Time for some satay. Not the usual Malay satay that we all know and love but the pork variety with its spicy & tangy peanut sauce. It’s the Chinese (Hainanese to be precise) version of satay using our favourite meat (pork). The peanut sauce is spicy and tangy with a dollop of sweet finely minced pineapple.
Traditional Hainanese Pork Satay comes in 5 sections – meat, fat, meat, fat. meat. It’s the chunks of fat that make the pork satay really juicy and tasty. When perfectly grilled, the pork satay is filled with crispy fat. Due to health concerns, I have reduced the amount of fat used by using very lean belly pork in this recipe. Slice the pork belly thinly length-wise to get long strips of thin slices of pork (like bacon slices). Freeze the slab first and slicing it thinly will be an easy task. I find that cutting the pork belly this way ensures the meat is well seasoned and quick to grill. It also helps with the threading of the meat through the skewers.
You may have notice that in my video, I did not add sweet minced fresh pineapple to the peanut sauce. This is because I had no pineapple on hand but I was keen to make this satay. If you plan to make this, make sure to add some fresh pineapple to the peanut sauce.
Video Link: https://youtu.be/FxlQFJjXZTk
BELLY PORK & MARINADE
500 gm belly pork (cut into long thin strips)
Marinade ingredients: (keep 2 Tbsp of this marinade for the peanut sauce) 10-12 shallots
4 cloves garlic
4 slices ginger
2 stalks of lemongrass – white part only (slice)
2 Tbsp coriander powder
2 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp salt
3 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp sweet dark soy sauce
4 Tbsp oil
20-25 bamboo skewers (soak in water for a couple of hours)
2 Tbsp of the marinade (see above)
1 stalk lemongrass – white part only (slice)
6 shallots (slice)
3 cloves garlic (slice)
3 slices ginger (cut into strips)
3 dried red chillies – discard seeds (slice)
3 Tbsp oil
4 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp light soy sauce
1 cup toasted peanuts (coarsely ground)
1 tsp tamarind puree
200 ml water
2 Tbsp fresh pineapple (finely minced)
1 cucumber (cut into small pieces)
1 red onion (cut into quarters)
1 pineapple (cut into small pieces)
Compressed rice cakes (cut into bite size pieces)
1 Put all the marinade ingredients in a blender and blend into a smooth paste. Remove 2 tablespoons of the marinade – to be added to the sauce mixture (see step no. 4 below).
2. Slice the belly pork into thin long strips and thread belly pork onto skewers.
3. Spread marinade over the belly pork. Marinate for a few hours, preferably overnight.
4. Blend the spice paste ingredients in a blender into a smooth paste.
5. Fry the spice paste over low heat till the oil starts to separate out.
6. Add tamarind puree, ground peanut and water to the paste and bring it to a boil.
7. Simmer the peanut sauce for 10-15 minutes. For the traditional Hainanese peanut sauce, add a dollop of finely minced pineapple to the peanut sauce just before serving.
8. Grill the pork skewers over high heat till meat is cooked and slightly charred. Turn over the skewers to ensure even browning.
9. Serve the grilled pork satay with peanut sauce and accompaniment.