Simple to prepare, but complex in flavour, these grilled pork skewers are a Thai street food staple. It needs little else but a cold beer and some good friends to share it with.
- 300 g pork shoulder or neck
- 1 coriander root pinch of salt
- 10-15 cloves Thai garlic cloves (see Note)
- pinch of ground white pepper
- pinch of ground star anise
- pinch of ground coriander
- 1 tsp palm sugar
- 2 tbsp sweet soy sauce
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 2-3 hours
- 60 ml (¼ cup) coconut cream, for drizzling
- steamed sticky rice, deep-fried shallots, chopped coriander and sliced cucumber, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Marinating time 3 hours
Cut the pork into long 1 cm-thick slices.
Pound the coriander root, salt, garlic and ground spices in a mortar and pestle until a paste forms. Transfer to a large bowl, add the sugar, sauces and oil and stir to combine well. Add the pork, toss to coat, then cover and refrigerate for about 3 hours.
Thread 2-3 pieces of the marinated pork onto each skewer. Preheat a charcoal grill to medium heat – you don’t want it too hot or the skewers will char before they are cooked through. Cook the skewers, gently brushing with the coconut cream and turning often for about 4-5 minutes or until just cooked through. Serve sprinkled with deep-fried shallots and chopped coriander, with steamed sticky rice and cucumber.
• Thai garlic is more delicate in flavour and much smaller in size than Western garlic cloves. If you can’t find it, use one large Western garlic clove.