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Inasal na Manok - FoodwithMae-3

Inasal na Manok

A Fragrant Spatchcock Chicken Barbecue with Annatto and Butter Baste. Inasal has the perfect smokey, peppery and citrus balance. Served with a lovely steamy hot ric, a garlicy soy & vinegar dip and Atchara (Filipino Pickles).


What is Inasal

This chicken barbecue is a regional recipe from Bacolod region, Western Visayas Philippines. The Ilonggo word ‘Inasal’ literally means char-grilled or roasted meat. Inasal is traditionally cooked on charcoal as a street food and eventually became so popular that many Filipino food chains have Inasal on their menus. 

Apart from the reddish/yellowish colour, what makes this bbq recipe stand out is that it uses signature ingredients that screams Philippines all over it, hitting all the typical Filipino flavour profiles, it used coconut vinegar (not very acidic but sweet side), kalamansi and annatto/achiote oil (made from achiote plant and oil). When all mixed together creates a balanced and juicy marinade that is surely finger licking good!

Let’s talk about ingredients

You may have noticed that I added the traditional ingredients and the alternatives also. As a Filipino who lives abroad, I think it’s important that you have an alternative ingredient listed in case you can’t find the traditional ingredients. 

Kalamansi – if you don’t have kalamansi where you are, lemon is a great alternative. I don’t like lime and I don’t think it’s close to the kalamansi taste. 

Coconut vinegar – if you can’t find this vinegar, you can use white wine vinegar. It’s not so acidic. You could use sugar cane vinegar too if you have to but reduce the amount to half.

Annatto – you can get annatto seeds from Asian grocery store. To make annatto oil, you simply mix 200ml oil and 100g annatto seed in a pot. Cook them until you see the oil bubbling. Turn the heat off and strain the seeds. Discard the seeds and keep the oil. 

This chicken barbecue is a regional recipe from Bacolod

Inasal na Manok - FoodwithMae-3


1 large whole chicken
5 garlic
60g ginger
1 stem lemongrass
1 tablespoon salt
60ml calamansi juice or lemon juice
60ml sugar cane vinegar or any vinegar
60ml annatto oil
¼ teaspoon black pepper

Basting sauce

100g butter
80ml annatto oil
60ml kalamansi or lemon
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt



To make the marinade, using a food processor; add garlic, ginger, lemongrass, salt, kalamansi juice, vinegar, annatto oil and black pepper. Blitz them until you get a paste consistency. If you’re using a pestle & mortar, pound the dry ingredients first then add the wet ingredients, mix them together before adding it onto the chicken.  


To prepare your spatchcock chicken, using scissors cut the spine off the chicken, you can discard or keep the spine. Using a knife, slice the bone in between the chicken breasts so you can spread them wider.  


Pour the marinade onto the chicken, making sure you cover the chicken all over. Leave it to marinate for 2 hours or overnight in the fridge.  


Place the chicken in an oven tray, making sure that you wrap the chicken with foil to keep the moisture inside. Cook for 1 hour at 180C fan assisted oven. Take it out of the oven and finish cooking it on a grill or barbeque. Baste each side until you get a golden brown colour. You could cook this straight on a bbq too if you can, cook the chicken until the juices run clear. Baste the chicken every so often.

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