Sweet and Spicy Pork Kabobs


Jufran banana "ketchup," a Filipino condiment, serves as the base for the brushing sauce that gives pork kabobs a sweet-sour flavor and caramelized char.

Sweet and Spicy Pork Kabobs
Photo: Carson Downing
Hands On Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
4 hrs 30 mins
8 skewers


  • 2 pound pork tenderloin

  • 6 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce

  • ½ cup Jufran Banana Sauce*

  • ¼ cup lemon-lime soda

  • 2 tablespoon packed brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  • 1 large garlic clove, grated

  • 2 Thai chiles, minced

  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar

  • Steamed rice (optional)

  • Pickled Papaya Relish (optional)


  1. Cut the pork into 1-inch cubes. In a large bowl, combine 4 Tbsp. of the soy sauce, 1/4 cup of the banana sauce, the lemon-lime soda, brown sugar, lemon juice, garlic, chiles, and 1/4 tsp. each salt and black pepper. Add pork and toss to coat. Cover; marinate in refrigerator 4 hours to overnight.

  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine remaining 1/4 cup banana sauce, the vinegar, and remaining 2 Tbsp. soy sauce. Set aside 1/4 cup for glaze during cooking; reserve the rest for serving.

  3. Remove pork from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before grilling. Thread eight 10- to 12-inch skewers with pork. (If using wood skewers, soak them in water at least 30 minutes before adding meat.)

  4. Preheat an outdoor grill to medium (350°F to 400°F); brush cooking grates clean and lightly oil. Grill skewers, on a covered grill, 10 minutes until done (145°F), turning and brushing cooked sides with glaze halfway through grilling. If you like, serve with steamed rice and Pickled Papaya Relish; drizzle with reserved glaze.


Jufran Banana Sauce is a popular Filipino alternative to ketchup that's fruitier and tangier than traditional ketchup. If you can't find it, mix together 1/4 cup ketchup, 2 Tbsp. brown sugar, 2 Tbsp. lemon juice, and 1 Tbsp. mashed very ripe banana. Use as directed in recipe. Makes 1/2 cup.

Pickled Papaya Relish

In a large bowl combine 2 cups grated fresh green papaya with 2 Tbsp. salt. Let stand for 1 hour. Drain papaya, discarding liquid, and rinse thoroughly. Place papaya in center of a large piece of cheesecloth and squeeze to drain as much liquid as possible. In a clean bowl combine papaya, 1/4 cup sliced carrot, 1/2 cup red pepper strips, 2 Tbsp. thinly sliced fresh ginger, and 1 sliced fresh jalapeno pepper. In a small saucepan combine 1/2 cup white vinegar, 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup sugar. Bring to boiling; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes. Pour vinegar mixture over papaya mixture. Cover; refrigerate at least 24 hours. Store in the refrigerator up to 1 week. Makes 2 cups.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

297 Calories
4g Fat
13g Carbs
47g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 297
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 140mg 47%
Sodium 1052mg 46%
Total Carbohydrate 13g 5%
Total Sugars 11g
Protein 47g
Vitamin C 17.8mg 89%
Calcium 20mg 2%
Iron 2.1mg 12%
Potassium 852mg 18%
Folate, total 11.3mcg
Vitamin B-12 1mcg
Vitamin B-6 1.2mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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