Although the concept of satay, cooking meats on skewers, originated in Indonesia, it has been enthusiastically adopted by nearly every Southeast Asian cuisine and fashioned to suit the local taste and palate. This satay is a favorite Thai recipe.


  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Thai fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons coconut cream
  • 1 1/2 pounds pork butt or tenderloin, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • For Sauce:
  • 1 ounce tamarind pulp, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon peanut or corn oil
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup ground dry-roasted peanuts or 6 tablespoons chunky peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons palm sugar or brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Companion recipe: Red Curry Paste


In a bowl, stir together the brown sugar, coriander, cumin, turmeric, lime juice, fish sauce and coconut cream to form a marinade. Add the pork and mix thoroughly to coat. Cover and let marinate for 2 hours at room temperature. Place 18 bamboo skewers, each 8 inches long, in enough water to cover for at least 30 minutes.

FOR SAUCE: In a small bowl, soak the tamarind pulp in boiling water for 15 minutes. Mash with the back of a fork to help dissolve the pulp. Pour through a fine-mesh sieve into another small bowl, pressing against the pulp to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the pulp; set the liquid aside.

Place a wok or saucepan over medium heat. When it is hot, add the oil, curry paste and paprika. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the coconut milk and stir continuously over low heat until the red-stained oil peeks through the paste, about 3 minutes. Add the ground peanuts or peanut butter and palm sugar or brown sugar and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Stir in the tamarind liquid, fish sauce and salt and cook for 1 minute longer. If the sauce is too thick, thin it with a little water. Remove from the heat and keep warm.

Prepare a fire in a charcoal grill or preheat a gas grill to medium-high heat. Thread 4 or 5 pieces of pork onto each skewer. The pieces should touch, but do not press them together. Place the skewers on the grill rack and grill until grill marks appear on the underside, about 2 minutes. Turn the skewers over and continue grilling until the pork is browned on all sides and firm to the touch, about 1 minute longer.

TO SERVE: Transfer the skewers to a platter. Pour the sauce into a shallow serving bowl and serve alongside.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Owen. All rights reserved.

RecID 2050

nutrition information per serving

269 calories; 12g total fat; 75mg cholesterol; 621mg sodium; 14g carbohydrates; 2g fiber; 27g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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