We are in the middle of a summer heat wave here on the east coast so I decided to cook this Thai Pork Satay with Peanut Sauce on the grill. The hot, humid weather reminds me of sunny Manila. It’s the kind of sweltering heat that pierces your pores and you feel trickles of perspiration run down your spine, dampening the fabric of what you’re wearing.
No one wants to cook on a sultry hot day like today. But the reality is we still need to eat. My family consists of good eaters. They won’t survive on smoothies. We like salads. But it’s not enough for a meal. My boys like hearty dishes that fill them up. So I took a cue from another recipe in the cookbook Nong’s Thai Kitchen by Nongkran Das and Alexandra Greeley.
I made this Pork Satay with Peanut Sauce. In the cookbook, the authors used chicken, which Chef Nongkran said “is more popular” among her restaurant customers. I plan to use chicken next time I cook this dish again. For now, I used pork shoulder because it’s what I had on hand.
If you’ve never had a ‘satay’ dish you will enjoy this one. We often order this type of dish at Thai restaurants either as an appetizer or as an entrée.
“Satay” (say ‘sah-tayh’) is a Southeast Asian dish with strips of marinated meats, skewered and grilled. It is often served with a peanut-flavored sauce. The internet Oxford Dictionary offers different ways it is spelled in other Asian countries. For example, in Indonesian recipes it is spelled ‘sate’. Malaysian recipes call it ‘satai’. However it is said, this skewered meat dish is also popular in other countries like Singapore, Brunei, Thailand and the Philippines.
Even if I’ve lived in America for so long, I still cook a satay dish all the time. We never tire of it. The sweet-savory flavors with a tinge of spicy notes appeals to my family and friends when I serve it. I make sure to marinate the sliced meat pieces a few hours or up to overnight. Then when I’m ready to cook, the skewered pieces grill fast and easy on our outdoor grill. I serve these succulent pieces with a side of a nutty dipping sauce and savory garlic rice. I make the meal complete with a bowl of salad greens and everyone just dives in.
A satay dish can be an all-weather kind of dish, too if you prefer it anytime. Serve it straight from the grill and all will be okay on any hundred-degree summer day.
Thai Pork Satay with Peanut Sauce
- 1/8 cup for marinade fish sauce or Filipino patis
- 1/8 cup for marinade brown sugar
- 2 Tablespoons for marinade soy sauce
- 2 Tablespoons for marinade vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon for marinade curry powder (yellow)
- 2 teaspoons for marinade cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon for marinade sea salt
- 1 teaspoon for marinade freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound sliced in 1-inch pieces, for skewers pork shoulder
- about 12 pieces pre-soaked in water for 30 minutes before putting meat on it bamboo skewers
- 1 cup for side sauce coconut milk (canned or fresh)
- 1 piece sliced, for side sauce shallots
- 1/2 cup crushed, for side sauce peanuts (bottled/unsalted)
- 1/8 cup for side sauce brown sugar
- 1/4 cup from Asian markets for side sauce tamarind juice concentrate
- 1 Tablespoon from Asian markets for side sauce chili sauce (bottled)
- 2 teaspoons for side sauce fish sauce or Filipino patis
- 1/2 teaspoon for side sauce sea salt
- for serving garlic or boiled white rice
- for serving vegetable green salad tossed with a light mirin dressing
- Mix together in a medium sized bowl the marinade ingredients : fish sauce (or patis), brown sugar, soy sauce, vegetable oil, curry powder, cornstarch, sea salt and black pepper powder. Blend well. Pour over the pork shoulder slices. Store in a resealable plastic bag (Ziploc bag) and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours or overnight.
- The next day, prepare the bamboo skewers by soaking at least 30 minutes before you start skewering the meat. Soaking the bamboo skewers prevents the wood from burning while you grill or from splinters getting into the meat. (Note: for this recipe I used re-usable stainless skewers which were a gift from family).
- Preheat the outdoor grill to a medium high for about ten minutes. Meanwhile, skewer the meat, about 4 to 5 pieces per stick. Spread the meat apart and don't let the slices clump up or it will not cook evenly.
- Place the skewers with the pork pieces on the grill. Turn the heat down to a medium. Cook on a gas or charcoal grill for about 10 to 12 minutes, turning them around to cook evenly. (Important: for safety reasons, pork must be cooked thoroughly until no pink parts remain).
- While the pork satay in skewers are grilling, prepare the side dipping sauce. Separately, in a small stock pot, pour the coconut milk. Heat this over medium high heat. When it boils, reduce the heat to a medium low. You don't want the coconut milk to curdle, so keep the heat low.
- Add the remaining ingredients (except for the crushed peanuts) for the side sauce. Continue to cook for about 5 to 8 minutes till sugar dissolves and sauce boils. The sauce will thicken by then. Sprinkle the crushed peanuts on the sauce.
- Remove the sauce from the heat and pour into a small serving bowl or gravy boat. Serve the skewered pork satay straight from the grill. Serve with the Peanut Sauce. Additionally, serve with garlic or boiled white rice and a big bowl of salad greens.
- Cook's comments: in the original recipe, the authors used chicken (boneless) instead of pork. Feel free to use chicken or a combination of both if you prefer.
- Shop For It: The cookbook "Nong's Thai Kitchen" by Nongkran Das and Alexandra Greeley (Tuttle Publishing) is available where most books are sold. Some of the bottled or canned ingredients used for this recipe are also available on Amazon. For my readers' convenience, I have an Amazon affiliate page here on the blog. It is the 'Shop For It' tab. Click here to buy this cookbook or dry ingredients. The price stays the same for those who purchase it. I earn a small commission from Amazon that goes to the ingredients and maintenance of this blog. Thanks for your support. Click here to buy.
- Hello, Friends! All the images and content here are COPYRIGHT PROTECTED. This means BY LAW you are NOT allowed to use my photos or content on your website without my permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write it in your own words and simply link back to this blog to give proper attribution. It’s the legal thing to do. Thank you.