-lime soda.
Banana ketchup is similar to tomato ketchup, but it’s made with bananas, vinegar and spices. Bananas were used in place of tomatoes in the Philippines during WWII because tomatoes were hard to come by.
It doesn’t taste like bananas at all. It’s very similar to ketchup, just a little bit sweeter. Sometimes it’s referred to as banana sauce or banana catsup.
More pork recipes
More recipes from BBQ Brawl
- Smoked Cherry Bourbon Sabayon with Fresh Berries
- Santa Maria Style Tri Tip Steak
- Grilled Chicken Lumpia Tacos
- Hawaiian Grilled Pineapple Coleslaw
- No-Bake Caramel Apple Cheesecake Stack
Want even more great grilling recipes and tips? Subscribe to my newsletter and follow me on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok for my latest grilling adventures. If you make a recipe, I’d love for your to leave a comment and rating below. Thanks.
Filipino BBQ Pork Tenderloin
- 2 pork tenderloins
- 1 cup banana ketchup
- 1 cup soy sauce
- 1 cup lemon-lime soda
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1 orange, juiced
- 3 limes, juiced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 green onion, for garnish
- Trim: Use a sharp knife to remove the silver skin from the pork tenderloin.
- Make Marinade: In a large bowl, combine the banana ketchup, soy sauce, soda, brown sugar, vinegar, juice from the orange and limes, garlic, ginger and pepper.
- Marinate: Add the pork tenderloins to the marinade and refrigerate. You can marinate in as little as 30 minutes, but four hours is best.
- Heat Grill: Heat your grill with two-zone cooking with one side set to medium heat.
- Grill: Remove the pork from the marinade. Save the marinade. Grill the pork over direct heat for about 15 minutes, flipping occasionally.
- Heat Marinade: While the pork is grilling, place the marinade in a pot on the grill or stovetop and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Indirect Heat: Once charred on all sides, move the pork to the indirect heat zone and continue cooking until the internal temperature reaches 145F degrees. This should take 5-10 minutes.
- Rest: Once the pork reaches 145F, remove it from the grill and let it rest for about 10 minutes.
- Slice: Slice the rested pork into medallions and drizzle with sauce. Garnish with sliced green onions.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.