Asian Pork Skewers

When we ordered our pig we got some truly tasty ground pork and I wanted to show it off with this rough adaptation of Adam Perry Lang’s Asian Pork Meatball Skewers from his book Serious Barbecue.

The Pork

1 pound ground pork
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon powdered ginger
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Sriracha Rooster sauce

Soak 4 flat, wooden skewers in water for an hour.

In a medium bowl, combine the pork, fish sauce, cilantro, garlic, hoisin, ginger, salt, pepper, and Sriracha. Work everything together by hand.

Divide the meat into 4 even portions. Form each portion into 4 or 5 meatball-ish lumps. Slide the lumps onto the skewer and then form them together into a long, thick kabob. Press the meat firmly onto the skewer.

Cover and stash in the fridge until you are ready to grill them.

The Sauce

1/2 cup fish sauce
Juice of 1 lime (about 1/4 cup)
4 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Sriracha Rooster sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil

Put the sugar and garlic in a food processor and pulse until the garlic is minced. Add the remaining ingredients and give them a whirl until they are well-combined. Set aside.

The Cook

Set your grill up for a direct cook over high (500°F) heat.

Grill skewers until browned and crispy, about 2-3 minutes per side.

Remove from grill and drizzle with a bit of the sauce. Serve with more sauce on the side.

The Verdict: ★★★★★
I served this over rice with a side of wokked green beans and it was a big hit. Sweet and spicy with a good amount of tang from the lime juice, a huge umami boost from the fish sauce, and a rich pork flavor.

I scaled this recipe back a bit, complexity-wise, from the original recipe. I may have to try it with the full Adam Perry Lang treatment, but these sure didn’t seam to be missing anything on flavor.

5 thoughts on “Asian Pork Skewers”

  1. Gonna mess with you here a little bit. Started out to try to learn a new word via Google. Unami: United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq. Oh-oh… Then it switched to: Umami /u??m??mi/, popularly referred to as savoriness, is one of the five basic tastes together with sweet, sour, bitter, and salty. Didn’t know there was a fifth taste! Various references to MSG are scary, but in the end I did learn something new! That one letter change made all the difference.

    By the way, these look absolutely super, and will be tried this weekend! Thanks!

  2. I have been putting off trying ground meat kabobs only because I lack flat bladed skewers, I really need to find some.

    Your simplified version sounds and looks great to me.

    1. I bought one package from Amazon, but then my dear wife got a bunch of them for me at T.J.Maxx (of all places) for a third of the price. I won’t go back to the round ones if i don’t have too. Although I might look at the flat metal versions.

  3. I tried this once with grond lamb, and even though I wasn’t crazy about the flavors in the recipe, thought the ground meat method was unique and easy. I will try it again with pork, sounds delicious.

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