Hong Kong style Barbecue
Outdoor barbecues (usually known simply as BBQ) are popular among local residents on short trips to the regional parks in the countryside. These are invariably coal-fired, with meat (usually beef, pork, sausage, or chicken wings) marinated inhoney, then cooked using long, hand-held forks. At the same time, foil-wrapped pieces of corn and sweet potato are placed on the hot coals; these take a long time to cook so they are usually eaten at the end of the barbecue. Unlike Western barbecues, everyone gathers around the fire and cooks their own food, so the atmosphere is closer to that of a fondue or a hot pot.
Bulgogi (불고기) is thinly sliced beef (and sometimes pork or chicken) marinated in soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic and chili pepper, and cooked on a grill at the table. It is a main course, and is therefore served with rice and side dishes such asKimchi. Bulgogi literally means “fire meat.” The more common Korean “BBQ” is called galbi, which is marinated ribs.
Barbecueing is very popular in Japan as part of an outdoor activity. Normally, more vegetables and seafood are incorporated than in the US, and soy sauce or soy based sauces are commonly used. Occasionally, the Japanese-style fried noodle “Yakisoba” would be cooked as well. In addition, Jingisukan, Yakiniku, Horumonyaki are famous.
Satay is popular in several Southeast Asian countries: Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and the Philippines. It consists of pieces of meat skewered on bamboo sticks. The meat is marinated in a mixture of spices similar to a curry mix and pulverised peanut. Most common meats are chicken, lamb and beef, and in non-Muslim enclaves, you will also find satay made from pork and animal offal. Satay is a mainstay of most Malaysian, Indonesian and Singaporean barbecues. Traditional uses only chicken thigh meat cut into strips before they are skewered. Other types of satay include pork, mutton and beef.
After the meat has been cooked over a charcoal flame, it is served with a thick gooey dipping sauce made from the same mixture as the marinade for the meat, a peanut tasting curry like mixture).
In the mountainous regions of North Borneo, the local Kadazan people’s specialities are chicken satay and snake meat satay; the latter, as of 2007, is only available under exceptional circumstances). Before 1990, it was possible to get satay of animals like tapir, elephants, flying fox,goannas and wild boar. Unfortunately, these animals are now rare and/or endangered.
Lechón being roasted
Sinugba (inihaw or grilled) Bangus
In the Philippines, Lechon is a centrepiece of the main cultural diet. It is extremely rare for any celebratory occasion to lack lechon. Philippine lechon is prepared similarly to that of the Spanish-speaking islands of the Caribbean. The hog is opened from head to tail along the belly, and is slow-grilled turned on a rod over a fire. Even though the Spanish-speaking islands of the Caribbean and the Philippines do not share a common everyday spoken language, it is still referred to with the same pronunciation. This may be due to the fact that both regions were ruled by Spain for several centuries; linguists estimate that some 40% of each various Philippine languages contains Spanish loanwords).
Barbecue is also the term for skewered pork or chicken, marinated in and basted with a sweetish sauce made from ketchup, pineapple juice, and/or 7-Up. Chicken barbecue is often served with what is popularly known as Java sauce. Bananacue, a dish consisting of plantains skewered on a stick similar in style to shish kebab, is also commonly cooked.
In the city state of Singapore, barbecue or BBQ, as it is commonly known as, is a common feature in social gatherings, but a less common feature of a typical Singaporean’s daily lifestyle and diet. Majority of Singaporeans live in government aided apartments or HDB flats. A lack of open spaces at home results in BBQ gatherings in parks or chalets. The Singapore National Parks rents out barbecue pits that are placed in popular parks like the East Coast Park. Other parks that offer barbecue pits to the public include Punggol Park, Pasir Ris Park, West Coast Park, Changi Beach Park, Sembawang Park and Pulau Ubin.
Singapore styled BBQ is mostly charcoal fired and Singaporeans roast a variety of Southeast Asian and Western food. Besides satay, other BBQ food include sambal stingray or cuttlefish wrapped in aluminium foil, grilled meat (chicken, pork, beef) and marinated in BBQ sauce commonly made from soya sauce, pepper, salt, sugar and oyster sauce. Taiwanese sausages, chicken franks and sausages are also grilled. Marshmallows skewered using satay sticks is another highlight of a Singaporean barbecue.
The fire starter used is not the typical lighter fluid or charcoal chimney starter used in western grills. Instead, the fire starter comes in a box of small rolled up briquette of saw wood dust and wax which is lit and placed under a stack of charcoal briquette.
Central and Southern Asia
Nomadic Mongolians have several barbecue methods, one of which is “Khorkhog“. They first heat palm-sized stones to a high temperature over the fire and alternate layers of lamb and stone in a pot. The cooking time depends on the amount of lamb used. It is believed that it is good for your health if you hold the stone used for cooking.
Another way of cooking is a “boodog” (“boo” means wrap in Mongolian). Usually marmot or goats are cooked in this way. There is no pot needed for cooking “boodog”, after slaughter and dressing, the innards are put back inside the carcass through a small hole and the whole carcass is cooked over the fire.
The Mongolian barbecue often found in restaurants is a style of cooking falsely attributed to the mobile lifestyle of nomadic Mongolians. Originating in Taiwan in the mid to late 20th century, the so-called “Mongolian barbecue”, a popular dish in American and Canadian Chinese restaurants, consists of thinly sliced lamb, beef, chicken, pork, or other meat, seasonings, vegetables, and noodles, or a combination thereof, which is quickly cooked over a flat circular metal surface that has been heated.
Pakistan and India
Pakistani chicken tikka with a variety of other dishes cooked and served under the BBQ method
The tandoor is a form of barbecue, particularly focusing on baking, that is common in Afghanistan, Pakistan and northern India. Grilling is also popular, and uses many spices native to the local land, especially the many variations of Curry blends.