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Thai Pork Satay Kebabs with Peanut and Coconut Sauce

My thanks to John Curtis, who was head chef at Norwich City Football Club, for this brilliant recipe. It has all the exotic fragrances and flavours of the East, yet it's very simple to make.

 
 

This recipe first appeared in Sainsbury’s Magazine (Nov 1999).

Method

You need to start by making the sauce, half of which is used as a marinade for the pork, the other half as a dipping sauce.

Start off by placing the lime leaves in a small bowl, cover with boiling water and leave to soak for 5 minutes. When the lime leaves have re-hydrated, remove from the water, then roll them up very tightly and shred finely. Place the lime leaves in a food processor with the lemon grass.

Now add the deseeded chilli, garlic, ginger, the lime juice and zest and the fish sauce.

Next separate the leaves from the coriander stalks, and reserve them until later. Pop the stalks into the food processor, then put the lid on, switch on the motor and process until everything is very finely chopped.

Now add the peanut butter, coconut milk and light brown soft sugar and whiz again until everything is thoroughly blended.

Then pour half the sauce (about 8 fl oz/225 ml) into a large bowl, which will be for the pork marinade.

Next add the salted roasted peanuts and the reserved coriander leaves to the remaining sauce in the processor and pulse once again until coarsely chopped. (The chopped peanuts add a bit more texture.) Now pour the sauce into another bowl, cover and keep stored in the fridge until about 1 hour before you are ready to serve.

Next, to prepare the kebabs, cut the pork into bite-sized pieces – about ¾ inch (2 cm) cubes (you're aiming for 36 pieces).

Now add it to the marinade in the bowl, mix well, then cover and leave aside for a minimum of 1 hour.

Meanwhile, put the wooden skewers in a shallow dish, cover with hot water and leave to soak for a minimum of 30 minutes (this helps to prevent the skewers from burning under the grill). 

When you are ready to cook the kebabs, pre-heat the grill to its highest setting for at least 10 minutes and line the grill pan with foil. Remove the skewers from their water bath, dry them in a tea towel, then brush them with oil to prevent the pork from sticking.

Thread 3 pieces of pork on to each skewer, keeping them slightly spaced apart, and arrange the kebabs on a wire rack over the foil-lined grill pan.

Brush liberally with any remaining marinade and place under the grill, about 3 inches (7.5 cm) from the heat. 

The kebabs will take 15-20 minutes to cook, and you need to turn them and brush them with the remaining marinade as they cook.

You can either serve these straight away or, to serve them cold, allow them to cool, then cover and refrigerate till needed.

Serve with the sauce, garnished with wedges of lime.

 

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