Should You Use Kasim Or Pigue For Pinoy Barbecue?

Are you Team Pigue or Team Kasim?

IMAGE Roselle Miranda

Sweet, savory, a little spicy, and all meat, Pinoy pork barbecue is a classic family favorite. It's what you prepare for parties and celebrations, special meals, or just want to savor delicious grilled meat you can eat on a stick as merienda or with an ice-cold drink. 

The marinade is what makes the Pinoy pork barbecue so fantastic and irresistible. The banana catsup is essential as is the soda or calamansi juice. Combined with brown sugar, soy sauce, and lots of garlic, this is the flavorful liquid you use as a marinade as well as for the baste. You marinate the pork for tenderness as well as flavor. But which is the best pork cut to use for Pinoy-style pork barbecue recipes: the pigue or the kasim?

If you're having a hard time answering that question, maybe to answer it we need to ask this first: What part of the pork is the pork kasim and the pigue anyway?

This pork cut is called pigue in Tagalog, also known as pork ham or pork leg.
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Also Known As: pork ham, pork leg, fresh ham

The pork cut pigue is also called the ham or the leg cut. The pigue is taken from the hindquarters or rear leg part of the pork, located above the leg or shank itself. That's why this cut is also known as the "fresh ham" because this is commonly what's used to make ham. It can be kept whole, bone-in, or deboned before being made into ham.


The pigue is actually much meatier than you would think and that's why it's common to see this pork cut with the skin and fat still on. It's also a leaner, less fatty cut despite all the connective tissues that are present. That's why this cut requires more tenderizing than other cuts of the pork, and it's great for stews or roasts with long cooking times.

To Make Into Pork Barbecue: Slice the meat into thin pieces about 1/8-inch thick and give it more time to marinate. Since this is the leaner cut, it's also best to include chunks of fat on the sticks to give it a boost in flavor and keep the meat juicy. 

This pork cut is called kasim in Tagalog, also known as the pork shoulder that contains the Boston butt or pork butt  and the picnic.
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Also known as: pork butt, pork shoulder, Boston butt, picnic shoulder

Did you know that the kasim is known as both pork butt and the pork shoulder, too? Contrary to the name, the pork butt is not located near the butt end of the pig at all (That's the pigue!). It's part of the shoulder joint near the head. When it comes to kasim, it all depends on where on the shoulder the pork meat is taken from. The kasim is the pork shoulder but it's divided into two parts: there's the upper shoulder (butt) and the lower shoulder (picnic). The upper shoulder is closer to the head and nearer the spine. The lower shoulder or the pork butt is closer to the leg. 

For those who want naturally tender cuts of pork, the kasim supplies plenty of both fat and meat to make your pork barbecue naturally flavorful. The kasim makes great pork barbecue since it's both a fatty and flavorful cut. 


To Make Into Pork Barbecue: Simply slice the meat into thin pieces about 1/8-inch thick and marinate. Since this is the fattier cut, extra chunks of fat for both flavor and juiciness are not necessary unless desired. 



Thinking about what to cook next? Join our Facebook group, Yummy Pinoy Cooking Club, to get more recipe ideas, share your own dishes, and find out what the rest of the community are making and eating!

Got your own version of the classic dishes? Pa-share naman! Get your recipe published on by submitting your recipe here!

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