Ingredients:

(makes 18 skewers)

500 g (1 lb) pork fillet, cut into bite­ sized cubes
18 bamboo skewers
Pineapple Satay Sauce
Marinade

Pineapple Satay Sauce

2 candlenuts, roughly chopped
1/2 stalk lemongrass, thick bottom third only, outer layers removed, inner part sliced
4 dried chillies, cut into lengths, deseeded and soaked to soften
4 shallots, peeled
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 cup (125 ml) thick coconut milk or 1/4 cup (60 ml) coconut cream mixed with 1/4 cup (60 ml) water
1/2 tablespoon tamarind pulp mashed in 2 tablespoons water, squeezed and strained to obtain juice
1/2 cup (75 g) coarsely ground roasted peanuts or 6 heaped tablespoons chunky peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon palm sugar or brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (50 g) canned or fresh crushed pineapple

Prepare the Pineapple Satay Sauce.

  1. Grind the candlenuts, lemon­grass, chillies, shallots and garlic in a mortar or blender, adding a little oil if necessary to keep the blades turning.
  2. Heat the oil in a wok and stir-fry the ground ingredients over medi­um heat for 5 minutes until fragrant. Add the coconut milk and gently bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat, add the tamarind juice and peanuts or peanut butter, and season with the sugar and salt. Simmer gently, stir­ring constantly, for 2 minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. When cooled, add the crushed pineapple, mix well and set aside.

Marinade

1 1/2 tablespoons coriander seeds, or 2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 cm (1/2 in) fresh turmeric root, peeled and sliced, or 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
1 stalk lemongrass, thick bottom part only, outer layers removed, inner part sliced
4 tablespoons oil

To prepare the marinade, grind all the ingredients in a mortar or blender, adding the oil to keep the blades turning.

Preparation:

Rub the marinade into the pork cubes and set aside to marinate for 2 hours. In the meantime, soak the skewers in cold water to prevent them from burning during grilling. Thread 3 pork cubes onto each bamboo skewer until all the meat and skewers are used up. Then brush with a little oil and cook over hot charcoal or under a broiler, turning from time to time and brushing with more oil, until the meat is browned evenly on the outside and well cooked on the inside, about 5 to 7 minutes. Serve with a bowl of the Pineapple Satay Sauce and, if desired, chunks of fresh pineapple, cucumber and raw onions or shallots on the side.

Excerpted from Food of Singapore: Simple Street Food Recipes from the Lion City with permission from Tuttle Publishing.

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