Our Thai Pork Basil Skewers are the BEST grilled Thai street food on a stick. It's made with a vibrant turmeric marinade and served with a Prik Nam Pla sauce that will tantalize your taste buds.
The Other White Meat!
You are going to just love this dish! Our easy Pork Skewers are melt in your mouth tender. Thai Cuisine is a great idea for a summer grilling and chilling entertaining. It is light, bright and is always a crowd pleaser.
The "other white meat" is sometimes overlooked in the grilling scene. However, if you have ever tried our Bacon Wrapped Sausage Stuffed Pork Tenderloin, you know we are on to something delicious.
These Asian pork kabobs are super aromatic from the spices and herbs. Once, you dip a slice into our Thai Basil Dipping sauce, you will be hooked. We can't wait for you to take your first bite.
The Special Marinade
The secret for success in making authentic Thai pork basil recipe is in the marinade. If you marinate pork tenderloin overnight, your skewers will be even more tender and flavorful. The delightful bath of turmeric, ginger, onion, garlic and fish sauce are going to make your taste buds sing.
Did you know that turmeric, ginger, onion and garlic are all warming spices? They pair nicely with the Thai basil and cilantro lime dipping sauce. Marinating your proteins like in our Green Chicken Kabab Recipe tenderizes the meat and infuses flavor. It uses all the lovely fresh herbs and spices of the summer season.
Get Turmeric in your Spice Drawer
If you do not have turmeric in your spice drawer, you need to get that sorted as soon as possible. You are missing out on so many delicious dishes and positive therapeutic effects. According to NIH, Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory, high in antioxidants and lowers your risk of heart disease.
However, our favorite reason for using turmeric is the bright yellow-orange color it gives to curries and our Thai spicy basil pork skewers. We also love the warming turmeric in our Turmeric Vegetable Medley, Easy Moroccan Ground Lamb Stew and our Golden Spiced Noodle Soup.
Cleaning up after a Turmeric Incident
However, there is one small warning when using turmeric. Turmeric can stain clothes, kitchen counters, finger nails and even utensils if you do not clean them right away. We don't normally wear an apron in the kitchen but when we am cooking with turmeric, we do. In addition, we wear disposable gloves whilst we thread the marinated pork on the skewers - unless you like yellow nails.
So how do you get turmeric off the countertop and clothes... bleach is the answer to that one.
We used a food processor to make this delicious golden pork marinade. We blended onions, ginger, turmeric, garlic, coconut oil and fish sauce into a marinade. If you do not have a food processor, you can use a mortar and pestle.
Marinating the pork tenderloins overnight, will make turmeric pork basil skewers super tender and flavorful.
Thai Basil Dipping Sauce
Now on to this delightful Thai basil dipping sauce. Thai basil is just a beautiful herb and it has an anise like scent. However, we know this herb is difficult to come by anywhere else, if you live outside of Asia.
Therefore, just swap out Thai basil for just plain ordinary Italian basil. Our dipping sauce is just as beautiful either way. This dipping sauce is very similar to our Prik Nam Pla - The Incredible Thai Table Condiment. The only difference is that we swapped out Thai Basil for cilantro and green onions.
Balancing the Flavors
Thailand flavors always hold the balance of sweet, sour, savory and spicy. The only way you know if you hit the balance correctly, is to taste for yourself. We have really taken interest in really taking the time to be in the moment and practice mindful eating as a way to truly enjoy our food. Try this technique while you are taste testing.
Some people like the sauce more spicy, some more sweet and some more sour or salty. We like ours slightly spicy. However, the boys love it super spicy so we make a mild and a spicy version for the table. If you are new to Thai Cuisine, be sure to check our our Essential Thai Herbs and Spices article.
Recipe Exchanges and Substitutions
You can make the dipping sauce diabetic friendly by exchanging out brown sugar with a sugar alternative. If you need to watch your sodium intake, hold the fish sauce in the turmeric pork basil marinade. Instead, use a little Mrs. Dash or dried chili flakes in the grilling process.
Feel free to swap our the pork with chicken or even mushrooms and vegetables to keep it vegan.
Thai Cuisine Side Dishes
These are some of our favorite side dishes to serve with our kabobs.
- Thai Grilled Watermelon Salad
- Gluten- Free Thai Shrimp Pancakes
- Thai Shrimp Mango Salad
- Thai Pomelo Crab Salad Avocados
Frequent Asked Questions (FAQ's)
Each type of counter top surface will have a different specification on what can be used to lift a stain. Bleach water will usually lift the turmeric stain right off of most surfaces that you are allowed to use bleach on. However, to be safe, start with a little baking soda and water and with a gentle circular motion and see if the stain lifts. Adding a little lemon or vinegar might help as well. However, if you have marble, then maybe a solution of 12% hydrogen peroxide and a few drops of ammonia will do the trick.
If you get turmeric on your clothes, treat it right away. First, rinse in cold water and then a little stain remover, lemon juice or vinegar and soak to remove turmeric stain.
We wear kitchen gloves to prevent the staining of our hands and finger nails while working placing turmeric pork on skewers.
You can exchange with sweet Italian basil.
Chop all of your ingredients finely and then use a mortar and pestle to make a paste.
More Delicious Recipes with Turmeric
Roasted Turmeric Spiced Turkey Breast
Easy Moroccan Ground Lamb Stew
Ground Turkey Sweet Potato Curry
Recipe Featured in Low Sugar Living
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Thai Pork Basil Skewers
- Blender or mortar and pestle
- 1.5 inch turmeric
knob peeled and sliced (or 1 heaping teaspoon ground dried turmeric)
- 1 inch ginger knob peeled and sliced (or ½ teaspoon ground dried ginger)
- ¾ cup onion or 1 small onion chopped (can exchange with shallots, if you like)
- 2 cloves garlic peeled and bashed
- ¼ cup fish sauce
- 2 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1.5 pounds pork tenderloin
cut into slices about ¼ inch thick (or can use other cuts of pork that you wish but may have to marinate longer)
- 10-12 wooden skewers
soak in water for ½ hour before using
Thai Basil Dipping Sauce (or Prik Nam Pla)
- 1 tablespoon Thai holy basil
(holy basil) chopped or can use regular basil
- 1 tablespoon cilantro
- 2 tablespoon fish sauce
- 2 teaspoon sugar or sugar alternative - (brown sugar or sugar alternative if diabetic)
- 4 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 clove garlic
peeled and minced
- chili to taste (fresh Thai bird chilis pack their punch in heat)
- limes optional
- chili optional
- green onions or cilantro optional
- Marinate the pork: In a food processor, add turmeric, ginger, onion, garlic, fish sauce and coconut oil. Blend well. (If you do not have a food processor you can do this in a mortar and pestle or just chop up finely instead) In a sealable baggie or sealed container add your sliced pork tenderloins pieces and add the turmeric marinade and mix well, cover and place in the refrigerator for up to overnight or at least one half hour marinade time.
- Make Thai Basil Dipping Sauce: In a small bowl add chopped Thai basil (or regular basil), chopped cilantro, fish sauce, brown sugar or sugar alternative, lime juice, garlic and chili to taste. Set Aside or place in refrigerator up to 24 hours in advance.
- Soak your wooden skewers for at least ½ hour. Skewer the pork lengthwise like you are using the wooden skewer to sew on the pork. Spread the pork slices flat so they are not overlapping. Depending on the size of your skewer and pork slices, maybe only 2 slices of pork tenderloin per skewer.
- Prepare and oil your grill and preheat. Cook your turmeric pork skewers for about 3 minutes on each side until nicely charred and cooked through.
- Serve your delicious Turmeric Pork skewers & Thai Basil Dipping Sauce as a delicious healthy meal. Enjoy!
Great recipe ! Lovely marinade the proportions of which I shall copy ! Think enough of turmeric to use it medicinally against a high inflammatory index when there . . . SO important during this Covid era !!!
HWC Magazine says
Thank you Eha. These little Thai skewers are one of the family's favorite during the grilling season. Could not agree more- crank up the turmeric. Stay well dear friend.
I love these -- we made them about a month ago. Great flavor from your seasoning mix
HWC Magazine says
Thank you Raul. Turmeric pork skewers are the perfect way to initiate the grilling season. So glad you enjoyed the marinade. Take Care
These would make a great little party food. I like the sauce recipe too.
HWC Magazine says
Thank you Carla. These are great little bite sized skewers. One hand for a tropical drink and the other for a skewer makes for a fun appetizer.
At my first job I dropped a container of blended turmeric and everyone in the kitchen was stained yellow for the rest of the shift. Gonna make these for old time's sake when we have our next reunion.
HWC Magazine says
Hi there Ian! That is somewhat comical but also totally get it. Nothing like a good curry spill... Hope you give our turmeric pork skewers with Thai Basil dipping sauce soon. Take Care
A very interesting combination of flavors - the turmeric and basil. What a nice treat for a relatively simple holiday grilling dish. Thanks!
HWC Magazine says
Thanks MJ. We have a couple of real good weekend grilling days ahead. Love a little turmeric during the the change of seasons, it really warms you up. Take care
Karen (Back Road Journal) says
What a vibrant color to match its outstanding taste.
HWC Magazine says
Thank you Karen. We really crave turmeric during the change of seasons. Take Care
Easy good perfect -- great way to celebrate the last few days of grilling weather. Going to give this a go over the holiday weekend.
HWC Magazine says
Thanks Ken. Enjoy these last few days of grilling weather whilst they last. Take care