What is pork jowl and why should you love it?
Which part of the pig is the most flavorful? Well, pork shoulder is always a tasty treat either slow-cooked in a ragu or stir-fried with king oyster mushrooms. It provides just the right amount of hearty meat to fat ratio that makes it oh so delicious.
Then again, you can’t forget about pork belly. Who can resist that crackling on the crispy belly and all those tender layers of fat and meat? Needless to say, choosing my favorite cut of pork has always been a difficult decision for me.
That was all until recently when I started spotting this cut of meat in the pork section of my local grocery store. Pork jowls (aka, hog jowls or pork neck), are delicious cuts of meat taken from the head of the pig.
The reason for their deliciousness lies in the fact that they are especially fatty. All that fat makes them perfectly suited for curing and turning into guanciale (aka heavenly Italian bacon).
As I love all things bacon, it became imperative not only that I bought every bit of jowl that was being sold. Also important, coming up with a good recipe to showcase this beautiful piece of meat.
Thai Style Grilled Pork with dipping sauce
I love guanciale as much as the next gourmand and would jump at the chance of home curing my own meat. However, because I live in tropical, humid Malaysia, I have to postpone those dreams for later.
So when it came to cooking this delicious cut of meat, I reverted back to local flavors of lemongrass, fish sauce, garlic, and soy for this recipe. Not only is this a delicious combination of flavors but it is also how I first discovered this wonderful piece of meat-as grilled pork neck at one of my favorite Thai restaurants.
That grilled pork neck was always juicy, tender, salty, and sweet. It was always the first to be snapped up and created a frenzy amongst my fellow diners when placed on the table.
Since I don’t much like the idea of sharing such a tasty dish, I now make it at home and in bulk. Why is that, you may ask? The answer is because even in my own home surrounded by my loved ones, I still have to compete for my fair share. Good thing I have this tasty recipe!
Pork jowl (aka neck) marinated overnight in lemongrass, garlic, soy, and brown sugar then grilled. This pork recipe will get you salivating! #pork #thai #easyrecipes
Thai Grilled Pork
- 500 g / 18 oz pork jowl (aka, pork neck)
- 6 cloves of garlic
- 5–6 long stalks of cilantro (without leaves)
- 2 tbsp chopped lemongrass
- 2 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 2 tbsp brown sugar or palm sugar
- pinch of sea salt
- 1/4 small red onion
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 red chile (optional)
- 5–6 fresh cilantro sprigs with leaves
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 1/2 tbsp brown sugar or palm sugar
- 1 1/2 tbsp lime juice
- 3 tbsp water
Thai Pork Jowl
- In a food processor or using a mortar and pestle, combine garlic, cilantro stalks, lemongrass, oyster sauce, soy sauce, black peppercorns, brown or palm sugar, and salt. Blitz or pulverize until smooth.
- Cut the meat into strips about 2 inches (4.5 cm) thick. Pour marinade over pork jowl and make sure everything is evenly coated. Cover and let marinate in the fridge overnight.
- When ready to cook, take the pork out about 30-1 hour before cooking and allow it to warm up to room temperature before grilling them on a bbq or underneath the grill or broiler in the oven. Cook for about 5-7 minutes on each side or until the strips are firming up and the outside starts to crisp and caramelize.
- When finished grilling, remove from heat and rest on a plate on a plate for about 5 minutes before cutting into them. Cut at an angle and against the grain to get the best thin slices.
- In a food processor or using a mortar and pestle, combine all ingredients together and blitz or pulverize until smooth. Let sit for about 10-15 minutes to ensure all ingredients marry together then serve.
- Prep Time: 12 hours
- Cook Time: 14
- Category: Main, Pork
- Method: grilling
- Cuisine: Thai
Keywords: pork, pork neck, pork jowl, Thai, grilling, grilled, garlic, cilantro, lemongrass, brown sugar, dipping sauce, fish sauce, grilled pork, palm sugar
If you love this Thai grilled pork, try these equally delicious recipes:
Seafood Nam Prik Pao (Stir-Fried Seafood in Thai Chili Paste)
Pork Belly Slow-Cooked in Thai Chili Paste
Scrumptious Pork Shoulder and Mushroom Stir-fry
Thai Inspired Lemongrass Chicken Stir fry
Hoki poached in Thai Yellow Curry