Friday, August 26, 2011

Thai Style Pork Satay

Meow's mother is from Thailand (not to be confused with Taiwan - those people have Chinese roots no matter how much they try to deny it) but she doesn't do much Thai cooking, though we all love Thai food.  With the increasing abundance of Thai ingredients, Meow is now able to recreate some of my favourite Thai dishes at home - sans the insane "Welcome to Thailand" level of spiciness.

Winners is a wonderful place for cheap designer label stuff including housewares and cookbooks.  Many a times, Mr. Meow and I have scrounged the aisles of Winners finding gems of cookbooks for half the price, including the two volume set of Julia Child's The Art of French Cooking.  The recipe for today's satay also comes from the "winnings" of our trips to Winner's.

A typical "Winners" store

Pork Satay
from Vatch's Thai Kitchen by Vatcharin Bhumichitr
ISBN 9781845975845

Note: You can substitute other meats for this recipe such as chicken or beef.  This recipe originally called for chicken

Panaeng Curry Paste
10 long dried red chillis, seeded and chopped
5 pink Thai shallots or 2 regular ones, chopped
2 tbsp of chopped garlic
2 stalks of lemongrass, chopped
1 inch fresh galangal or ginger, peeled and chopped
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
3 cilantro roots, chopped
1 tsp shrimp paste
2 tbsp roasted peanuts

Satay Marinade
2 tsp of ground coriander seeds (cilantro is the plant, coriander is the seed/root)
2 tsp of ground cumin seeds (Meow Mother likes to call this "armpit powder", it smells like it)
4 lbs of pork loin or 4 skinless chicken breasts
2 tbsp of Thai fish sauce
1 tsp of salt
1/2 cup of peanut or safflower oil
1 tsp of curry powder
1 tbsp of ground tumeric
1/2 cup of coconut milk
3 tbsp of sugar
lemon or lime wedges, to serve

Peanut Dipping Sauce
2 tbsp of peanut or safflower oil
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of Paneang Curry paste (see below)
1/2 cup of coconut milk
1 cup of chicken stock
1 tbsp of sugar
1 tsp of salt
2 tbsp of lemon or lime juice
1/4 cup crushed roasted peanuts

20 8-inch wooden skewers

1. Soak the wooden skewers in cold water for about an hour before threading the meat, this prevents charring of the sticks.

Making the Curry Paste
I cheat and use this, close enough.  But if you are so inclined as to make your own, go ahead.

Close enough

1. Drop all the ingredients into a food processors to further chop, you may finish by using a mortar and pestle to grind the paste.

Alternately, if you have a mortar and pestle,
you could grind your ingredients using that 
to make the paste.

Makes 1/2-3/4 cup of paste.
You can divide the remainder and freeze in plastic bag.

Making the Satay
Best to make this at least an hour or up to 8 hours ahead so it has time to marinade.

1. Slice the pork into thin slices about 1" x 1/2"
2. Put the pork into a marinating bowl.
3. Add ground coriander, ground cumin, fish sauce, salt, peanut oil, curry powder, turmeric, coconut milk, and sugar.

4. Mix thoroughly.
5. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate to marinate for 1 to 8 hours.


Now you have time to make the peanut sauce

6. Preheat a broiler or outdoor grill.

Wear a glove if you have one so your hands won't stain like hell.

7. Thread 2-3 pieces of pork onto each skewer.  You need to make at least 2 passes on each piece of meat so it will stay on.

 2 passes

3 passes

8. Brush the remainder of the marinate onto the meat as extra.

9. Grill or broil the satays until the meat is cooked through, 6-8 minutes, turning to make sure they are browned on both sides.

Making the Peanut Sauce

 I didn't have roasted peanuts at home, so I used this as substitute.

1. Heat oil in a skillet until a light haze appears.
2. Add the chopped garlic and saute until golden brown.
3. Add the curry paste, mix well, and cook for a few seconds.
4. Add the coconut milk, mix well, and cook for another few seconds.
5. Add stock, sugar, salt, and lemon juice and stir to blend.
6. Cook for 1-2 minutes, always stiring.
7. Add the ground peanuts, stir thoroughly.
8. Pour the sauce into a dipping bowl.

Serve the satays with lemon of lime wedges and peanut sauce.

Serves 2-4 people

Meow made the mistake of marinating these overnight.  The result was the spices became over powering.  It wasn't unpleasant, but just wasn't what we were used to.  To each their own.

The dipping sauce though, I've always find it a lot easier if it was poured onto a small plate and the roll the satays in the sauce.  And it is also less dangerous to pry the meat off the skewer with a fork rather than trying to pull it with your teeth.

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