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Moo Yang Recipe (Thai Grilled Pork)

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This moo yang recipe makes the most delicious Thai grilled pork you’ve ever tasted! In this versatile recipe, you can choose from pork neck, shoulders, and other cuts. Whichever cut you prefer, when the meat sizzles on the charcoal grill, you won’t be able to resist the aroma of the authentic Thai pork marinade.

Kor moo yang, Thai grilled pork, served with moo yang sauce.

If you love grilled meat as much as I do, then you’ll definitely want to try moo ping and Thai pork chops later! You can easily throw them on the grill during your next summer BBQ.

In Thailand, we really enjoy combining all these delicious BBQ pork dishes with Thai sticky rice, also known as khao niao. Don’t forget to include a side of fresh vegetables and nam jim jaew dipping sauce when serving.

You can read on to find all the insider information to get the most out of this Thai pork recipe. If you’re familiar with Thai flavors and already experienced in Thai cooking, you can jump straight to the instructions below and start grilling!

What is moo yang

Moo yang, also known as Thai grilled pork, is a Thai dish that originated in Isan, the northeastern part of Thailand. It’s often made with pork neck, which is marinated with aromatic herbs, spices, and seasonings, and then traditionally grilled over charcoal.


In Thai, moo means pork and yang translates to grilling.

Kor moo yang (คอหมูย่าง)

The traditional cut for this recipe is pork neck meat. When prepared with pig neck, the dish is known as kor moo yang (คอหมูย่าง), where kor moo specifically refers to the pork neck.

Reflecting on my time in Belgium, where I worked in Thai restaurants for many years, I know pork neck can be hard to find in the West. That’s why this recipe is designed to show you how other pork cuts can still yield a delicious meal, as long as the Thai pork marinade is spot on!

Two more writing styles for this Thai pork neck recipe are ko moo yang and khor moo yang.

About this Thai grilled pork recipe

As previously mentioned, this dish originates from Isan, the rural area of Thailand. Isan cuisine is known for its grilling, spicy Thai salads, and the liberal use of bold seasonings and spices. This Thai BBQ pork recipe is a prime example of the delicious flavors from Isan.

One of my grandfather’s favorite dishes is this Thai grilled pork. He has lived in Isan since birth and has perfected the art of making this street food over the years. This is his authentic moo yang recipe, and I am absolutely convinced it’s the best you’ll find.

Moo yang, Thai grilled pork, served with dipping sauce, Thai sticky rice, and papaya salad.

The best thing about kor moo yang is how easy it is. The pork is first marinated in a Thai marinade sauce made from traditional Thai ingredients. After resting, the marinated pork meets the charcoal grill, giving it a smoky aroma, a charred crust, and a tenderness that practically melts in your mouth. (Well, not like ice cream melt, but you get the idea!)

Thai pork marinade

I’ve made a sweet and umami-rich marinade sauce using golden mountain sauce, oyster sauce, palm sugar, coriander seeds, coriander root, and garlic, with just a touch of fresh milk to bring a hint of creaminess.

Kor moo yang sauce served with Thai grilled pork neck slices.
This recipe also includes a tasty kor moo yang sauce!

You’ll need a traditional mortar and pestle or food processor to create the spice mixture. Mixing up the marinade is flexible; you can either combine the ingredients directly in your mortar or toss them into a ziplock bag to shake things up.

Like most Thai recipes, the flavors are incredibly versatile. Don’t hesitate to adjust the flavors of the marinade to taste. Feel free to add dark soy sauce, black or white pepper, or a dash of fish sauce to customize to your liking!

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.


Ingredients for moo yang recipe labeled; milk, palm sugar, oyster sauce, golden mountain sauce, garlic, coriander root, coriander seeds, and pork.

Thai pork marinade

  • Pork – Pork neck (kor moo) is the traditional choice for this moo yang recipe. Pork neck is great for grilling because it has lean meat, a bit of juicy fat, and not too much muscle. Good pork neck substitutes are pork shoulder, butt, collar, or loin – though be careful not to overcook the pork loin. Pork chops and ribeye also make fantastic options for grilling.
  • Milk – Tenderizes the meat and adds a subtle creamy flavor to the Thai-style marinade.
  • Palm sugarPalm sugar is a natural sweetener that’s popular in Thai cuisine for its caramel-like sweetness disctinct from white and brown sugar.
  • Oyster sauceOyster sauce is a thick, savory sauce made from oyster extracts, perfect for adding a rich, umami depth to stir-fries, marinades, and other Thai food.
  • Golden mountain seasoning sauceGolden mountain sauce is a type of Thai soy sauce with a rich savory flavor.
  • Coriander seeds, coriander root, garlic – This is a typical trio of spices that’s often used in Thai marinades.

Kor moo yang sauce (optional)

How to grill Thai pork neck

We begin by preparing the marinade sauce, and then we’ll coat the pork and let it rest. Finally, we’ll grill the pork until it’s perfectly cooked and tender. I added a tasty kor moo yang sauce, this is optional.

  1. Thai pork marinade

    Crushed spices in granite mortar.

    Step 1: Crush the spice mix (garlic, coriander seeds, and coriander root) with a granite mortar and pestle.

  2. Thai pork marinade sauce in a granite mortar.

    Step 2: Add palm sugar, golden mountain sauce, oyster sauce, and fresh milk, and stir everything into one sauce.

  3. Thai marinated pork in a glass bowl.

    Step 3: Transfer the marinade sauce to a large mixing bowl, add pork, and thoroughly coat it with the marinade. Let it rest for at least 4 hours in the fridge or overnight for the best flavor.

  4. Grilling pork

    Moo yang grilling over charcoal.

    Step 4: Grill your Thai marinated pork over charcoal until thoroughly and evenly cooked through, with a charred crust and tender meat. The grilling time depends on the thickness of your meat and the heat of the charcoal. Occasionally flip to prevent burning.

  5. Step 5: Let the grilled meat rest for a few minutes to redistribute the juices, and then slice it thinly. Serve immediately with rice and the optional dipping sauce.

  6. Kor moo yang sauce

    Kor moo yang sauce prepared in a sauce cup.

    Put fish sauce, fresh lime juice, white sugar, dried chili flakes, and toasted rice powder into a bowl. Stir them gently with a spoon until everything is mixed well. Add some coriander or freshly chopped green onions for garnish. Let it sit for 5 minutes to let the flavors blend together.

Kitchenware

  1. Thai mortar and pestle or food processor (for crushing spices)
  2. Large mixing bowl (for marinating)
  3. Tongs (for flipping and handling the pork)
  4. Charcoal grill or non-stick grilling pan

Tips for grilling pork

  • Let It Rest: After grilling, let your pork rest for a few minutes before serving. This helps keep it juicy and flavorful.
  • Choose the Right Cut: Selecting a quality cut of pork, especially one with some marbling, ensures the meat stays tender and juicy.
  • Marinate Overnight: For the best flavor, let your pork marinate overnight. This gives the seasonings plenty of time to soak into the meat.
  • Use Charcoal: Grill your pork over charcoal if possible, to capture that authentic smoky flavor. If you don’t have a charcoal grill, a grilling pan works well too.
  • Prevent Sticking: Brush a little oil on the grill to keep the pork from sticking and make flipping easier.

How to serve

In Thailand, grilled meats like this are usually paired with spicy salads such as som tum Thai or a refreshing long bean salad. For an authentic Isan meal, serve it with Thai sticky rice or steamed jasmine rice and add fresh vegetables like cabbage, yard long beans, tomatoes, and crisp cucumber to round out your dish. And for a casual, tasty snack, enjoy your grilled pork with a cold beer.

Dipping sauce suggestions

To complete this moo yang recipe, serve it with nam jim jaew, a Thai chili dipping sauce. Alternatively, you can serve with Thai sweet chili sauce, or this sweet, spicy, and tangy tamarind dipping sauce.

How to store

Storing: Let the leftovers cool to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container. You can store it in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Freezing: Wrap individual portions tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Then, place them in a freezer-safe bag. They’ll keep well for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to use, thaw the frozen pork in the refrigerator first.

Reheating: You can briefly microwave your leftovers or toss it on the grill until it’s warmed through.

Fun fact

In Isan, sharing a single plate of food with many people, accompanied by a bamboo basket of sticky rice, is a common practice, especially when enjoying grilled meat like moo yang and nam tok moo. Meals here are more than just eating; they’re a gathering of friends and family, a cherished tradition that brings everyone closer together.

Frequently asked questions

What is the difference between moo yang and moo ping?

Moo yang refers to Thai grilled pork typically made from pork neck and grilled over charcoal, known for its smoky flavor. Moo ping is a street food dish, using skewered pork marinated in a sweeter sauce, often grilled quickly and served with sticky rice.

How do you say grilled pork in Thai?

Grilled pork in Thai is called moo yang (หมูย่าง). The word moo (หมู) means pork, and yang (ย่าง) means grilled. So, moo yang literally translates to grilled pork.

Is this recipe gluten-free?

While all the ingredients in the recipe are generally gluten-free, it’s important to double-check the labels on your palm sugar, milk, oyster sauce, and golden mountain sauce to make sure they are indeed gluten-free. Some brands might include additives or processing aids that contain gluten.

Can I make this in advance?

Yes. You can marinate the pork in advance and grill it just before you’re ready to serve.

Authentic Thai Pork Recipes

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Moo Yang Recipe (Thai Grilled Pork)

Kor moo yang, Thai grilled pork, served with moo yang sauce.
This authentic Moo Yang recipe delivers the most irresistible Thai grilled pork you've ever tasted, with a tasty marinade and dipping sauce.
Praew
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Cuisine Thai
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Serving Size 4 people

Ingredients

  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 0.5 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 2 coriander root
  • 0.5 tablespoons palm sugar
  • 1 tablespoon golden mountain sauce
  • 1.5 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 700 g pork (see notes)

Kor moo yang sauce

  • 1/2 lime
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 0.5 tablespoon chili flakes
  • 0.5 tablespoon toasted rice powder see notes

Instructions

  • Crush the spice mix (garlic, coriander seeds, and coriander root) with a granite mortar and pestle.
    3 cloves garlic, 0.5 teaspoon coriander seeds, 2 coriander root
  • Add palm sugar, golden mountain sauce, oyster sauce, and fresh milk, and stir everything into one sauce.
    0.5 tablespoons palm sugar, 1 tablespoon golden mountain sauce, 1.5 tablespoon oyster sauce, 3 tablespoons milk
  • Transfer the marinade sauce to a large mixing bowl, add pork, and thoroughly coat it with the marinade. Let it rest for at least 4 hours in the fridge or overnight for the best flavor.
    700 g pork
  • Grill your Thai marinated pork over charcoal until thoroughly and evenly cooked through, with a charred crust and tender meat. The grilling time depends on the thickness of your meat and the heat of the charcoal. Occasionally flip to prevent burning.
  • Let the grilled meat rest for a few minutes to redistribute the juices, and then slice it thinly. Serve immediately with rice and the optional dipping sauce.

Kor moo yang sauce

  • Put fish sauce, fresh lime juice, white sugar, dried chili flakes, and toasted rice powder into a bowl. Stir them gently with a spoon until everything is mixed well. Add some coriander or freshly chopped green onions for garnish. Let it sit for 5 minutes to let the flavors blend together.
    1/2 lime, 1 tablespoon fish sauce, 1 tablespoon white sugar, 0.5 tablespoon chili flakes, 0.5 tablespoon toasted rice powder

Notes

  • Use the nutrition card in this recipe as a guideline.
  • Pork – Pork neck (kor moo) is the traditional choice for this moo yang recipe. Good pork neck substitutes are pork shoulders, butt, collar, or loin – though be careful not to overcook the loin. Pork chops and ribeye also make fantastic options for grilling.
  • Toasted rice powder

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4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This is an easy and super good recipe. I found a pomelo in the supermarket and made a pomelo salad (yum som-o) to go with the pork.. yummy

5 from 3 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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