Thai Pork Satay


Pork Satay is a delicious summer dish and a great reason to break out the grill. If you are missing some ingredients, all should be readily available at a Thai or well-stocked Asian market, and it is well worth the investment. For an easier dinner, prepare satay sauce and serving relish the day before. You can also use any leftover satay sauce for a Thai inspired pizza! This recipe derives from David Thompson’s Thai Street Food

For the marinade


  • 1 tbsp. coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped lemongrass
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp chopped galangal (ginger is an ok substitute)
  • 1 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • pinch of roasted chili powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream
  • 2 tbsp coconut or vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp shaved palm sugar 

For the pork


  • 400 g (12 oz) pork neck or loin
  • about 30 bamboo skewers
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream
  • pinch of salt
  • Satay Sauce and Cucumber Relish to serve


First, make the marinade, In a dry, heavy-based frying pan, separately roast the coriander and cumin seeds, shaking the pan, until aromatic. Using a pestle and mortar, grind the spices to a powder before adding the lemongrass, salt and galangal. Pound to a fine paste, then stir in the turmeric and chili powders. Add the coconut cream, oil and sugar and stir until dissolved. Pour into a bowl. 

Cut the pork into thin slices about 1 1/2 inch x 1/2 inch. Add to the bowl and leave to marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour, or as long as overnight. 

Soak the skewers in water for about 30 minutes, then thread 3 slices of marinated pork onto each skewer. The satays can then be returned to the marinade for a few minutes or a few hours. 

Light a charcoal grill about half an hour before you intend to grill the satays. Stoke the charcoal, letting its fierce heat peter out to a gentle heat so that the pork will gently cook and smoke rather than charring. 

Place the coconut cream in a wide, shallow bowl and stir in the pinch of salt. Take each satay out of the marinade and give it a cursory dip into the coconut cream before placing it on the grill. Grill the satays over the prepared charcoal or in a chargrill pan over a medium heat, cooking three or four at a time, or more if you can manage it. Baste with the salted coconut cream. Turn the satays often, taking care not to let them color too much. 

Meanwhile, warm Satay Sauce. Serve the satays with the sauce and Cucumber Relish.





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