• Grilled pork skewers with nahm jim jaew dipping sauce (Asia Unplated with Diana Chan)Source: Asia Unplated with Diana Chan

Nahm jim jaew is a sweet and tangy dipping sauce served with a wide variety of grilled meat street food in Thailand, like these chargrilled pork skewers.






Skill level

Average: 3.1 (116 votes)


  • 1 kg pork neck, cut into 1 cm x 5 cm pieces
  • 20 bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 20 minutes to stop them burning
  • vegetable oil, for brushing
  • steamed sticky rice, to serve


  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander roots and stems
  • 1 tsp white peppercorns
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp kecap manis
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp palm sugar
  • 2 tbsp boiling water
  • 250 ml (1 cup) coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp cornflour

Nahm jim jaew

  • 80 ml (⅓ cup) fish sauce
  • 1 large red Asian shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 spring onion, white part only, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp palm sugar
  • 2 tbsp boiling water
  • 1 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 tbsp dried red chilli flakes, or to taste
  • 1 handful of coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp toasted sticky rice powder (khai kua)

Cook's notes

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: 2 hours

1. For the marinade, place the garlic, coriander and peppercorns in a mortar and pound with a pestle into a paste. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and combine well. Add the pork, turn to coat, then cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight if time permits.

2. Meanwhile, for the nahm jim jaew dipping sauce, place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly.

3. To cook the skewers, if using a gas grill, preheat to medium-low. If using a charcoal grill, make sure it is not too hot. Thread about 6 pieces of the marinated pork onto each soaked skewer and really squeeze them on tightly with your hands.

4. Grill the skewers, brushing every so often with a little oil for 8-10 minutes or until the pork has caramelised nicely and is cooked through. Check the skewers every couple of minutes-the sugar in the marinade will burn so make sure you constantly baste and turn the skewers to keep the cooking even.

5. Serve with the nam jim jaew dipping sauce and steamed sticky rice.


Diana Chan is exploring the many dishes of Asia within Australia in the brand-new series, Asia Unplated with Diana Chan.