Nonya pork satay


  • Serves 6 people

  • 500 gm pork neck, cut into 3cm pieces
  • 125 ml (½ cup) vegetable oil
  • 125 ml (½ cup) coconut milk
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, lightly bruised
  • To serve: coarsely chopped Lebanese cucumber and pineapple
  • Spice paste
  • 6 golden shallots, coarsely chopped
  • 10 gm (2cm piece) ginger, coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, white part only, finely chopped
  • 1 thin slice galangal
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp white sugar, or to taste
  • 1 tsp each ground cumin and ground turmeric
  • Pineapple satay sauce
  • 100 gm raw peanuts
  • 3 tsp tamarind pulp
  • 3-4 dried long red chillies
  • 3 golden shallots, coarsely chopped
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, white part only, coarsely chopped
  • 5 gm (1cm piece) galangal, coarsely chopped
  • ½ tsp ground tumeric
  • ½ tsp belacan (see note)
  • 50 ml vegetable oil
  • 125 ml (½ cup) thin coconut milk
  • 100 gm pineapple, crushed
  • 2 tsp palm sugar, or to taste
01   For spice paste, process ingredients and 1 tsp sea salt in a small food processor until finely chopped, then transfer to a non-reactive bowl.
02   Add pork to spice paste, mix well to coat, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate to marinate (6 hours-overnight). Thread 4-5 pieces of pork onto soaked skewers and set aside.
03   Meanwhile, for pineapple satay sauce, preheat oven to 180C. Spread peanuts on an oven tray, roast until golden (10-15 minutes), cool slightly, peel, coarsely chop. Combine tamarind and 250ml water in a bowl, set aside. Place chilli in a heatproof bowl, cover with boiling water, stand until soft (10-15 minutes), drain, transfer to a food processor. Add shallot, lemongrass, galangal, tumeric and belacan, process until finely chopped. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat, add shallot mixture, sauté until fragrant (4-5 minutes). Strain tamarind mixture into pan (discard pulp), add coconut milk, pineapple, palm sugar and peanuts, bring to the boil, reduce heat to low-medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thick and oil rises to surface (10-15 minutes). Season to taste, cool to room temperature.
04   Preheat a char-grill over high heat. Combine oil, coconut milk and lemongrass in a bowl, set aside. Cook skewers, turning occasionally and brushing with coconut milk mixture, until slightly charred outside but moist inside (5-6 minutes). Serve hot with satay sauce, cucumber and pineapple.

Note Belacan, or dried shrimp paste, is available from Asian supermarkets.

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