Brine-Cured Pork Kabobs with Molasses Glaze, Jalapenos and Papaya

The brine-cure makes the meat tender and juicy. The glaze adds a sweet, smoky spice that works well with all three elements on this skewer.

Brine-Cured Pork Kabobs with Molasses Glaze, Jalapenos and Papaya 

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 8Source Adapted from Martha Stewart LivingPublished

makes 8 skewers


  • 2 tablespoon molasses
  • 3 clove garlic minced
  • 2 serrano chiles seeded and minced
  • 1 (one-inch) piece ginger peeled and grated
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • .75 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 cup water
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoon kosher salt plus more for seasoning
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves
  • 3 clove garlic peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1.75 pound pork loin cut into 1 ½” cubes
  • ½ large mexican papaya quite firm and not too ripe peeled seeded and cut into 2 inch chunks
  • 16 jalapeno pepper sliced lengthwise and seeded
  • pepper to taste
  • olive oil as needed for grill


To make the molasses glaze: Whisk molasses, minced garlic, chiles, ginger, pepper flakes, and oil in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Keep sealed at room temperature for up to one week.

To brine the pork: Combine water, sugar, salt, bay leaves, peppercorns, cloves, and sliced garlic in a non-reactive bowl. Add pork , cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours and up to over night. Drain and set aside.

To make the kabobs: Thread alternating pieces of pork, jalapeno halves, and papaya chunks onto 8 skewers. Brush with molasses glaze and season with salt an pepper.

To grill the kabobs: Arrange skewers, off direct heat, on a hot grill. Cook, rotating often and brushing with more glaze or olive oil as needed to prevent sticking. The pork should be nearly cooked through, barely pink and still juicy in the center, about 10–12 minutes total cooking.

Remove the skewers from the grill, taking care to keep the softened papaya form slipping off. Brush them one more time with the glaze if you like and allow them to rest about five minutes before serving.