Cambodian Grilled Pork with Pickled Vegetables (Bai Sach Chrouk)

Serves     4


I’ve used country-style boneless pork ribs for this dish, but pork shoulder will work as well. The ribs come in manageable pieces, you’ll have to further cut them into half-inch slices. If you use a whole chunk of pork shoulder or butt, you’ll cut the meat into half-inch slices, but you may have to further cut them lengthwise if the slices are too wide.


For a vegetarian version of this dish I would imagine you could substitute tofu for the pork and it would be delicious. Just cut the tofu into sticks, marinate, and bake in the oven, turning over once, until the tofu caramelizes and starts to sizzle.


I like to use a short grain white rice for serving with this dish, as it sticks together well and makes the whole thing easy to eat.



For the Pork

1 cup coconut milk

3 cloves garlic, crushed

3 tbsp. palm sugar (the equivalent of one disc, melted), or brown sugar

3 tbsp. soy sauce

2 tbsp. fish sauce

Juice of 1 lime

Freshly ground black pepper

1 lb. boneless country style pork ribs, or boneless pork shoulder, thinly sliced, about ½” thick

Cilantro leaves for garnish


For the Pickled Vegetables

½ cup rice vinegar

¼ cup sugar

1 tbsp. salt

splash of fish sauce

2 mini Persian cucumbers, about 5 oz.

1 chunk daikon radish, about 4 oz., or substitute regular radishes

1 medium carrot

3 garlic cloves, smashed

1 birds eye chile, sliced fine

1 red fresno chile, sliced fine


For the Pork

Combine all the marinade ingredients in a bowl and add the pork strips. Marinate for one hour, or as long as overnight.

Remove the meat from the marinade and save it. Grill the pork in a grill pan on top of the stove, or broil it, turning once until you can see grill marks and it looks like the meat is beginning to caramelize.

Bring the marinade to a boil and boil for at least a minute to make the reduction safe to eat, add a splash of water if it is boiling away too fast.

Cut the meat into thin strips and serve with rice and pickled vegetables. Pour the sauce over the meat and garnish with cilantro leaves.


For the Pickled Vegetables

Into a small saucepan add vinegar, sugar, salt, and fish sauce, bring to a simmer, or until the sugar is dissolved, let the vinegar cool. Slice the cucumbers, radish, and carrot into julienne strips. Combine the vegetables, garlic and chiles in a bowl. Pour marinade over. Place the vegetables in a jar to marinate for at least 30 minutes, or overnight.


Notes and Instructions

Recipe adapted from: Cambodian Cooking, by Joannès Rivière

Photo credit: Megan McElroy