Thai Black Pepper Grilled Marinated Pork Shoulder

By Kristen Schwab

Kristen is a working chef who cooks at home, too. She and her husband, also a chef, are building an outdoor kitchen behind their house. They love to relax outside, and there’s a lot of cooking over fire going on. Schwab considers this marinade her go-to. “It’s a little zippy, a little herbaceous and a little funky,” thanks to the fish sauce. She also doesn’t limit the marinade to meat (here, she uses pork shoulder). Try marinating sweet potatoes or brushing it on corn. “It’s really easy. You just throw everything in the blender.” When she makes it for guests, it turns heads. “They’re like, ‘Oh my gosh, what is this?’” she says.


1/2 bunch cilantro

1 jalapeno

3 garlic cloves

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon oyster sauce

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 teaspoons ground black pepper

2 pounds pork shoulder


Rough chop the cilantro and jalapeno. Put everything in a blender, except for the meat. Blend the marinade until smooth. Dice the pork shoulder into 1-inch cubes and toss in the marinade. Let the meat sit in the marinade for at least one hour. Grill on charcoal for about 15 minutes or until it’s cooked all the way through. Serve with a dipping sauce of equal parts fish sauce, lime juice, minced fresh garlic and sugar mixed to your liking.


Other great serving options are with lettuce cups, fresh Thai basil, sliced cucumber, bean sprouts, etc. Schwab likes to pull a piece of pork off the skewer and wrap it in lettuce with some herbs and cucumber, and dip the whole lettuce wrap into the dipping sauce. The skewers are also great with just a squeeze of fresh lime juice if you don't want to make a dipping sauce.


Kristen Schwab describes her introduction to cooking as a “happy accident.” After taking a shot at nursing school and determining it didn’t suit her, Schwab used a government grant to attend tech school, where she found the culinary program was the right fit. “It was something I had a natural talent in, and it just felt right,” she says. Working at Odd Duck, she was inspired to develop her interest in global cuisines. Before joining The Wolf as executive chef, she also cooked at Hinterland Erie Street Gastropub, DanDan and Fiserv Forum. Schwab’s use of flavors honors her Indonesian heritage.

Kristen Schwab

Uncle Wolfie's Dinner Diner

Kristen Schwab

Uncle Wolfie's Dinner Diner

About Uncle Wolfie's Dinner Diner