Thai-Style Grilled Pork Skewers ~ Moo Yang

These Thai-style grilled pork skewers are slightly sweet, a traditional Thai recipe that’s thinly sliced pork tenderloin or loin marinated in a marinade made with fish sauce, coconut cream, cilantro, and white peppercorns and known as Moo Yang in its native land.

Skewers of thinly sliced Thai-style grilled pork skewers on a metal tray in a street food vendor's cart

These Thai grilled pork skewers, commonly experienced as street food in Thailand under the name  moo yang or moo ping, are slightly salty and sweet and soulful. It’s the marinade, made with coconut cream, fish sauce, and cilantro, that works its considerable and haunting magic.–Renee Schettler

Thai-Style Grilled Pork Skewers | Moo Yang

  • Quick Glance
  • (5)
  • 10 M
  • 1 H, 40 M
  • Makes 10 to 12 skewers
5/5 - 5 reviews
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Special Equipment: 10 skewers (metal, wooden, or bamboo)



If using wooden or bamboo skewers, soak them in water for at least 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.

Fire up the grill (preferably a charcoal one) and let it settle on medium or medium-high flames.

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 grilled pork skewers immediately. Originally published July 30, 2012.

Print RecipeBuy the Bangkok Street Food cookbook

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    What is cilantro root?

    • The author of the lavishly photographed and terrifically well-researched book Bangkok Street Food, Tom Vandenberghe, explains that cilantro root is relied on quite often in Thai cooking. It’s just a little less assertive in flavor than the cilantro leaves you’re accustomed to using. If you can’t get your hands on them at an Asian market, maybe you dig up one of your cilantro plants from the garden or make a trip to your local nursery and buy a plant specifically to be sacrificed for this recipe. Then just wash, scrape, and finely chop it, he explains. And if you can’t find cilantro root, no worries, use cilantro stems instead. It won’t be exactly the same thing, but it’s the next best option. Either roots or stems work to a fare-thee-well in this recipe, in which the cilantro presence is a subtle, intriguing hint rather than a whack-you-in-the-face-like-a-baseball-bat hit. There. A little cilantro root competency for you.

    Recipe Testers' Reviews

    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 thinly slice the pork tenderloin and sear them in a skillet.

    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? Trying these for the first time was one of those closing-my-eyes-in-pure-joy moments.

    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. 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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      1. Hello Seattle2K, yes, I agree that skewered smaller pieces of pork that are grilled are most commonly referred to as Moo Ping. Moo (Pork) Yang is usually what Thais say about larger pieces of pork. However, the English transliteration “Yang” does translate as “grilled” and hence not entirely inaccurate. Another reference point is Gai Yang–or “Grilled” Chicken of Issan, where the famous Thai Sweet Chili Sauce comes from “Nahm Jjim Gai”. I hesitantly use the word grilled since its usually roasted close to a fire, not on metal grates that most non-Asian would say is real grilling. The chicken is sometimes mounted in bamboo double-skewer contraptions to hold the 1/4, 1/2, or shoer chicken flat to cook over the charcoal. Any of the above can be Aroy maak. (very delicious). Have fun cooking folks and take a journey to Thailand to get a real taste of either Moo Ping or Moo Yang!

      2. Seattle2k, I spoke with Pim Techamuanvivit, executive chef at Nahm Restaurant, The Metropolitan, in Bangkok. She said, “Moo yang is a cooking technique. Moo = pork and yang = grilled. Moo yang is simply grilled pork. It can be flavored with anything or served with anything.

        “Moo ping is a particular dish. When you say moo ping, you’re really referring to pork that is always boneless, always on skewers, and always marinaded in a sweetish marinade (which sometimes has sweetened condensed milk in it). It’s served fresh off the grill, on sticks, and often with sticky rice and no extra sauce. Usually not a dish you get in restaurants but from food stalls.”

        So, Seattle2k thank you.

    1. This is my favorite way to cook. All the prep can be done first thing in the morning and left to marinate. When dinnertime rolls around, it requires only a quick grilling. I served this with a warm cabbage salad and a side of coconut rice. Beautiful bold complex flavors for so little effort.

    2. Now that it’s warm enough to fire up the grill, this is the first thing my kids asked for this season. We all love this.

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