Inihaw (Grilled Skewered Meats)

tasty grilled skewered meats

You've grilled burgers and steaks, but have you tried the mouthwatering flavors of inihaw? Get ready to elevate your grilling game with these irresistible skewered meats.

From succulent pork belly to juicy chicken, this article will guide you on choosing the right cuts, marinating techniques, and grilling tips for maximum flavor.

With delectable sauce recipes and serving ideas, you'll discover the true art of inihaw and impress your guests like a seasoned grill master.

Get ready to savor every bite of these regional variations.

Key Takeaways

  • Inihaw meats include chicken, pork, beef, and seafood, with options for pre-marinated meats at inihaw restaurants.
  • Marinating techniques involve longer marinating times and experimenting with citrus juices, soy sauce, vinegar, herbs, and spices.
  • Skewering and grilling tips include using sturdy metal skewers or soaked wooden skewers, leaving a small gap between each piece, preheating the grill, and using long-handled tongs for safety.
  • Inihaw sauce recipes like Spicy Mango BBQ Sauce, Garlic Soy Glaze, and Pineapple Teriyaki Sauce enhance taste and provide health benefits, while grilling reduces fat content and preserves nutrients.

Different Types of Inihaw Meats

You can choose from a wide variety of inihaw meats to enjoy on the grill. Whether you prefer chicken, pork, beef, or seafood, there's a perfect option for everyone.

One of the best things about inihaw is the marinades used to flavor the meats. From traditional Filipino soy sauce and calamansi marinade to sweet and spicy barbecue sauce, the options are endless. Different inihaw restaurants have their own unique marinades, which contribute to their popularity.

Some popular inihaw restaurants even offer a selection of pre-marinated meats, making it convenient for those who want to grill at home.

Whether you're craving tender chicken skewers or juicy pork belly, inihaw is a delicious and satisfying way to enjoy grilled meats.

Choosing the Right Cuts of Meat

To ensure that your inihaw meats turn out tender and flavorful, it's important to carefully select the right cuts of meat. The choice of meat plays a crucial role in the success of your grilling techniques and the overall flavor profiles of your inihaw dishes.

When it comes to inihaw, you want cuts that are well-marbled and have a good balance of fat and lean meat. This will result in juicy, succulent skewered meats that are packed with flavor.

Opt for cuts like pork belly, chicken thighs, beef sirloin, or even seafood like shrimp or fish fillets. These cuts have the perfect amount of fat and tenderness, ensuring that they cook evenly and retain their moisture throughout the grilling process.

Marinating Techniques for Maximum Flavor

One key technique for maximizing the flavor of your inihaw meats is to employ a variety of marinating techniques. Marinating your meats not only infuses them with delicious flavors but also helps to tenderize them, ensuring a juicy and succulent end result.

To achieve maximum flavor, consider the following techniques:

  • Marinating Time:
  • Allow enough time for the flavors to penetrate the meat. Longer marinating times, such as overnight or up to 24 hours, can result in more flavorful and tender meats.
  • For thinner cuts of meat, shorter marinating times of 30 minutes to 2 hours are sufficient to impart flavor.
  • Using Flavor Enhancers:
  • Experiment with a variety of ingredients such as citrus juices, soy sauce, vinegar, and herbs and spices to enhance the flavors of your marinades.
  • Add a touch of sweetness with honey or brown sugar for a balanced flavor profile.
  • Consider incorporating umami-rich ingredients like fish sauce or Worcestershire sauce to enhance the savory notes in your marinade.

Skewering and Grilling Tips

Achieving perfectly grilled skewered meats starts with properly preparing and arranging your ingredients.

To ensure the best results, it's important to follow certain grilling techniques and safety precautions.

When it comes to skewering, choose sturdy metal skewers or soak wooden skewers in water for at least 30 minutes to prevent burning.

Thread your marinated meats and vegetables onto the skewers, leaving a small gap between each piece for even cooking.

As for grilling, preheat your grill to medium-high heat and lightly oil the grates to prevent sticking.

Place the skewers on the grill, turning them occasionally to ensure they cook evenly.

Remember to use long-handled tongs to avoid getting too close to the heat.

Keep a close eye on the cooking process and use a meat thermometer to ensure your meats are cooked to the desired doneness.

Delicious Inihaw Sauce Recipes

Try out these three delicious inihaw sauce recipes to elevate the flavors of your grilled skewered meats. Enhance your grilling experience with these unique inihaw sauce flavors that will surely impress your guests.

  • Spicy Mango BBQ Sauce: This tangy and spicy sauce combines the sweetness of ripe mangoes with the heat of chili peppers. It adds a tropical twist to your grilled meats, creating a perfect balance of flavors.
  • Garlic Soy Glaze: A classic sauce with a twist, this garlic soy glaze adds a savory and umami flavor to your grilled skewers. The combination of garlic and soy sauce creates a rich and robust taste that complements the smoky flavors of grilled meats.
  • Pineapple Teriyaki Sauce: This sweet and tangy sauce combines the sweetness of pineapple with the savory notes of teriyaki. The pineapple adds a refreshing and tropical taste that pairs perfectly with grilled meats.

Not only do these sauces enhance the taste of your grilled skewered meats, but they also provide health benefits. Grilling helps reduce the fat content of meats by allowing the excess fat to drip away. Additionally, grilling preserves the nutrients in the food, making it a healthier cooking method.

Serving Ideas and Side Dishes

To complement your grilled skewered meats, there are various serving ideas and side dishes that will elevate your dining experience. One option is to serve a variety of grilled vegetables alongside your inihaw. These vegetables can be marinated in unique inihaw marinades to enhance their flavor. Some popular grilled vegetable options include bell peppers, zucchini, eggplant, and onions. These vegetables not only add color and vibrancy to your plate, but they also provide a refreshing and healthy balance to the rich flavors of the grilled meats. Another idea is to serve a light and refreshing salad, such as a mango and cucumber salad, or a tangy coleslaw. These side dishes provide a contrast in taste and texture, making each bite a delightful experience. Finally, don't forget to serve some steamed rice or garlic rice to complete your meal. The fluffy rice acts as a neutral base that can help balance out the strong flavors of the inihaw. So, get creative with your side dishes and serving ideas, and enjoy a truly satisfying inihaw feast.

Grilled Vegetable Options Unique Inihaw Marinades
Bell Peppers Soy sauce and calamansi
Zucchini Pineapple juice and brown sugar
Eggplant Coconut milk and turmeric
Onions Balsamic vinegar and honey

Inihaw Variations From Different Regions

Exploring the diverse regions of the Philippines reveals a multitude of inihaw variations, each showcasing unique flavors and cooking techniques. From the northern part of the country to the southernmost islands, regional inihaw cooking techniques vary greatly.

Here are three sub-lists that highlight some of the different inihaw variations found across the Philippines:

  • Northern Region:
  • Batangas-style inihaw, known for its use of tangy vinegar and calamansi juice in the marinade.
  • Pampanga-style inihaw, which involves a slow and careful grilling process to achieve tender and smoky flavors.
  • Central Region:
  • Visayan-style inihaw, where the meat is marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, calamansi juice, and spices like garlic and ginger.
  • Ilonggo-style inihaw, which features a marinade made from ingredients like coconut milk, lemongrass, and turmeric, giving the meat a rich and aromatic taste.
  • Southern Region:
  • Mindanao-style inihaw, characterized by the use of native herbs and spices like lemongrass, pandan leaves, and chili peppers in the marinade.
  • Zamboanga-style inihaw, where the meat is marinated in a mixture of vinegar, soy sauce, and spices like garlic, ginger, and black pepper.

These regional inihaw cooking techniques and unique marinade ingredients contribute to the rich tapestry of flavors found in Filipino cuisine. Mastery of these variations allows for a deeper understanding and appreciation of the country's culinary heritage.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the Different Health Benefits of Eating Grilled Skewered Meats?

Grilled skewered meats are a delicious and healthy choice for your next barbecue. They offer various health benefits, such as being a good source of protein, promoting muscle growth, and providing essential nutrients like iron and zinc.

Are There Any Alternative Cooking Methods for Inihaw Aside From Grilling?

You can try baking or broiling as alternative cooking methods for inihaw. Baking gives a tender and juicy result, while broiling gives a smoky and charred flavor. Experiment with both to find your favorite.

Can Inihaw Meats Be Marinated Overnight for Better Flavor?

Yes, marinating inihaw meats overnight can enhance their flavor by allowing the marinade to penetrate the meat. If you're looking for grilling alternatives, you can try broiling or pan-searing for a delicious result.

How Long Should You Soak Wooden Skewers Before Grilling?

Before grilling, soak wooden skewers for at least 30 minutes to prevent them from burning. This simple step ensures that your inihaw will be cooked evenly, creating a delicious masterpiece of tender and flavorful meats.

Are There Any Vegetarian or Vegan Options for Inihaw?

Looking for vegetarian or vegan options for inihaw? You're in luck! You can try grilling skewered vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, and mushrooms. For a vegan twist, marinate them in a flavorful sauce. Enjoy!


Inihaw, the art of grilling skewered meats, offers a mouthwatering experience for all food lovers. From juicy pork belly to succulent chicken, there are endless options to choose from. Marinating the meat with flavorful ingredients enhances its taste and creates a tantalizing aroma.

Did you know that in the Philippines, it's estimated that over 2 million skewers of inihaw are consumed every day? Just imagine the sizzling sounds and delicious smells filling the air as people indulge in this beloved grilled delicacy.

So, fire up your grill and explore the wonderful world of inihaw!


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