Bacolod City’s Chicken Inasal – Recipe and Videos

Bacolod City's Chicken Inasal

Bacolod City’s Chicken Inasal

Bacolod City’s Chicken Inasal is a popular dish from the City of Smiles. It is not marinated or prepared like the usual chicken barbeque found in the rest of the country.

The marinate does not make use of soy sauce and consists of other ingredients to create a unique flavor found only in this part of the Philippines. There are different variations to this dish’s preparation.

Watch the 2 videos below too, to see how some locals prepare it and how you can substitute ingredients when cooking it abroad. Here is one way to marinate it (recipe).

Serves: 3-6 people

  • 1 whole chicken, cut into 6 parts (legs, wings, breasts)


  • 1 head garlic, macerated
  • 2 tbsps. chopped ginger
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup sinamak (native coconut vinegar)
  • 10 pieces calamansi extract (the juice)
  • 3 stalks tanglad (lemon grass), julienne
  • salt and coarsely ground pepper

Basting Sauce

  • 1/2 cup margarine or butter
  • 1/4 cup atsuete (annatto seeds) oil
  • salt and pepperlarge
  • bamboo skewers
  • charcoal for grilling

In a large bowl, place the garlic, ginger, vinegar, a small amount of sugar, calamansi, tanglad, salt, and pepper. Mix all the ingredients then add the chicken meat. Lightly rub the marinade on the meat. Place chicken in the chiller and let sit. After 30 minutes, turn the meat and let it sit for another 30 minutes. It is not ideal to marinate the meat overnight since the acid of the vinegar will completely break down the enzymes of the meat.

Meanwhile in a saucepan, over low fire, combine margarine/butter and annatto seeds. Stir until the margarine melts and the annatto seeds are well infused and have developed a deep orange color. Turn off heat then add a small amount of salt and pepper to taste.

After marinating the chicken, put several slits on the part near the bone to help with cooking the meat fully. Skewer the meat and cook over hot charcoal grill, skin side down, basting it once in a while. As much as possible do not turn the meat more than twice since the result will be drier meat.

Serve while hot together with steamed rice paired with grilled oysters and sinamak or soy sauce with calamansi and siling labuyo (red chili peppers).

* You can use whole chicken and roast it in the oven. Make sure that when you marinate the meat, rub the mixture all over the chicken including in the cavity.

Watch the 2 videos below to see different ways to prepare this dish. There is the local “Bacolod City” way, and the “Western” way to marinate and cook it when you are not able to get local ingredients for it.

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