Fresh, seasonal vegetables highlight the incredible flavors of this Thai inspired grilled pork and vegetable salad with a delicious peanut dressing. It's an easy, 30 minute, one dish meal for summertime - or anytime.
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Creating main dish salads like this Thai grilled pork and vegetable salad is one of my favorite ways to use the season's produce - whether you've grown the vegetables yourself or bought them from the farmer's market or local store.
Did you know that in my first garden I concentrated on flowers? At one point I counted almost 50 roses on our 50 x 100 city lot!
I only added a few small raised beds so I could grow a couple of tomato plants, lettuce, and a few other vegetables - just because it seemed a good thing to do.
I really wasn't invested in it, though, until I saw - and felt - how easy and rewarding it was to grow the food we ate.
I remember specifically a simple meal we ate outside with friends where I was able to say, "ALL the vegetables here came from my garden!"
What a feeling - I had no idea how it would affect me! It's probably how gardeners and farmers have felt for eons when feeding people, lol.
Guess what? I started converting some of my flower beds to more vegetable beds that fall. And I dreamed of moving to more property so I could grow even more - corn, potatoes, dry beans - whatever I wanted.
Garden to Table
I've know I'm not alone - most gardeners goal throughout the growing season is to be able to say, "I grew this" at meals, making the phrase "garden to table" a real, everyday occurrence.
Since that first garden, we did get to move to an acre and I grew all our produce we needed for a number of years - including corn and potatoes.
We've now downsized and our new garden area is smaller, less maintenance (raised beds and an easy DIY watering system are big reasons), but still provides us with lots of lovely vegetables to use in salads like this grilled pork and vegetable salad all season long.
Thai Grilled Pork and Vegetable Salad
Gather your favorite seasonal produce, chopped in bite-size, even pieces. Early summer veggies could include:
- snap and/or snow peas
Switch it up in later summer by using:
- green beans
- red pepper
Basically, use what you have that sounds like it would go well with the other ingredients!
You'll also need:
- boneless pork loin chops
- regular, savoy, or Chinese cabbage for salad base
- marinade and dressing ingredients: soy sauce, lime, ginger, fish sauce, peanut butter, honey, garlic, sriracha, and a few other ingredients you probably have on hand.
- gas or charcoal grill
- a grill basket like this for the vegetables (it's also nice to use a flat grill tray like this to more evenly cook the pork, but it's not necessary).
The one thing to remember with this recipe is to save time to marinade the pork - it's really worth it! While you can marinate the meat for just an hour, it really is more flavorful to marinate for 5-6 hours if possible.
After that, it's just a couple simple steps:
- Make the dressing and chop the vegetables.
- Toss the vegetables with oil and seasoning and grill.
- At the same time, grill the pork chops (see tips in the FAQ below).
- Let chops sit while you assemble the salads: layer plates with shredded cabbage and grilled vegetables; slice the pork and divide evenly between the plates; drizzle salads with dressing and top with chopped peanuts.
In just about 30 minutes, you will have a healthy, flavorful main dish salad that combines the crunch of fresh cabbage with the crisp-grilled vegetables, smokey pork, and a spicy peanut dressing that is to.die.for.
Seriously, you may just find yourself wanting to pour this dressing on so many other things!
Once you make this one-dish meal, I know you will be making it again - everyone I serve it to loves it.
And who knows, maybe you'll start converting more of your property to vegetables (if you don't already) so you'll be able to say "I grew this," too!
Grilled Pork & Vegetable Salad FAQs
Grill pork chops over medium-high direct heat 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Move to indirect heat (or medium temp) and cook for 8-12 more minutes, flipping once, or until pork chops reach 145-155 degrees F. Remove chops from heat and let rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing.
Pork chops that are still pink inside are safe - and delicious. For safety, the internal temperature of the thickest part of a chop should reach 145°F for medium-rare, 150°F for medium, and 160°F for well done (no pink). Higher than that and you'll risk overcooking the meat, resulting in a dry chop.
No, you can leave it out of the marinade, but I would add about 1/2 teaspoon of salt to replace the saltiness of the fish sauce (the flavor will be a bit impacted, obviously).
Thai Grilled Pork and Vegetable Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing
- Grill and Grill Basket
Marinade & Pork:
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- juice of 1 lime (about 1½ tablespoons)
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger (or 1 teaspoon dried ginger)
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce*
- 1 pound boneless pork loin chops
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup olive or peanut oil
- 1/4 cup peanut butter
- 3 tablespoons lime juice (about 2 small limes)
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger (or 1 teaspoon dried)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 to 2 teaspoons Sriracha sauce (or to taste)
- 3 carrots,* peeled and sliced on bias
- 1 pound snap or snow peas,* strings removed and sliced as needed
- 1 large onion,* cut in half, then half again and sliced ('half-moon' slices)
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 small head cabbage, chopped (Chinese cabbage or a savoy type preferred, but regular cabbage is fine, too).
- Chopped peanuts, cilantro or parsley, for serving
- Mix together the four marinade ingredients and pour over the pork chops in a single layer in a baking dish (or in a large zip top baggie). Refrigerate for 1-6 hours, the longer the better.
Make Dressing & Grill
- Add the 9 dressing ingredients (from soy sauce through Sriracha) in a 2-cup glass measure or bowl and mix well. Refrigerate until needed (if dressing thickens as is waits, add water to thin to pouring consistency).
- Heat a grill to medium-high.
- Combine carrots, peas, and onions in a large bowl. Toss with the 1 tablespoon sesame oil, salt, and pepper.
- Remove pork from marinade and grill until done, 145-155 degrees (use a thermometer for accuracy, that's the key to not cooking pork too long).
- At the same time, grill the prepared carrots, onions, and peas using a grill basket, tossing every few minutes (the pork will probably be done cooking before the vegetables - remove them and let them sit, covered). Cook the vegetables until still crisp with edges starting to char. The cook time is usually 12 to 15 minutes.
- Divide the chopped cabbage between 4 to 6 plates.
- Top each plate with a portion of the grilled vegetables.
- Slice pork chops thinly and divide between plates.
- Drizzle the dressing over salads and garnish with chopped peanuts and cilantro or parsley.
Other Easy Main Dishes To Try
This recipe has been updated – it was originally published July 2015.Disclosure: affiliate links in this article will earn commission based on sales, but it doesn't change your price. Click here to read our full disclaimer and advertising disclosure.