Moo Ping is a Grilled Thai Pork Skewer that's marinated in a savory and sweet sauce and cooked over an open flame or grill.
In Thai 'moo' means pork and 'ping' means to grill over fire. Moo ping is a popular Thai street food dish since they are easy to eat on the go. They can be eaten as an appetizer or with Thai Sticky Rice.
These grilled pork skewers look similar to Thai Satay, but they have a different marinade and are not eaten with peanut sauce.
The preparation for moo ping does take some time and requires the pork to be marinated overnight for best results, or at least for a few hours.
Preparing the Pork
I'm using a bone-in pork shoulder that has been sliced into steaks. If you can't find it sliced, used a whole pork shoulder. If there is a boneless option, I would choose that one since it will be easier to slice.
Slice the pork into long strips with the grain, then short 1or 2 inch pieces against the grain. The thickness should be about ¼ inch.
When you skewer the pork, the grain should be horizontal to the skewer for an easier bite.
The grain on the pork will change directions on the different parts of the pork, just do the best you can to get similar size pieces.
Once you are done slicing the pork, if using a bone-in shoulder, save the bones in a freezer-safe bag for when you want to make a soup or stock.
Add the pork to a large bowl and combine with oil and salt. Set aside while you prepare the marinade.
Preparing the Marinade
For the marinade I'm using a mortar and pestle which is the same as a molcajete. If you don't have a one, a food chopper works or use a knife to finely chop the ingredients.
Here's a quick list of the marinade ingredients, see the recipe below for amounts and instructions.
- Cilantro stems
- Palm Sugar
- Black and White pepper
- Dark Sweet Soy Sauce
- Golden Mountain Sauce
- Coconut Milk
- Club Soda
Pound the garlic and cilantro stems in the mortar or molcajete until a paste forms.
The palm sugar is a hard disc that you'll need to shave down to make it easier to dissolve. You can also substitute ground coconut sugar.
Add the sugar to the garlic cilantro paste and pound to mix and dissolve the sugar. I also added some of the club soda to get things going.
Transfer the mixture to a small bowl, add the ground black and white pepper, and both soy sauces. Mix with a whisk or fork to combine.
Marinating the Pork
Add the marinade mixture to the sliced pork. I recommend using gloves to prevent your hands from smelling like the marinade.
Then add the remaining amount of club soda and mix it in with your hands. The last part is the coconut milk. Add that in and combine with your hands.
Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight for best results. Otherwise you can marinate it for a few hours if you are short on time.
Skewering the Pork
Start by soaking bamboo skewers in water for 20 minutes. I also recommend wearing gloves for this process as well.
If using a charcoal or pellet grill, get it started now.
Remove the skewers from the water and have an empty dish ready to place the skewered pork.
Thread each piece of pork with the grain running horizontal (perpendicular) to the skewer. I got about 5 pieces of pork on each skewer, make sure they are close together.
Once all the pork is skewered reserve the remaining marinade in a cup to baste the moo ping during grilling.
Grilling the Pork
Traditionally Moo Ping is grilled quickly over an open flame. I wanted to test both indirect heat and direct flame methods.
I know pellet grillers are pretty popular, so I can confidently say that the Moo Ping can be cooked on a gas, charcoal, or pellet grill.
Direct Flame Method- This is for both charcoal and gas grills. Place the pork skewer over the direct flame. The cooking time for this method is about 15-20 minutes but requires you to keep an eye on the skewers.
After a few minutes flip the skewers over and start basting the grilled side. Wait a few more minutes and repeat on the other side.
Indirect Heat Method- This method is a little more hands off, and the total cooking time is about 30-40 minutes. After 10 minutes, flip the skewers and baste, then repeat after 10 minutes.
Frequently Asked Questions
While it's not traditional, you can still cook moo ping without a grill. One option is to use a cast iron grill pan on the stove. This will give you similar grill marks.
The second option is to use an oven at 350°F and place the skewers on a slotted baking tray. Bake for 40 minutes or until pork is done.
Reserve the leftover marinade and use that to baste the moo ping while they are grilling.
While it makes it easier to grill and eat on the skewer, you can also save time by grilling the pork on a grill tray instead.
How to Serve and Store
Moo Ping is best served right after cooking them. You can also keep them warm by wrapping the skewers in foil and placing them in the oven with a 'keep warm' setting.
Serve the grilled Thai pork skewers as an appetizer or as a meal with Sticky Rice and Thai Papaya Salad.
Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can also remove the pork from the skewers for easy storage.
Moo Ping Recipe
- 10 Garlic Cloves (peeled)
- 10 Cilantro Stems (stems only and rough chopped)
- 87 grams Palm Sugar (or 6 tablespoons coconut or brown sugar)
- 8 ounce Club Soda
- ¼ cup Golden Mountain Soy Sauce
- 2 tablespoon Dark Sweet Soy Sauce
- 1 teaspoon Black Pepper
- ½ teaspoon White Pepper
- 8 ounce Coconut Milk (shake it to prevent any clumps)
- Slice the pork into long strips with the grain, then short 1 inch pieces against the grain. The thickness should be about ¼ inch.
- Place all the sliced pork in a large bowl. Add oil, salt, and combine.
- In a mortar or molcajete add peeled garlic cloves and chopped cilantro stems. Pound until a paste forms. If using a knife, chop the garlic and cilantro very finely and use the side of the knife to press down and make a paste.
- Shave down the palm sugar with a knife and add it to the mortar with the cilantro garlic paste. Add a splash of the club soda and continue pounding until the sugar dissolves. Alternatively, you can use ground coconut sugar.
- Transfer the mixture to a small bowl. Add the ground black and white pepper, and both soy sauces. Mix with a whisk or fork to combine.
- Using gloves, add the marinade mixture to the sliced pork. Then add the remaining amount of club soda and mix it in with your hands. Now add the coconut milk and combine.
- Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator overnight for best results. Otherwise, you can marinate it for a few hours if you are short on time.
- Start by soaking bamboo skewers in water for 20 minutes. If using a charcoal or pellet grill, get it ready now.
- Thread each piece of pork with the grain running horizontally to the skewer. Make sure the pork pieces are close together. I was able to get about 5 pieces on each skewer.
- Once all the pork is skewered reserve the remaining marinade in a cup to baste the moo ping during grilling.
- Direct Flame Method- This is for both charcoal and gas grills. Place the pork skewer over the direct flame. The cooking time for this method is about 15-20 minutes but requires you to keep an eye on the skewers. Baste the skewers after flipping and continue after a few minutes on the other side. Once both sides are cooked, remove the skewers from the grill.
- Indirect Heat Method- This method is a little more hands-off, and the total cooking time is about 30-40 minutes. After 10 minutes, flip the skewers and baste, then repeat after 10 minutes.
- Serve the Moo Ping warm, or wrap in foil to keep warm until ready to serve.
Nutritional information is provided as an estimate only and depends on ingredients and amounts used. Thai Caliente makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.
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