FFE Magazine

Chicken Inasal

Every time I’m on holiday in the Philippines, I never fail to visit my Auntie Melba in Marilao, Bulacan. Auntie Melba is my mother’s sister and she loves to cook as much as I do and she has acquired lots of different recipes from her trips all over the country.


When I visited her three years ago, Auntie Melba introduced me to chicken inasal. She said she learned how to make it when she was visiting another distant relative of ours in Bacolod.


Chicken inasal looked like the average grilled chicken at first but Auntie Melba said the trick in this dish is the marinade that you soak your chicken meat in and the basting sauce you apply while grilling.


If you’re in the mood for a barbecue date with your family, chicken inasal might be the right recipe for you.



Inasal means barbecue or roast. It only started as a local Ilonggo dish and saw its popularity spread all over the Philippines because of the food chains rising up the past years that serve this dish.


Making the marinade is easy, for it doesn’t require any hard-to-find ingredients. Try making your own chicken inasal and taste how different it is from the grilled chickens you had before.




  • 1 kg chicken cut into serving pieces
  • Large Ziploc bag
  • Barbecue sticks




  • 2 tablespoons of minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of minced ginger
  • 3/4 cup of chopped lemongrass
  • 1 cup of coconut vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of calamansi juice
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 tablespoon of ground black pepper


Basting sauce:


  • 3 tablespoons of atsuete oil (annatto oil)
  • 1/2 cup of margarine
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of calamansi juice




Mix all the ingredients for the marinade in a bowl. If you have a food processor you can also use it for better result. Once you’re done, set the marinade aside.



atsuete oil


Pierce the chicken cuts with a fork to help the marinade seep into the meat better. Or try slicing the meat open with a knife instead. After that, take the Ziploc bag and put the marinade and chicken together. Massage the chicken with the marinade for a few minutes before placing it in the refrigerator.  Let itstay in the fridge for at least six hours to ensure that it will absorb all the flavors of the marinade.


For the basting sauce, just combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and simmer it on low heat for two minutes before setting it aside.


When you’re ready to start cooking, take your chicken cuts out ofthe fridge and skewer them with barbecue sticks, then it’s ready for the grill!


Don’t forget the basting sauce!


Take your basting sauce and apply agenerous amount on your chicken while it cooks over hot coals.


Once the chicken is cooked on both sides, you now have your very own chicken inasal!



Tita Kathy’s tip: 


You can always substitute calamansi juice with lemon juice to have that tangy taste in your dish.


The best sawsawan or dipping sauce for chicken inasal is soy sauce with calamansi and some chopped chilis, but you can always try making your own sawsawan that better suits your taste.


How did you find this dish? Tell me on the comment box below.


Happy cooking!






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