Pork Satay with Peanut Sauce and Tamarind Dip

It’s a new year! I hope it has been treating you well so far! Speaking of treats I have quite the line up for this year’s blogging. I hope to inspire you to be adventurous in your kitchen, as you will be seeing a wide variety of cultural, sweet, and conventional dishes. There will be a little something for everyone I hope!! Our first dish of the new year is a challenge from Daring cooks January 2010… Satay! Living in Orlando I have been exposed to satay numerous times both at work and in Fort Lauderdale at Aunt Sheila’s house (leave it to Aunt Sheila to expose you to new and exciting things… I love her!) However I know some of my not so adventurous and some of my up north readers may have never heard of or tried satay. Lucky for you the challenge recipe is a British version, so you can test the waters with it! As always I have done my homework ( thank you internet, peers and home library!), so lets get started.

Satay (say it like SAH-tay) is very reminiscent of a shish kebab. It is usually made up of strips or diced meat most popularly pork, lamb, and/or chicken. The meat is marinaded for 4 to 24 hours. The marinade almost always includes a spice called turmeric, which gives the satay a lovely golden color, as well as cumin, lemon juice, oil and soy sauce. Other additions can be comprised of onions, garlic , ginger root, and dragon chilies. After the marinade is finished the meat (or tofu) is threaded onto skewers traditionally made of bamboo. (Sorry I used metal). They are then grilled or barbecued on a wood or charcoal fire (if not, a gas grill, oven broiler, or even a really hot pan will work). After they achieve a nice sear, they are served with a spicy peanut sauce and various other options for dipping.

Satay is said to have originated in Indonesia where it continues to be their national food. According to Jennifer Brennan, it is rumored to have evolved from Indian Kabobs which they were exposed to via Muslim traders. Today satay is enjoyed in all classes of food, from street vendors to the classiest of restaurants. It makes an appearance at all holidays and festivals. The ingredients are changed up depending on the city, town, and region. There are over 36 known types of satay in Indonesia alone, including Sate Babi (or Pork Satay), and even Sate Torpedo ( Satay made from Goat Testicles…). Satay is also well known in Malaysia, China, Singapore, Thailand, and The Philippines (who prefer Chicken Satay).

For today’s recipe I have prepared Pork Satay complete with marinade and peanut sauce. I have also included a Thai inspired dipping sauce made with Tamarind. In the next few weeks I will be doing a whole post about tamarind. For today’s use here is a quick nugget of info. It is a sweet sour fruit used world wide. I used tamarind paste which can be found at Indian or Asian stores. Tamarind puree can most likely be found in the frozen section of your regular supermarket.


Pork Satay
-This will serve about 4 as an appetizer or 2 as a main meal.

For the marinade:
1/2 small onion
2 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon sweet (or regular) soy sauce
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 tablespoon veggie oil ( or peanut, corn, canola, olive, sunflower etc)
1 tablespoon ginger root, chopped (optional)
1 pound of chosen meat ( in my case thin cut pork chops), large diced or in 1″ strips

-This is easiest in a food processor or blender.
– Place everything EXCEPT THE MEAT, into the bowl and process or blend…tahda!
– If you don’t own one of the above, small dice the onion and smash the two cloves of garlic.
– In a small bowl whisk together the lemon juice, soy sauce, and the oil, then add the ground spices. Whisk to combine.
– Pour the marinade into a ziplock and add the onion, garlic, and ginger (if using). Zip shut and shake to combine.
– Zip open, add the pork, zip shut and thoroughly cover the pork with marinade.
– Refrigerate for between 4 and 24 hours. See *
– If you are planning on using the traditional bamboo skewers, make sure you soak them in warm water for about 20 minutes first).
– Preheat grill to high, make a very hot wooden or charcoal fire, or set your broiler for 550 degrees.
– Thread your meat straight from marinade unto the skewers. Unless you’re planning on basting the skewers half way through, DISCARD the marinade.
– Grill or broil for 8-10 minutes on one side, the edges should start to char, flip and grill another 8-10 minutes. Serve with dipping sauces.

* as a rule of thumb for marinating:
Pork- marinate 4-24 hrs , cook 18-20 min
Beef/Lamb- marinate 6-24 hrs, cook 20 min
Chicken- marinate 2-12 hrs, cook 10-15 min
Veggies- marinate 2 hrs, cook 5-10 min
Tofu- marinate 2 hrs, cook 5-10 min


For the Peanut Sauce:

3/4 cup coconut milk
4 tablespoons peanut butter
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8-1/4 teaspoon ground chile powder

– In a small bowl mix dry spices. Add soy sauce and lemon juice. Mix until well combined.
– Over low heat mix peanut butter, coconut milk, and spice mixture. Combine well and stir often.
– Once the peanut butter has melted and the sauce has heated through, it is done.

For the Tamarind Dip:

4 tablespoons tamarind paste
1 tablespoons soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1 finely chopped green onion
1 teaspoon brown sugar.

Method: Mix well to combine. That’s it! Serve chilled or room temperature.
* If you or anyone in your family is big on dipping, it would be a good idea to double this recipe!

And there you have it….. Pork satay with Peanut Sauce and Tamarind Dip!

That wasn’t so hard was it?! I promise you will be rewarded for stepping out of your comfort zone with this recipe! So Good!!!!…. It’s a new year! Be adventurous!

Dream. Bake. Believe.
Love, Steffie


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