Ultimate Filipino BBQ Chicken Skewers Recipe & Serving Tips

Imagine the sweet, savory aromas of grilled meat wafting through the air, a scene common in the bustling street markets of the Philippines. Filipino BBQ chicken skewers, or “Inihaw na Manok,” are a beloved staple in Filipino cuisine, known for their unique blend of flavors that tantalize the taste buds. This dish marries the sweetness of sugar with the tangy depth of soy sauce and the vibrant zest of lemon—a combination that’s sure to delight.


Prepare to embark on a flavorful journey with these essentials for your Filipino BBQ chicken skewers recipe.

Main Ingredients

  • 2 lbs chicken thigh fillets, boneless and skinless, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Bamboo skewers, soaked in water for at least 20 minutes before grilling

Marinade Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Steamed jasmine rice
  • Fresh cucumber salad
  • Spicy vinegar dipping sauce

Equipment Needed

To prepare Filipino BBQ chicken skewers, you’ll need a few essential tools to ensure your cooking experience is efficient and enjoyable. Here’s what you should gather before you start:

  • Bambooo or Metal Skewers: Choose either bamboo skewers, which need to be soaked in water for at least 20 minutes before grilling to prevent burning, or reusable metal skewers.
  • Grill: A charcoal grill is traditionally used for that authentic smoky flavor, but a gas grill or a grill pan on the stove top works well too.
  • Mixing Bowls: You will need various sizes for preparing the marinade and for tossing the chicken.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: These are essential for accurately measuring your ingredients like soy sauce, lemon juice, and brown sugar.
  • Basting Brush: To apply the marinade onto the chicken as it grills, ensuring rich, flavorful skewers.
  • Chopping Board and Sharp Knife: Needed for prepping your chicken thigh fillets and dicing your garlic and red onion.
  • Tongs: Useful for turning your skewers evenly to cook on all sides without burning.


Now that you have all your ingredients and equipment ready, let’s start turning that flavorful list into succulent Filipino BBQ chicken skewers.

Marinating the Chicken

Begin by preparing the marinade. In a large mixing bowl, combine 1/2 cup of soy sauce, 1/4 cup of lemon juice, 1/4 cup of banana ketchup, 6 cloves of crushed garlic, 3 tablespoons of brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper. Stir these ingredients until the sugar completely dissolves and the marinade is smooth.

Next, cut 2 pounds of chicken thighs into 1-inch pieces, ensuring each piece is roughly the same size for even cooking. Add the chicken pieces to the bowl with the marinade. Using your hands or tongs, mix the chicken with the marinade to ensure all pieces are well coated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Allow the chicken to marinate for at least 3 hours, though overnight is best for maximum flavor.

Skewering the Chicken

Once your chicken has marinated and absorbed all those delicious flavors, it’s time to thread them onto the skewers. If you’re using wooden skewers, remember to soak them in water for at least 30 minutes prior to avoid burning them during grilling.

Take the skewers and thread the marinated chicken pieces onto each one, leaving a small space between each piece to ensure even cooking. Depending on the size of your skewers, you might fit about 4 to 5 pieces of chicken on each.

Your Filipino BBQ chicken skewers are now ready to be cooked on the grill, bringing you one step closer to enjoying this delectable dish. Prepare your grill and get ready to cook these skewers to perfection.

Cooking Instructions

Now that your skewers are marinated and ready, let’s fire up the grill and cook these delicious Filipino BBQ chicken skewers. Follow these instructions closely for the best results.

Grilling the Chicken Skewers

  1. Preheat your grill to a medium-high heat, aiming for around 350°F to 375°F. Make sure the grill grates are clean to prevent sticking.
  2. Arrange the chicken skewers on the grill in a single layer, leaving a little space between each skewer for even cooking.
  3. Grill the skewers for about 10 to 12 minutes, turning them every 3 minutes to ensure all sides are evenly cooked and get those appetizing grill marks. The high sugar content of the marinade can cause flare-ups, so keep a close watch and move skewers around if necessary to avoid charring.
  4. During the last couple of minutes of grilling, you can brush the skewers with the remaining marinade for an extra layer of flavor. Discard any leftover marinade that has been in contact with the raw chicken.
  1. After grilling, check if the chicken is properly cooked. The easiest method is using a meat thermometer. Insert it into the thickest part of the chicken; the internal temperature should read 165°F.
  2. If you don’t have a thermometer, cut into one of the skewers. The chicken should be opaque all the way through, and the juices should run clear.
  3. Once cooked, remove the skewers from the grill and let them rest for a couple of minutes. This helps the juices redistribute, making your Filipino BBQ chicken skewers recipe even more succulent and flavorful.


Now that your Filipino BBQ chicken skewers are grilled to perfection, it’s time to present them in a way that’s as visually appealing as they are delicious.

Plating and Garnish

Arrange the skewers on a large, warm platter. To elevate the visual appeal, lay them over a bed of steamed jasmine rice or a fresh green salad. Sprinkle finely chopped green onions and a small handful of cilantro leaves over the top for a fresh, vibrant finish. For an authentic Filipino touch, consider serving them with sides of pickled vegetables or a small bowl of spiced vinegar dipping sauce. This will not only add to the flavor profile but also gives your presentation a traditional flair.


Ready to impress your guests with a taste of the Philippines? Your Filipino BBQ chicken skewers are sure to be a hit at any gathering. Remember to keep an eye on the grill to ensure your skewers cook evenly without burning. Serve them up hot over a bed of jasmine rice or alongside a crisp green salad for a meal that’s as beautiful as it is delicious. Don’t forget the pickled veggies and a side of spiced vinegar to complete the authentic experience. Enjoy every bite of this delightful dish!

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