Day Twenty Three: Pork Satay with Creamy Peanut Dipping Sauce

27 Feb

I was so spoiled living in the neighborhood we did in SF – I could walk out our door and decide between a myriad of Chinese restaurants (Szechuan, dim sum, Cantonese, etc), Japanese sushi, Thai, Burmese or Malaysian, Vietnamese and Indian restaurants. All were located within a maximum of 5 blocks, so there was no need for little old me to cook it when there were masters all around us. However, now that we live in Tahoe, we are deprived, as there is basically no good ethnic food other than my dear Lupita’s. As a result, I now crave these long lost flavors and am forced to cook it myself. So yet another great outcome from this challenge has been to cook more diverse recipes, a lot of the time Asian or Indian, and really understand them.

I’ll be honest and say that satay isn’t the most challenging dish, and doesn’t really fine tune my cooking skills. But, it is darn good, and getting a dipping sauce just right, whether it be peanut, curry or whatever, can sometimes be a bit difficult since there are so many choices.

I thought this dish turned out quite well, although in all honesty, it wasn’t the finest dish I’ve made.  The pork was moist, crispy on the outside and full of flavors. The pork marinates for a bit in a curry-based paste, and is then broiled (or grilled) until done. I served it over a saute of cabbage and potatoes with Indian seasonings, similar to this NYT recipe but without the yogurt (although I bet it is super tasty with it in there) and with the addition of boiled potatoes. As for the sauce, it was a peanut based sauce that was given a creamy twist from some Greek yogurt. I think the sauce could use some altering, perhaps some garlic (?), but it was good as-is. Christian liked his with chutney, but I take that with a grain of salt because he chooses to eat ANY pork recipe with chutney, even if it has no flavors that are compatible with those of a chutney. This time though, it worked and he said it was a great combo.  I’ll tweak it again one day and see what could make it jump a bit more.

Pork Satay with Creamy Peanut Dipping Sauce

  • 1 lb pork shoulder, cut into strips and pounded thin
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 1″ piece of ginger, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of cayenne, to taste
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp water
  • 1/2″ piece ginger, minced
  • 2 tbsp creamy peanut butter
  • juice and zest from 1/2 orange
  • 1 tbsp plain yogurt, preferably Greek
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • cayenne pepper, to taste

To make marinade, combine tumeric through water in a small food processor and combine till a paste forms. Add more water if needed to obtain a paste consistency. Skewer the pork onto skewers (if using wood, soak in water for a bit), and rub both side of pork with the paste. Let sit for 30 minutes. Broil, on high, until done. This will depend on how thin you make the pork and how done you want the outside, but it is about 10 minutes.

In a food processor, mix the ginger, peanut butter, orange juice, tomato paste, cumin and cayenne until blended. Stir in the yogurt and orange zest, and season with salt and pepper.

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