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Grilled chicken pieces on a banana leaf get final basting before it is served

5 Tips to Make a Healthier Mang Inasal-Style Chicken

Good thing you can always ask for extra rice!

Busy everyday lives sometimes mean succumbing to a fast-food for lunch or dinner. Thankfully there are choices out there that aren’t as overly processed. One such option is the chicken from Mang Inasal. With its brownish skin, this BBQ roasted chicken can make passers-by drool from the smell alone.

This could explain why the establishment is always so full. Mang Inasal is a variation of the Inihaw na Manok. It is marinated in a simple concoction of vinegar, spices, soda, calamansi, and garlic, to name a few examples. They say, however, that the real star of the flavor profile comes from the lemongrass. Although relatively healthy, there are a few changes you can make to turn it into something healthier when made at home. Check out these quick changes you can make.

Grilled Chicken

Skinless chicken fillet resting on a baking dish next to a bowl of marinade

Marinades make any inihaw extra delicious

Every family has their own grilled or roasted chicken recipe at home. If you are looking to try out a delectable version of Mang Inasal Chicken but find yourself worried about calories, here are 5 tips that can help.

Tip #1 Choose the leaner parts of the chicken

An order of Chicken Inasal from an infamous Bacolod fast-food joint contains a cup of rice and typically the thigh part of the bird. Though tasty, red meat, as we know, is not the healthiest part. When making grilled chicken at home, look into trading the thigh for the breast part instead. You can take it a step further by taking out the skin or marinading chicken fillet instead.

Tip #2 Lose the white rice

Us Filipinos eat a lot of rice. One Pinoy comedian even referred to us as “RICEVORES” since the love of rice spans from Apari to Jolo. He’s not wrong there. A large chunk of the population does consume rice three times daily. If possible, switch out the white rice for something healthier like red, brown, or black rice. Even better when you can forego grains in favor of some salad or a grain alternative like Adlai or cauliflower “rice.”

Shredded grilled chicken goes well on sandwiches too! Consider making Roasted Chicken Sandwiches, Fajitas, Chicken Pasta dish, or even Sopas. The marinade will lend that unexpected flavor to an otherwise ordinary recipe.

Knorr Liquid Seasoning

Knorr Liquid Seasoning turns ever ulam extra special with just a few drops

Tip #3 Skip the chicken oil

Chicken Inasal fans cannot get enough of the signature red chicken oil that gets drizzled onto everything. It’s so popular that servers spend so much time refilling condiment bottles. Due to popular demand, the dining establishment even began selling the liquid red seasoning separately.

But like many things unctuous, this scarlet-tinted oil is not the healthiest. Rendered from chicken fat drippings, the umami-rich table sauce is high in calories. Skipping this and replacing it with Knorr Liquid Seasoning is a much better alternative. You can also opt for other dipping sauces such as low sodium soy sauce with a squeeze of calamansi or just enjoy your Chicken Sawsawan free.

Tip #4 Ditch the ihaw-ihaw method

Grilling over charcoal increases the risk of introducing carcinogens to the body. Rather than cook your Mang Inasal Chicken inspiration over coal, bake the bird instead. You can use your trusty convection oven or the newly bought air fryer. What’s great about this cooking method? You don’t need to stand in front of a hot grill fanning the coal! Stick your marinated chicken pieces into the air fryer basket, set the timer, and watch your fave K-drama while you wait. But don’t forget to check on your chicken occasionally and brush it with your annatto oil mixture. Basting seals in flavor and moisture, it also gives the meat a nice golden-brown skin.

Tip #5 Use premium ingredients

Don’t skimp on the ingredients. When you use top-grade food elements, you have more control over what goes in your body. This means you can opt to use less sugar in the marinade, add sparkling water instead of Sprite, pick a tried and tested flavor component like Knorr Liquid Seasoning, and stick to annatto oil for natural food coloring.

How Liquid Seasoning Can Change Grilled Chicken

Ready to dig into your Chicken Inasal? STOP! A good 3-5 minutes of letting it rest ensures the meat remains nice and juicy. Resting allows for moisture to be redistributed so that every bite you take is a flavourful one.

White meat, especially from chicken breast, is a healthy source of protein. Though grilling is considered one of the healthiest ways to cook food, it still poses a few risks. Most of the health concerns related to grilling come from the carcinogens that the cooking generates.

This does not mean you can’t enjoy Mang Inasal style chicken. It simply means making a few changes. You don’t need to give up the charcoal if you are really after the smoky flavor. You can make a few alterations to your recipe. Adding a dash or two of umami-rich Knorr Liquid Seasoning will give your chicken that sweet, salty, and savory boost it needs. An unorthodox addition since most recipes do not include soy sauce or similar seasonings, this little twist is the inasal game-changer that gets you the exact restaurant flavor you know and love.

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