Thai barbecued pork neck

Thai barbecued pork neck

Leanne Kitchen

We love pork neck (also sometimes confusingly called pork butt – but that’s another story) and so do the Thais. It’s an unctuous, slightly fatty cut, but fat means flavour and it also keeps the meat moist while cooking, so don’t trim too much off. Jaew in Thailand, or jeow in Laos, are ubiquitous dipping sauces, like the one here, which use dried red chillies instead of fresh. Often, toasted rice is also included. As with all dipping sauces, adjust the quantity of ingredients for balance or to your personal taste preference.


Quantity Ingredient
6 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
45g shaved palm sugar
2 tablespoons clear rice wine
1 kg piece pork neck, trimmed and cut into 1 cm slices
1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Dipping sauce

Quantity Ingredient
1 tablespoon sticky (glutinous) rice
2 lemongrass stems, finely chopped, white part only
6 red asian shallots, thinly sliced
60ml fish sauce
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon finely shaved palm sugar
60ml lime juice
3 teaspoons dried chilli flakes


  1. Combine the garlic, fish sauce, soy sauce, palm sugar and rice wine in a bowl and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Add the pork slices and toss to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and marinate for 8 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. For the dipping sauce, heat a small, non-stick frying pan over medium–low heat. Add the sticky rice and cook, shaking the pan often, for 6–7 minutes or until golden. Cool. Transfer to an electric spice grinder and grind to a coarse powder. Alternatively, use a mortar and pestle. Combine with the remaining ingredients in a bowl, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
  3. Drain the pork well, reserving the marinade.
  4. Preheat a barbecue or chargrill pan to medium–high and add 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the pork slices, in batches (using the extra oil if necessary), and cook, basting with the reserved marinade and turning once, for 4–5 minutes each side, or until cooked through. Season with freshly ground black pepper, if desired, and transfer to a platter. Cover loosely with foil to keep warm. Serve with the dipping sauce on the side.
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