Pyanggang is a Tausug dish similar to a chicken barbecue only it’s black but not because it’s burnt. One of the ingredients, coconut meat, is burnt before it is grounded. It is then combined with other spices to make a paste or marinade sauce for the chicken.




2 chicken, use leg quarters

2 chicken, use chicken thighs

1/4 cup coconut (buko), burnt and ground

1 1/2 tablespoons red onion, chopped

1 piece lemongrass bulb (tanglad), (use stalk part), white part only

1 tablespoon luyang dilaw, chopped

2 tablespoons garlic, chopped

1 tablespoon ginger, chopped

1 teaspoon cilantro stems, chopped

3 tablespoons spring onions, chopped

1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil

salt, to taste

finger chilies (siling pangsigang), Optional

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 tablespoon garlic, chopped

2 tablespoons white onion, chopped

1 piece lemongrass (tanglad), white part only, bruise with the back of a knife

1 tablespoon ginger, sliced

1 teaspoon fish sauce (patis)

coconut curry paste

1 cup coconut milk (gata)

1/2 cup coconut cream (kakang gata)

salt, to taste

finger chilies (siling pangsigang), optional, add for a spicy sauce



How to Cook Chicken Pyanggang:

Method for burnt coconut flesh:If you can get your coconut market vendor to separate the flesh from the husk, discard the husks and burn the flesh directly over your charcoal grill until black on both sides—burnt. If you can’t get them separated, break niyog in half or quarters then burn all sides directly over charcoal until you can separate the husk and then continue to burn the flesh until burnt black on both sides.


Grind the burnt coconut flesh in a food processor or use a mortar and pestle. Use as needed.

To make the paste: combine burnt coconut, red onion, lemongrass stalk, fresh turmeric, garlic, ginger, cilantro stems, spring onions, canola oil, and green chili (optional) and pound on a mortar and pestle. Mix well until you have a paste. Season to taste. Take half of the paste and combine with the chicken, mix well and marinate for about 4 hours.

Heat oil in a pan over medium high heat and sear the chicken on all sides until lightly brown then remove the chicken from the pan. On the same pan, sauté garlic, onions, lemongrass, ginger, patis, and the rest of the paste.

Add coconut milk and coconut cream and bring to a slow simmer. Return the chicken to the pan and bring to a slow boil then maintain at a simmer for 12 minutes or so or until the chicken is cooked through. Season to taste. Add green chilies to the paste or sauté for heat, if desired.


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