Spicy Grilled Pork With Fennel, Cumin and Red Onion
Imbued with spices that char at high heat, this aromatic pork recipe is a snap to throw together — exactly what you want for a night of summer grilling. If you’re got wooden skewers, don’t forget to soak them in water for an hour before grilling, so they don’t flare up. And if you’re broiling and you don’t want to bother with skewers at all, just spread the pork cubes out on a rimmed sheet pan, turning them halfway through cooking with tongs or a spatula. The pork is excellent served with pita or crusty bread or a rice pilaf, or simple grilled corn on the cob.
- 1 ¾ pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
- Kosher salt
- 1 lime, plus some wedges for serving
- ¼ cup cilantro or basil, leaves and tender stems, plus more for serving
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
- 1 jalapeño or other green chile, seeded if desired
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 ½ tablespoons fennel seeds
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 1 small red onion, sliced, for serving
- Season pork lightly with kosher salt and put it in a bowl or resealable bag.
- Juice the lime into a blender or food processor and add cilantro, fish sauce, garlic, jalapeño and honey. Blend until the jalapeño and garlic are puréed, then add fennel, cumin, coriander seeds and pulse four or five times to bruise the spices and mix them in.
- Pour mixture over the pork, tossing to coat the pieces. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes while you heat the grill, or up to 24 hours.
- When ready to cook, heat the grill or broiler with a rack positioned 4 inches from the heat source.
- Thread the pork onto skewers, leaving a little space between cubes. Grill over the highest heat possible, or broil on high, for 2 to 5 minutes, then flip the skewers and continue cooking until the meat is browned all over and charred in spots. It should be just cooked through: A little pink is OK, but there shouldn’t be any red spots.
- Serve the pork with cilantro sprigs and onion slices on top, and lime wedges on the side for squeezing.