Chicken Inasal Recipe

Chicken Inasal is a grilled chicken dish and one of the well known Ilonggo dishes. This is done by marinating chicken pieces in a unique blend of spices and grilling them until done. Sounds like a simple grilled chicken recipe, isn’t it? Well, it might sound like one; however, the special marinade and basting sauce makes this Ilonggo version of the grilled chicken extra special. Who amongst you in the Philippines haven’t heard of this dish? I will be surprised if a huge number of people will say that they haven’t. Chicken Inasal is all over the place. In fact, several restaurant chains that specialize in this dish are in full swing branching-out to dominate its presence in Metro Manila and the nearby provinces. Chicken Inasal and all you can eat rice, doesn’t this sound familiar? I’ve been to several restaurants and grills serving this special grilled chicken dish and they were all good. The main question is: Who serves the best Chicken Inasal in the Philippines? In Metro Manila, there is a good place somewhere in New Manila, Quezon City that is owned by a famous actor. The Chicken Inasal served by the newly emerging brand is not bad too. There should also be many good restaurants and grills in Iloilo and Bacolod where this dish originated.

If you want your chicken less burnt, try removing the skin before grilling. This will also make this dish a bit lower in cholesterol.

In your opinion, which restaurants or grills serve the best Chicken Inasal in the Philippines?

Chicken Inasal

Chicken Inasal Recipe


  • 2 lbs chicken cut into serving pieces
  • 2 tablespoons ginger, minced
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup lemongrass, chopped
  • 1 cup coconut vinegar
  • 1/2 cup lemon or calamansi juice
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup lemon soda (softdrink)
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • Basting Sauce:
  • 3 tablespoons annatto oil (atsuete oil)
  • 1/2 cup margarine, softened
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon or calamansi juice

Watch the cooking video:

Cooking Procedure

  1. In a freezer bag or large bowl, combine chicken, lemongrass, salt, ground black pepper, ginger, garlic, brown sugar, vinegar, lemon-lime soda, and lemon juice.
  2. Stir or shake the mixture until every ingredient is well incorporated. Marinade for 1 to 3 hours.
  3. In a bowl, combine margarine, annatto oil, salt, and lemon juice then stir. Set aside.
  4. Grill the chicken while basting generous amount of the margarine mixture.
  5. Transfer the grilled chicken to a serving plate.
  6. Serve with sinamak. Share and enjoy!

Number of servings (yield): 4


  1. Maureen t. Lopez says

    Entire family enjoyed chicken insala at amorito resort couple weeks ago in Bohol.
    Juicy, flavorful, masarap!
    Will use this recipe to bring back island memories!

  2. Jo says

    Any substitute for coconut vinegar? The Asian stores we have here don’t sell it. They usually have the usual white vinegar (Datu Puti or Silver Swan). Can I use that in place of the coconut vinegar?

  3. doyeen says

    hi kuya!
    i just read from somebody’s post not to marinate this overnight because the vinegar will cook through the chicken. can you help me find a way that i can refrigerate it good for a week or keep it frozen so that all i have to do is cook it when i need it. i was thinking ulam for the week kaya i plan to make batches and store it in the refirgerator. will wait for your reply.

    • says

      Hi Doyeen. I think that your first statement is true — that is part of the purpose. You won’t be able to easily infuse the flavor of vinegar unless you marinate the chicken in it for hours. If you want to store the uncooked chicken for a week, I suggest that you freeze it instead of refrigerating to avoid contamination. If you are hesitant to marinade the chicken in vinegar for a long period of time, you can try to inject the marinade a few hours before you grill the chicken. The result will be quite different though, but it is still tolerable.

  4. says

    hi kuya!!!

    me and my husband is craving too much with chicken inasal and during our vacation in the philippines,u can find us eating chicken inasal in everyday,once in a meal..and i wanna to try this recipe at all using the oven but my problem is i cant find any lemon grass in any market here..

    we are living in saudi arabia now and its soo hard to find filipino vegestables like that…so is there’s any alternatives for the lemon grass,and what should i use as a substitute for the margarine??

    thank u soo much!!!

  5. Jeloni says

    I tried this recipe and it was good naman. Though i wasnt able to put lemongrass cause i can’t find it anywhere..does it really make a lot of difference? And one more thing.. Hindi masyado nagpenetrate yun marinade inside the chicken.. Bland na yun sa loob.. I placed it in a ziploc container naman and mainated it for like 3hours..any suggestions para pumasok a loob yung lasa? Thanks

  6. says

    I’m craving for inasal and looked for some recipes online that’s how i came across your site.. tnx for sharing the recipe!
    by the way, my family is not into margarine. what can i replace it with? butter?

  7. chrisd says

    I am a half-Filipina and my mom is from Negros Occidental. I have never heard of this dish but I think I’ll try it.

    I live in the States and I have no idea where to get coconut vinegar. Can I substitute rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar?

  8. says

    Siguro about 2 years ago my wife and I took a vacation to Bacolod and there we had tasted and eaten the best tasting grilled chicken I’ve ever eaten. Now I’ve eaten a lot of chicken dishes and grilled chicken. Pero chicken Inasal takes chicken to another level.

  9. ralph jan says

    i tried your recipe, it turned out good, and my frends liked it..
    But i used toyo instead of salt,*cuz way back when i was still @ bacolod, and i was just a kid back then, i saw this inasal owner preparing inasal, and he used toyo*
    i am so happy that my friends loved it! Thanks 4 the recipe..

  10. malou says

    hi there,
    what is the procedure if I want to bake it instead? Thanks a lot.

  11. says

    i suggest to you friend to assure the freshness of the chicken its better to put it on the it wont get spoil…just a piece of advise

  12. says

    i tried it and was able to get all the pinoy ingredients here in Texas. AND it tasted very close to manokan country in Bacolod. My Kano husband ate so much! will make it again for pinay night at my home and am sharing it on Facebook. my american friends want to try making it too!

  13. riche says

    hi. am in ireland and i didnt see any atsuete here. what should i use instead

  14. ana says

    is it ok to use butter instead of margarine in the basting sauce or will it affect the taste? Can I get ride of the chicken skin before the marinade? Coz I remember in Mang inasal their chicken is skinless.

  15. Lillet says

    can i bake it instead of grilling it? will it make any difference to the taste? thanks much.

  16. May says

    I lived in california and I missed Inasal. Thanks for the ingredients Im going to make one soon.
    By the way this is Just a thought If your aimed is that Filipino food to be noticed, know, tasted and enjoyed by the rest of the world you should make your youtube tutorial in english, so that your market will be global. Like what the Korean food guru is doing right now check even if her accent is very korean she tried to speak english in her tutorial thats why she have a wide range of followers.
    This is just a suggestion because I know you got a very good potential be more popular.
    God Bless!

  17. Benito says

    Hi! I couldn’t resist but make a comment about chicken inasal as it is an iconic Ilonggo dish (along with Batchoy, Pancit Molo, Piyaya, and a whole bunch of pastries from the sugarlands of Negros). My parents are from Iloilo and Bacolod so inasal should be in my blood.

    The recipe you posted is actually hits the spot on being as accurate and true to how inasal is done in Ilonggo country. I’ve been doing inasal here in Australia during Pinoy gatherings and I somehow tweaked some ingredients which resulted in fantastic results. I reckon it wouldn’t hurt to add a bit more lemongrass, garlic and black pepper as these are the MAIN FLAVOUR sources. Also, it would be good to mix all the marinade ingredients first and ensure that the salt and sugar has dissolved before mixing in the chicken. Any Pinoy vinegar will do (don’t use balsamic or apple cider). Do not marinade overnight as the vinegar will cook thru the meat (not good). In the basting sauce, using garlic flavoured Star margarine is the way to go. Some sugar and black pepper in the basting sauce will bring more flavor to the inasal.

    Cheers and todoha lang kaon kay namit gid ang sabor sang inasal! :)

    • Winnie Fish says

      Hi! Vanjo I made the chicken inasal tonight using the drumsticks. Sooooo good n yummyyyy. Used regular white vinegar, One lime instead of lemon soda. Thought I had american margarine in the refrigerator, instead I added more olive oil as margarine substitute. Worked out really good and I will make this again next week. Cuz my picky daughter liked it so much…. so tasty….Thank you once again n more power to you…

  18. says

    I love this post. My favorite of all time. I have to try your recipe.

    I agree with you Washburnmad, I am originally from Iloilo and Mang Inasal have the best. I can attest to that.

  19. washburnmad says

    The best chicken inasal in Iloilo is Mang Inasal. Kumbinsing! (Convincing!)

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