Moo Ping Thai grilled pork skewers are a popular street food in Thailand. It has amazing flavors from grilled pork marinated in aromatic herbs, spices, and Thai sauces. The sweet, umami, and salty flavor make it a summer favorite appetizer! Be ready to get addicted to this famous street food!
For more grilled Thai food, check out this Thai grilled garlic shrimp, the popular Moo Ping recipe, Chicken Satay, and Bacon-wrapped Enoki mushrooms. They are the perfect summer food to try out this summer!
- Moo Ping-Thailand's ultimate street food!
- More Thai street food to pair with Moo Ping
- Why this recipe works
- Ingredients for making authentic Moo Ping
- How to make Moo Ping
- Helpful Kitchen Notes and Tips
- The best cuts of pork for Moo Ping
- Helpful tools for making Moo Ping
- More Thai Sauces to serve with Moo Ping
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Thai Grilled Pork (Moo Ping)
Moo Ping-Thailand's ultimate street food!
Moo Ping is the ultimate street food found all over Thailand. You'll see at least one moo ping vendor cooking away grilled pork on hot coals at any night markets, festivals, and big or small events.
I know something's wrong if I don't see Moo Ping vendors serving up freshly grilled pork skewers with warm sticky rice on the streets of Bangkok within 24 hours of being back. (: It's that common and delightfully so!
More Thai street food to pair with Moo Ping
Want more delicious grilled Thai food? Check out this new family recipe of bacon-wrapped Enoki mushrooms, authentic Thai chicken satay with a 5-minute satay sauce. Also, check out these light and fresh recipes: Easy Thai beef salad, Vietnamese fresh spring rolls, and glass noodle salad with chicken.
Why this recipe works
- It's delicious! This popular Thai street food is famous for a reason. It has a lot of flavor and is super addicting!
- This is a great recipe to try out in the summer. So light and perfect for a warm day.
- It’s perfect for graduation parties, summer BBQs, birthdays, dinners with friends, etc.
- Mu Ping can be made ahead of time and placed in the freezer for up to 3 months, then thawed out for grilling later.
Ingredients for making authentic Moo Ping
- Pork. The main ingredient. Use the more fatty cut for this recipe. See below for the best pork cut suggestions.
- Coconut milk. Use Unsweetened coconut cream or milk. Either will work through the cream and add a sweet creaminess to the recipe.
- Palm Sugar. Use white or brown sugar as sweeteners. Honey or agave works too!
- Coriander seeds. It adds a light citrusy taste to the marinade. These can be found at your Asian grocery store.
- Cilantro stems. If you can find cilantro with roots, use 2 large roots instead of the stems. It will intensify the flavors even more! They are sometimes called coriander roots.
- Garlic. Be generous with the garlic cloves in the marinade. Adds 1-2 extra cloves of garlic if you love garlic. It intensifies the flavors!
- Ground white pepper. Black pepper works too, but for the authentic flavor, use white pepper.
- Tapioca Starch. Helps tenderizes the meat for the velvety taste.
- Salt. Just a dash of salt to balance out the sweetness.
- Oyster sauce. This is where the umami flavors come from. Don't skip it. (;
- Dark or black soy sauce. It adds a dark brown color to the meat. It has a slightly smoky flavor with a taste of well-cooked caramelized sugar.
- Sweet soy sauce. For adding sweetness as well as the brown color of the meat.
- Light soy sauce. Thai brands are best for this recipe, but soy sauce should be fine. Modify with or less as necessary before marinating.
The spicy sauce
- 2-3 tablespoons chili flakes
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1 ½ tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1 sprig of fresh cilantro, finely minced
Combine the dipping sauce ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together until the sugar dissolves.
How to make Moo Ping
Step 1. Always soak the skewers in water for at least 30 minutes before use to prevent them from getting burnt on the grill. You can do this while preparing the ingredients.
Step 2. Combine the garlic, cilantro stems, coriander seeds, palm sugar, coconut milk, and all the sauces in a food processor. (Not the dipping sauce ingredients.) Taste the mixture and adjust with more sweet dark soy sauce or fish sauce. You want your sauce to taste stronger, as some will evaporate in grilling.
Step 3. You should have a thick brown velvety sauce for your Moo Ping! Slice the marinated pork into thin small pieces around 11/2 inch by 3 inches, then pour the sauce into a ziplock bag with the sliced meat. Marinate the meat for a minimum of 30 minutes and up to 5 hours in the refrigerator. A large bowl is great, too, for marinating.
Step 4. Remove the meat from the refrigerator and thread the pieces of pork through the skewers. Slightly bunch up the meat together to help hold the meat together tighter for the grill. Do not throw away the marinating sauce! This is your secret liquid gold for the extra tender and flavorful Moo Ping!
Step 5. Turn the grill to medium heat to warm up. Brush each side of the meat skewers with the leftover marinading sauce and some oil before placing the skewers on the hot grill. I left my cover open the entire time to make sure the meat didn't burn. Cook the meat on the grill on medium heat for 3-4 minutes on each side.
Step 6. Use a cooking brush to alternate brushing the coconut milk and the marinating sauce on each side of the skewers as you flip them on the grill. Repeat a couple of times if the pork pieces look dry. Adjust the heat if necessary, especially towards the end of the grilling, as the meat will cook and char easily.
That’s it! Your skewers are ready! Trim off the blacked pieces if you get some on the thinner parts of the meat.
Helpful Kitchen Notes and Tips
- If using smaller pieces of pork, cut down on the grilling time to prevent burn.
- If using coconut cream in the marinating sauce, use only ⅓ cup instead of ½ cup. The coconut cream is richer and will add an extra layer of creaminess and sweetness that could interfere with the seasoning. Unless you love how it tastes, use more coconut cream.
- Use whole white peppercorns and grind the seeds in a spice grinder if possible. The freshness of ground-up seeds is of no equal! Black peppercorns work ok as substitutes.
The best cuts of pork for Moo Ping
- Pork shoulder. The best option since it's the most common cut of meat, and it has a combination of meat and fat, making it perfect for grilling.
- Pork butt. Another great cut for grilling.
- Pork neck and pork loin. Though not recommended for this recipe as they are too lean.
- Beef is an ok substitute, but it won't be called Moo Ping anymore since this recipe is all about pork. Choose the more fatty cut of beef for this recipe.
- Lean protein. The lean protein is a bit tricky with this recipe. Chicken, tofu, and beef can work, but add extra oil.
- Use a griddle. Instead of grilling, you can cook Moo Ping on a griddle pan indoors for this delicious meal any time of the year.
- Baking in the oven is also an option. Bake at 375 degrees Fareinheight for 8-10 minutes.
- The air fryer is also another option for this recipe. The shape of the skewers may not fit, so it's ok not to use skewers in the air fryer. Use cooking oil to spray on the meat before cooking. Cook at 375 degrees Fareinheight for 8-10 minutes.
Helpful tools for making Moo Ping
More Thai Sauces to serve with Moo Ping
Frequently Asked Questions
Moo Ping or Mu Ping is the same but with different spellings. It is pronounced like it is spelled with emphasis on the "Ping" sound being on the higher pitch in Thai.
Moo Ping always uses pork as the meat in the recipe. Moo in Thai means pork or pig; to use other types of meat, it would no longer be called Moo Ping. Although other types of meat are used for this recipe, they are called by different names according to the type used.
In the Thai language, Moo means pig or pork, and Ping means to grill. So it's grilled pork and usually is cooked on skewers on a charcoal grill by street vendors in Thailand as they are easier to carry and eat on the go.
Moo Yang and Moo Ping are almost the same thing. They are both referring to Thai pork skewers. Moo means pork, and Ping or Yang means to grill. To Yang meat is to grill the meat more slowly, while to Ping is to have the meat cooked quickly on high heat. The meat for Ping (quick grilling) is usually cut smaller for quick cook on high heat, while meat for Yang (slow grilling) is larger cuts of meat for a slow and low grilling technique.
More Thai Recipes you'll love
- Bacon-wrapped grilled Enoki mushrooms
- Chicken satay
- 5-minute satay sauce
- Homemade Thai sweet dipping sauce
- Som Tam, Thai green papaya salad
- Kaffir lime leaves and substitute
- Thai sticky rice
- Basil fried rice with chicken
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