Thai Grilled Pork | Moo Yang

It’s the marinade that gives this pork its tender, savory taste. Some moo yang vendors sell the pork in slices on a plate without the skewers, adding some cucumber and fresh herbs. The pork also goes really well with green papaya salad and sticky rice.–Tom Vandenberghe

LC Cilantro Root Competence Note

Tom Vandenberghe, author of the really quite lavishly photographed–and packed full of recipes–book Bangkok Street Food, explains that the cilantro root is relied on quite often in Thai cooking. If you can get your hands on it, most likely from an Asian market or greenmarket, just wash, scrape, and chop it finely, he explains. If you can’t find cilantro root, he continues, no sweat. Use the cilantro stems and leaves instead. It won’t be exactly the same thing, but it’s the next best option. So worry not. Either works to a fare-thee-well in this recipe, in which the cilantro presence is a gentle hint rather than an overwhelming howdy doo.

Special Equipment: 10 wooden or bamboo skewers

Thai Grilled Pork Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 10 M
  • 1 H, 40 M
  • Makes 10 to 12 skewers


  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 6 cilantro roots, scraped and chopped (or a small handful of cilantro stems)
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground white pepper
  • 4 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce (light as in “not dark,” but “low-sodium” will also work)
  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) coconut cream
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon superfine sugar (or just blitz granulated sugar in a blender until fine but not powdery)
  • 1 pound pork tenderloin or loin, thinly sliced at an angle into strips


  • 1. Soak the skewers in water for 1 hour to prevent them from burning. Meanwhile, combine all the ingredients but the pork in a large bowl and mix well. Add the pork and marinate for at least half an hour.
  • 2. Fire up the grill (preferably a charcoal one) and let it settle on medium or medium-high flames.
  • 3. “Weave” the strips of pork onto the skewers, allowing as much of the marinade to cling to the pork as you desire. Grill, turning a few times, until the pork is cooked through, 5 to 8 minutes. Serve the skewers immediately.
Hungry for more? Chow down on these:

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Helen Doberstein

Jul 30, 2012

Winner, Winner, Porky Dinner! Did this for the family BBQ today and everyone loved it. The marinade was easy to put together. The addition of coconut cream was a real surprise to me, as I was concerned that it might be too much coconut. There was a hint of coconut in the background, but if you weren’t aware of what it was, then you certainly wouldn’t have guessed it. I doubled the recipe given the number of guests I had coming, but it doubles easily. The results were tender and tasty, and the recipe easy to make. I’ll certainly be adding this to my special list for the barbeque.

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Sofia Reino

Jul 30, 2012

Don’t be fooled by the smell of the marinade! I must admit that I was worried, as the mixture certainly did not have the most appealing aroma. The end result, though, was absolutely fantastic. The pork was juicy and creamy, tasty yet not overpowering, and the aroma was actually quite nice too. I used pork loin and cut it according to the instructions. Due to my crazy work schedule I actually let it marinate for about 2 hours. Definitely a recipe I’ll make again.

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Brenda Carleton

Jul 30, 2012

The marinade for this pork is sublime. It contains garlic, cilantro, pepper, fish sauce, soy sauce, coconut cream, oil, and a touch of sugar. That’s it! Sounds great, doesn’t it? The recipe recommends marinating the meat for at least a 1/2 hour but I did for nearly 2 hours, after which time the marinade (the coconut cream, really) solidified in the fridge. After wiping the marinade off, we grilled the pork. The sugars in the marinade caramelized nicely, especially the ends, and my husband and I took turns sneaking those best bits. Oh, what flavor! The meat didn’t need any sauces or embellishments whatsoever. It stood up very well on its own. I had one of those closing-my-eyes-in-pure-joy moments. The meat really picked up the fish sauce, cilantro, and coconut-cream flavors especially, and they complemented each other so well. I was unable to find cilantro root but I used cilantro stems and leaves from my garden. Even cilantro haters would like this because the flavor isn’t in your face. After dinner my husband said, “you should make this at least once a week!” That says it all. Make it. Love it.

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Chiyo Ueyama

Jul 30, 2012

We loved this salty and sweet barbecued pork! The creamy marinade clung to the meat during grilling, so even when you don’t have a lot of time for marinating, you get to enjoy all the flavor the fragrant sauce has to offer. If you want to enjoy moo yang when outdoor grilling isn’t an option, you can slice the pork tenderloin into disks and sear them in a skillet.

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Sheri C.

Jul 30, 2012

Wonderful and easy. Kind of salty from the fish sauce, but I love it that way. Grilled up in just a few minutes. I used just over a pound of pork tenderloin, thinly sliced at an angle, and cilantro stems instead of roots.

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Anne Petito

Jul 30, 2012

This dish comes together quickly and is full of flavor. If you can find cilantro root, it’s definitely worth seeking out. The flavor of the root is much milder than that of cilantro stems. The coconut cream lends a richness to the pork while the soy and fish sauces make it savory. Marinating the pork for at least the recommended time makes all the difference; the longer, the better.

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Natalie Reebel

Jul 30, 2012

What a great recipe for the grill. We had a fantastic time skewering up the meat. There was much anticipation as we sat next to the barbeque taking in the aroma of the pork as it cooked. The flavor didn’t disappoint. Everyone at the table had seconds, some had thirds. The ingredients are uncomplicated and simple to find. The process is quick and easy. The result is a great meal in minutes.

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Jackie G.

Jul 30, 2012

This was easy to make and the results were delicious. It makes a great, quick, midweek meal. I used the cream from the top of a can of coconut milk for the marinade, and then used the rest of the can of coconut milk to make coconut rice, which went beautifully with the grilled pork. (I added enough water to the rest of the can of coconut milk to make about 2 1/4 cups of liquid, which I then brought to a boil, and added 1 cup of rice. I turned it down to a simmer, covered it, and let it cook for about 15 minutes.)

  1. This sounds delicious! Definitely going to give this a try once the vegetarian house guests leave…

  2. Jenny says:

    Oh I have pork tenderloin in the freezer – I’m making this recipe this week – and I just ordered the cookbook – looks very interesting.

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Jenny, I have found myself just flipping through this cookbook and mentally noting the next recipe I want to try more times than I’d care to mention. It’s just this sort of vortex for me. I hope you have the same, albeit time-consuming, response to the book as I’ve had. And we look forward to hearing your thoughts on the skewers…

  3. Jackie B-P says:

    I finally got around to making this recipe tonight. It was so delicious! I served it with jasmine coconut rice and sauteed summer squash. My husband loved it. I will definitely make this again!

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      We’re glad to hear you sharing and spreading what we’ve heard time and again from every single person who’s made these skewers, Jackie. Many thanks for chiming in….

  4. Ngoc says:

    I used this marinade for thin pork chops, and they turned out fantastic!

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