In this exciting low carb Thai recipe we take grilled pork and treat it more or less exactly as you might treat lettuce, slicing it thin and tossing it in a bowl with dressing and toppings. A meat salad: why not? This recipe is a hit at Los Angeles hotspot Night + Market, where it’s called Moo Sadong, or “Startled Pork,” suggesting that the pig itself is shocked at the intense flavors surrounding it. Spicy, tangy, funky, punchy, it’s a classic Thai explosion of tastes.
Use the fattiest pork chops you can find – or even better, boneless pork shoulder chops. Grilling adds the perfect smoky touch to the dish, but searing or broiling in a pan is a fine substitution.
This dish serves four as a side dish or appetizer but you can easily increase the portions to have it as a main course. I’ve removed the sugar from the original recipe, and streamlined the process. The original recipe is quite sweet, and you can add some sweetener to the dressing, but I don’t think it’s necessary.
(Recipe adapted from Night + Market, by Kris Yenbamroong)
- 16oz fatty boneless pork chops
- 1 large shallot
- 2” lemongrass stalk, sliced very thin
- 1-2 small chilies, as spicy as you can handle
- ½ bunch cilantro
- ½ cup basil leaves (Thai basil if possible)
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 tablespoons avocado or other neutral oil
- 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
- 1 teaspoon preferred sweetener (optional)
- Cut the shallot in half and divide. Cut the stems off the cilantro and reserve.
- Combine half shallot and cilantro stems with garlic, fish sauce, lime juice, oil, dry chili and optional sweetener in a blender. Blend into a smooth dressing.
- Salt pork and grill or sear over very high heat to develop a flavorful char. Pork cooked to the recommended temperature of 145°F will still be slightly pink inside. Let pork rest.
- Meanwhile, slice remaining half shallot, chilies and lemongrass as thin as possible.
- Roughly chop cilantro leaves. Roughly tear basil leaves.
- Slice pork as thin as possible. Combine in a mixing bowl with all remaining ingredients: shallot, lemongrass, chilies, basil, cilantro, and dressing. Massage the dressing into the meat and serve on one large plate to share.