One of the most popular dishes at Thai restaurants is grilled pork neck. It tastes best when grilled over coals, which gives it a smoky flavour, but you can also cook it under the grill element of the oven.
Grilled pork neck is usually accompanied by nam jim jaew - a delicious, versatile spicy Thai dipping sauce. You can serve the pork neck with steamed sticky rice, or as a salad, where the sliced meat is mixed with lettuce and herb such as mint, Thai basil and fresh coriander, with the nam jim jaew as the salad dressing.
Fresh coriander often come with the roots attached, which keeps the herb fresh for longer. Most people use only the coriander leaves, and discard the sturdy roots and lower stems. These parts aren’t pretty but they have a lot of flavour, and are often used in Southeast Asian cuisines. If your coriander comes without the roots, substitute the thick parts of the stems.
Make the marinade. Roughly chop the garlic cloves and coriander roots, then put them in a mortar, add the pepper and sugar and pound to a rough paste. Mix in the soy sauce, fish sauce, oyster sauce and sesame oil.
Dry the pork neck with paper towels, then place in a wide mixing bowl. Pour the marinade over the meat and mix so the pieces are coated evenly. Marinate at room temperature for up to three hours, or in the fridge for six to eight hours. Occasionally mix the ingredients so the pork marinates evenly.
If the marinated pork neck was refrigerated, take it from the fridge one hour before cooking.
Preheat the oven grill to high. Line a baking tray with aluminium foil, then place a lightly oiled rack on top. Place the pork neck pieces on the rack and slide the tray into the oven, so the meat is about 8.5cm (3⅓in) below the heating element. Grill for about 10 minutes, or until the pork neck is cooked through and charred in spots. Turn the meat over halfway through. If the meat is charring too quickly, move the tray further from the heat – or move it closer if it is cooked, but not browned.
When the meat is cooked, remove the tray from the oven and rest at room temperature for about five minutes. Cut the meat against the grain into slices about 5mm (¼ in) thick.
Place the pork slices onto a dish and serve with nam jim jaew.