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Moo Manao (Garlic Lime Pork Tenderloin Recipe)

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Moo manao, also called lime pork, is everything you crave in a Thai salad. It’s tangy, spicy, sweet, and umami, and the crunch from the white cabbage is the perfect contrast. This bright, refreshing dish is a total win for a light dinner or easy lunch.

Moo manao Thai pork salad with fresh lime slices, cilantro, and chili on a bed of shredded cabbage in a white dish.

What is moo manao

Moo manao (หมูมะนาว) is a refreshing Thai salad featuring tender pork slices tossed with garlic and chilies, dressed in a zesty lime and umami-rich fish sauce dressing.

Chili lime pork tenderloin

This refreshing pork salad is an easy-to-make dish perfect for summer and any time of the year! Tender slices of pork are marinated in a zesty chili-lime mixture that’s both spicy and refreshing.

With little prep time, this spicy garlic lime pork dish is all about big flavors with minimum effort. Just toss your salad right before serving.

Close-up of moo manao, a traditional Thai pork salad, garnished with fresh lime wedges, chili, and cilantro on crisp cabbage.

It’s perfect for lazy days when you want something delicious without spending hours in the kitchen.

The key is the easy homemade dressing. A simple mix of Southeast Asian pantry staples – fish sauce, lime juice, chilies, and sugar. Feel free to add Thai chili flakes for a little bit of extra heat.

Garlic lime pork tenderloin salad with cilantro, chili, and lime on a bed of shredded cabbage in a white dish.

It’s a flexible salad that can be served on its own or on a bed of fresh greens like lettuce wraps. Serve it up at your next family dinner or an outdoor gathering, it’s guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser!

Why try this Thai lime pork salad

  • Simple and straightforward: This healthy Thai salad shines for its simplicity. No complex steps or difficult instructions here, it’s perfect for cooks of all levels. You’ll love how easy it is!
  • Healthy and refreshing: This easy salad is the perfect choice for a nutritious, refreshing meal. It’s perfect for keeping things light and refreshing. For a leaner option, feel free to swap pork for chicken.
  • Great with a cold beer: In Thailand, this pork salad is famously paired with beer, making it perfect for those evenings you want to relax with a bit of alcohol.
  • Ideal for any occasion: A summer barbecue, a family dinner, a low-kcal salad lunch, this recipe fits right in.
  • Better than take-out!

Ingredients

Ingredients can be sourced at Asian grocery stores and Asian markets.
The exact measurements are in the recipe card at the end of this post.


Top-view of recipe ingredients with tender pork slices, chilies, shredded cabbage, coriander, and seasonings with lime, fish sauce, sugar, and salt.
  • Pork – Pork tenderloin is lean yet tender, perfect for absorbing the lime and chili flavors. Sprinkling the pork with sugar is key for a juicy and tender bite. If using steak or loin, make sure to slice against the grain and avoid overcooking.
  • White sugar – Sugar draws moisture out of the meat, which then gets reabsorbed, making the meat more tender.
  • Fish sauce – Fish sauce, a key ingredient in Thai cuisine, brings umami and a salty depth.
  • Coriander
  • Chilies – Thai Jinda chilies, homegrown in our garden, add a spicy kick. For those who prefer a milder flavor, any mild chili variety can be used.
  • Garlic – A key ingredient for its aromatic and pungent flavor.
  • Lime – White sugar is crucial for tenderizing the pork. It draws out moisture, which is then reabsorbed, resulting in incredibly tender meat. The sugar also balances the heat from the chilies and the sourness from the lime.
  • White cabbage – Crunchy white cabbage adds texture and freshness.

Cooking instructions

Step-by-step preparation of moo manao showing seasoned pork, fresh vegetables, and the stir-frying and salad tossing process.

1. Begin by seasoning pork slices with salt to extract moisture, ensuring it is tender when cooked. Let rest in your fridge for 30 minutes.

2. Prepare the vegetables. Shred the cabbage thinly and chop the chilies and garlic.

3. Heat a pan over medium heat and add the seasoned pork slices with water. Cook until they are cooked through, stirring occasionally.

4. Once the pork is cooked, transfer to a mixing bowl, removing any excess water. Add the chopped chilies, garlic, coriander, lime, white sugar, and fish sauce to the bowl. Toss and mix thoroughly.

5. Lay out the shredded cabbage on a serving plate, creating a bed for the pork. Top the cabbage with the freshly tossed pork and serve immediately.

Kitchen tools

  • Flat dish for sprinkling the pork with sugar, which draws out moisture.
  • Small cooking pot with stirring spoon for cooking the pork.
  • Cutting board and chef’s knife
  • Measuring spoons and cups

How to serve

Serve this garlic lime pork tenderloin with rice or on its own over a bed of chopped cabbage as a light dinner option. Alternatively, serve in lettuce wraps as a low-kcal snack.

Pair this lime pork salad with a cold beer or a glass of alcohol, as it’s popular drinking food in Thailand.

Optional garnishes

  • Fresh vegetables: Add a side of fresh veggies like carrots, cucumbers, celery, tomatoes, etc.
  • Thai chili flakes: For those who love a bit of extra heat.
  • Lime wedges: For extra tangy flavor.
  • Fresh herbs: Sprinkle chopped mint, coriander, or cilantro over the pork.

More Thai pork salad recipes you’ll love

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Moo Manao (Garlic Lime Pork Tenderloin Recipe)

Authentic moo manao Thai salad with pork, shredded cabbage, fresh lime, and spicy chili garnish in a white dish.
Try this delicious Thai salad moo manao, with garlic and pork tenderloin tossed in a spicy, zesty sauce.
Praew
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Resting Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Cuisine Thai
Course Salad
Serving Size 3 people

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 14.5 ounces pork tenderloin, sliced thinly
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 5 chilies to taste, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 0.1 ounces coriander
  • 3.5 ounces white cabbage chopped

Instructions

  • Begin by sprinkling salt over the pork slices for extracting moisture, ensuring it is tender when cooked. Let rest in your fridge for 30 minutes.
  • Prepare the vegetables. Shred the cabbage thinly and chop the chilies and garlic.
  • Heat a pan over medium heat and add the seasoned pork slices with water. Cook until they are cooked through, stirring occasionally.
  • Once the pork is cooked, transfer to a mixing bowl, removing any excess water. Add the chopped chilies, garlic, coriander, lime, white sugar, and fish sauce to the bowl. Toss and mix thoroughly.
  • Lay out the shredded cabbage on a serving plate, creating a bed for the pork. Top the cabbage with the freshly tossed pork and serve immediately.

Notes

  • Use the nutrition card in this recipe as a guideline.
  • Sprinkling the pork with sugar is key for a juicy and tender bite.

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