Grilled Pork with Coconut Rice and Lemongrass Sambal

After eating sambal in Bali, chef Suzanne Goin created a version to serve with pork that's fragrant with lemongrass and makrut lime. Plus:  More Pork Recipes 

Grilled Pork with Coconut Rice and Lemongrass Sambal
Photo: © Peggy Wong
Active Time:
1 hrs 45 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs



  • 1 cup cilantro leaves (packed)

  • 2 cloves garlic (crushed)

  • 2 jalapeños (seeded and chopped)

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 pork tenderloins (1 pound each)

  • ½ cup peanuts (roasted)

  • 2 lemongrass (tender inner white bulbs only, thinly sliced)

  • 2 fresh makrut lime leaves (thinly sliced)

  • 2 Thai bird chiles (thinly sliced)

  • 4 shallots (very thinly sliced and separated into rings)

  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger (finely grated)

  • ¼ cup lime juice (freshly squeezed)

  • ½ cup grapeseed or canola oil

  • Kosher salt


  • 2 cups jasmine rice

  • 13 ½ ounces unsweetened coconut milk (1 can)

  • 2 ¼ ounces grated palm sugar or 1/4 cup granulated sugar (1/3 cup)

  • 2 heads baby bok choy (halved and thinly sliced through the core)

  • 2 scallions (thinly sliced)


Prepare the Pork

  1. In a food processor, combine 3/4 cup of the cilantro with the garlic and jalapeños. With the machine on, drizzle in the olive oil until a loose paste forms. Coat the pork evenly with the cilantro paste and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°. Toast the peanuts in a pie plate for about 5 minutes, until fragrant. Finely chop the peanuts.

  3. In a bowl, combine the lemongrass, lime leaves, chiles, shallots, ginger, lime juice and grapeseed oil. Season the sambal with salt.

Prepare the Rice

  1. In a bowl, cover the rice with water and let soak for 6 hours. Drain and rinse 3 times, until the water runs clear.

  2. Bring a pot of water to a boil and line a vegetable steamer insert with a double layer of cheesecloth. Evenly spread the rice on the cheesecloth. Set the steamer 3 inches over the boiling water. Cover and steam the rice until almost tender, 45 minutes.

  3. In a saucepan, cook the coconut milk and sugar over moderate heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Remove the steamer from the pot and drain. Spread the rice evenly in the pot. Pour the hot coconut mixture evenly over the rice; do not stir. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes. Stir and season with salt.

  4. Light a grill; lightly oil the grate. Wipe off most of the marinade from the pork. Grill over moderate heat for 20 minutes, turning, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 140°. Let rest for 15 minutes.

  5. Toss the bok choy with half of the sambal, the remaining 1/4 cup of cilantro and the scallions. Spoon the coconut rice onto a platter and scatter the bok choy on top. Thinly slice the pork and arrange on the rice with the remaining sambal. Garnish with the peanuts and serve.

Make Ahead

The coconut rice can be refrigerated for up to 2 days ahead. Reheat before serving.

Suggested Pairing

This dish pairs well with Riesling. For red wine drinkers, try a fruit-driven Rhône red.

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