Thai Style Grilled Pork Neck

About the author: Born in Shanghai and raised in New Mexico, Chichi Wang currently resides in Manhattan, where she divides her time between writing, cooking, and tracking down the best noodles in the city. Visit her blog, Mostly Tripe.

Note: Dried tamarind comes in sticky blocks and can be found at most Asian markets.

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Thai Style Grilled Pork Neck

About This Recipe

Yield:four to six
Active time:30 minutes
Total time:30 minutes, plus overnight marination
Special equipment:3 quart saute pan, grill, or cast iron skillet
This recipe appears in: The Nasty Bits: Grilled Pork Neck, Thai Style


  • 1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon fish sauce, divided
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar, divided
  • 1 tablespoon juice from one lime
  • 3 pounds pork neck, belly, or shoulder, cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 4 ounces dried tamarind (see note above)
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1 bird's eye chili, thinly sliced


  1. 1

    In a small mixing bowl, combine 1/4 cup fish sauce, soy sauce, 3 tablespoons brown sugar, and lime juice. Place pork neck in a nonreactive container, then pour in all the marinade and mix to distribute evenly. Cover, refrigerate, and allow to marinate at least overnight and up to 2 days.

  2. 2

    Slice tamarind into a few pieces. Place the pieces in a small bowl and add 1 cup boiling water. Let soak for 20 minutes, then mash the tamarind with your fingers. Pour the mash and its liquid into a strainer placed over an empty bowl. Press down on the tamarind pulp with your fingers until only the seeds and fiber are left in the strainer. Discard the contents of the strainer. Add remaining fish sauce and sugar along with sliced chilis and mix to combine. Set aside.

  3. 3

    Remove the pork from marinade and pat dry with a paper towel. Grill the pieces of pork over indirect heat in a covered grill, until meat is tender and the surface is charred, about 45 minutes. Alternatively, place pork on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet, cover with foil, and roast in a pre-heated 350°F oven until tender and charred, about 45 minutes. Let rest 20 minutes, then slice and serve with tamarind sauce.


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