Grilling season is here whether or not we can hold barbecues with our friends and family. Burgers, steaks, wings — those are all standard grilling recipes. If you’re looking to freshen up your grilling repertoire, look towards Southeast Asia.
Food writer Leela Punyaratabandhu’s new book, Flavors of the Southeast Asian Grill: Classic Recipes for Seafood and Meats Cooked Over Charcoal contains 60 recipes from Southeast Asian countries — like Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia — that will have your backyard smelling like a street food market.
Punyaratabandhu’s recipe for grilled pork shoulder uses Seville oranges to achieve a unique sourness that’s prevalent in Thai cooking. Seville oranges, called som sa in Thai, look and smell like standard Tropicana fare, but taste like a lime-orange hybrid. The combination of the bright citrus dressing with the smoky grilled pork shoulder creates a dish that’ll have your grill working overtime all summer long.
Grilled Pork Shoulder with Spicy Sour-Orange Glaze
• 3 pounds well-marbled boneless pork shoulder steaks, each about 1/2 inch thick
• 1/4 cup vegetable oil
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 tablespoon coarsely ground white or black pepper
• 3 tablespoons packed grated palm sugar or granulated coconut sugar, or 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
• 6 Seville orange zest strips, or 3 strips each lime zest and navel orange zest
• 3/4 cup fresh Seville orange juice, or 1/2 cup fresh lime juice and 1/4 cup fresh navel orange juice
• 1 tablespoon fish sauce
• As many fresh red bird’s eye chiles as you can handle, thinly sliced crosswise
• Cooked jasmine rice, for serving
1. Prick the pork all over with a fork. In a small bowl, stir together the oil, salt, pepper, and sugar until the sugar dissolves. Rub the oil mixture evenly into the pork. Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours.
2. Just before you grill the pork, make the dressing: Stack the citrus zest strips and cut into very thin strips. Transfer to a small bowl, add the orange juice, fish sauce, and chiles, and stir well. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed, aiming for sour first, then salty, and finally a little bit of sweet. Set aside.
3. Prepare a medium-high fire (400° to 450°F) in a charcoal grill using the two-zone method
4. When the coals are covered with white ash and the grate is hot, place the pork on the hot side of the grill and cook with the lid off, controlling the heat by moving the pork back and forth from the hot side to the hold side, until charred on the outside and the internal temperature registers 145°F. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 5 to 7 minutes.
5. Cut the pork against the grain into 1?2-inch-thick slices. Arrange the slices in a single layer on a platter. Pour the dressing over the pork. Serve with the rice.