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Summer Grilling The Pinoy Way With Inihaw Recipes By Chef Jessie Sincioco

Nothing says “party” more than food on the grill. The Filipino ihaw—a lechon roasting on the spit or some sort of chicken, vegetable, or fatty meat cooking over smoldering coals—means something special is happening. It could be as simple as a trip to the beach in the summer, or as elaborate as a fiesta to honor a patron saint. It could also mean a weekend dinner at home where family and friends bond over a shared meal.



Chef Jessie Sincioco (in photo above), who opened Chef Jessie Grill in The Grove by Rockwell, waxes poetic about one of her favorite methods of cooking. “I’ve always liked grilled food, because growing up in Bulacan, whenever we would go on picnics, my folks would set up charcoal or sometimes wood and just cook everything there,” she says. Through the following recipes, she reconnects with her childhood to celebrate the art of inihaw that brings out the best in many fresh ingredients.


Kesong Puti Tomato Salad

Chef Jessie uses thickly sliced kesong puti from Bulacan instead of the usual buffalo mozzarella for this refreshing salad. Although served as an appetizer, Chef Jessie says that her customers sometimes like to eat it with garlic rice.


Serves 4

  • 4 whole ripe salad tomatoes, cut into quarters lengthwise
  • 1 pack kesong puti, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil?
  • 2 cups assorted salad greens like lolla rosa and romaine lettuce?
  • salt and pepper, to taste

1. On a hot plate, arrange sliced tomatoes and kesong puti slices alternately in a circle. Drizzle with olive oil.

2. Place hot plate on a hot grill, and grill until tomatoes are halfway cooked and cheese starts melting.

3. Place the hot plate in a 375°F oven for 10 to 15 minutes until the tomatoes soften and the kesong puti melts further.

4. Season with salt and pepper before serving.?

5. Toss assorted salad greens with pesto vinaigrette dressing (recipe below). Place on top of tomatoes and cheese.



  • 5 tablespoons olive oil?
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vinegar?
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons prepared pesto
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Set aside.


Chicken Inasal

Firmly entrenched in Negrense cuisine, every family in Bacolod seems to have their own secret chicken inasal marinade. Chef Jessie advises marinating the chicken for at least 12 hours or overnight.

Serves 6

  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped ginger
  • 200 grams lemongrass, white stalks only, sliced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vinegar?
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons calamansi juice?
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon patis?
  • 2 teaspoons freshly crushed black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon annatto oil, divided
  • 1.2 kilos whole chicken, cleaned and cut into quarters

1. In a ceramic or stainless container, combine garlic, ginger, lemongrass, vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, calamansi juice, patis, black pepper, and 2 tablespoons of the annatto oil.

2. Add chicken pieces and marinate overnight in the refrigerator.?

3. Remove chicken pieces from the marinade. Grill over hot charcoals or in a hot grill pan while basting with the remaining annatto oil until chicken is completely cooked.

4. Serve with garlic rice and chili-soy sauce dip (recipe below).



  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 siling labuyo?
  • 1 calamansi

Combine all the ingredients. Set aside.


Inihaw na Liempo


Chef Jessie serves liempo two ways: “I like liempo that is just marinated in garlic and salt and vinegar. The vinegar makes it more tender and the garlic gives it more flavor. And then in the usual Pinoy way, it’s eaten with a sawsawan of soy sauce, calamansi and sliced siling labuyo,” she says. One can also marinate it in soy sauce with a little sugar, garlic and calamansi. Upon grilling, the sugar will caramelize the pork, thus giving it that char-grilled look.


Serves 4

  • 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon calamansi juice
  • 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar?
  • 1/2 kilo pork belly, sliced

1. Combine soy sauce, garlic, calamansi juice, peppercorns, and brown sugar.?

2. Add pork slices and marinate for at least 2 hours before grilling.

3. Grill marinated pork slices over hot charcoals or in a hot grill pan until completely cooked.

4. Cut grilled liempo into serving pieces. Serve with steamed rice and a chili-vinegar dip (recipe above).


Chef Jessie Grill, Grove Retail Row, The Grove by Rockwell, C5, E. Rodriguez Avenue, Jr., Pasig City, (02) 535-1061, 534-9073, (0917) 833-0797,
A longer version of this article first appeared in FOOD Magazine, Issue 2, 2017
Recipes by Jessie Sincioco of Chef Jessie Grill
Photos by Paul del Rosario
Styling by Tina Concepcion Diaz