Daring Cooks – Satay

Satay… did someone say satay?

The January 2010 Daring Cooks challenge was hosted by Cuppy of Cuppylicious and she chose a Thai-inspired recipe for Pork Satay from the book 1000 Recipes by Martha Day.

(thankfully it was pork satay and not anything like we saw for sale in Laos)

Notes for the challenge:

1. Use any meat or tofu you like.
2. Serve satay as an appetizer, side dish or main course.
3. Skewer or no skewer, your call.
4. Pan fry, grill, or broil, also your call.
5. Alternative recipe below for faster marinade.
6. Alternative recipe below for peanut allergies.
7. You don’t have to use turmeric if you don’t have it.
8. Marinate (verb) – to steep (to wet thoroughly in or with a liquid; drench; saturate; imbue) in a marinade before cooking.

The required part of this challenge was to marinate.

Pork Satay with Peanut Sauce

Satay Marinade – Ingredients

1/2 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 T ginger root, chopped (optional) (2 cm cubed)
2 T lemon juice (1 oz or 30 mls)
1 T soy sauce (0.5 oz or 15 mls)
1 tsp ground coriander (5 mls)
 (I didn’t have any on hand so used some chopped, frozen stuff I had on hand)
1 tsp ground cumin (5 mls)
1/2 tsp ground turmeric (2-2.5 mls)
2 T vegetable oil (or peanut or olive oil) (30 mls)
1 pound of pork (loin or shoulder cuts) (16 oz or 450g)


1a. Cheater alert: If you have a food processor or blender, dump in everything except the pork and blend until smooth. Lacking a food processor, chop onions, garlic and ginger finely then mix it all together in a medium to large bowl.
2a. Cut pork into 1 inch strips.
3a. Cover pork with marinade. You can place the pork into a bowl, cover/seal and chill, or place the whole lot of it into a ziplock bag, seal and chill.

4. If using wooden or bamboo skewers, soak your skewers in warm water for at least 20 minutes before preparing skewers.
5. Gently and slowly slide meat strips onto skewers. Discard leftover marinade.

6. Broil or grill at 290°C/550° F (or pan fry on medium-high) for 8-10 minutes or until the edges just start to char. Flip and cook another 8-10 minutes.

NB: If you’re grilling or broiling, you could definitely brush once with extra marinade when you flip the skewers.

Peanut Sauce – Ingredients

3/4 cup coconut milk (6 oz or 180 mls)
4 Tbsp peanut butter (2 oz or 60 mls)
1 Tbsp lemon juice (0.5 oz or 15 mls)
1 Tbsp soy sauce (0.5 oz or 15 mls)
1 tsp brown sugar (5 mls)
1/2 tsp ground cumin (2.5 mls)
1/2 tsp ground coriander (2.5 mls)
1-2 dried red chilies, chopped (keep the seeds for heat)


1. Mix dry ingredients in a small bowl. Add soy sauce and lemon, mix well.
2. Over low heat, combine coconut milk, peanut butter and your soy-lemon-seasoning mix. Mix well, stir often.
3. All you’re doing is melting the peanut butter, so make your peanut sauce after you’ve made everything else in your meal, or make ahead of time and reheat.

This was – just ok. It turned out as it was supposed to (I have eaten many a satay in my time!) but we both found the flavours a bit cloying. The peanut sauce was fairly strong and overpowered the ginger etc… in the marinade – we served it in small bowls on the side and just dipped the meat.

In its favour, it was a nice light dish on the tails of our cheese and wine-laden trip to France so for that, we were thankful! It was also a great reminder about what a fabulous TECHNIQUE marinading is – especially for tough cuts of meat (we used pork shoulder), so thanks for that Cuppy!

25 thoughts on “Daring Cooks – Satay”

  1. This looks mouthwatering. I made s my husband did satay once and the hubs did not care for it, but he would probably devour youres!

  2. Mardi your photo series is excellent!!! And yes this recipe is only Thai inspired and I had to tweak it a lot for my taste buds I really love Thai food and love making it. Eck! are they grasshoppers…. are they a good thing or a bad thing LOL LOL. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  3. Yikes. That freaked me out. lol. Good thing it gets better and better as I scrolled down. Your satays look awesome. I will make that soon at home.

  4. I lived in Singapore for two years and dinner at the Satay Club near Raffles Hotel was a regular and delicious treat. The satay was always accompanied by a block of rice that had been steamed in a small container made of woven pandan leaves. We chose not to eat the satay made with intestines in Malayasia.

  5. Looks awesome! I too agree that I'm glad it was pork and not what you found in Laos! Though do they sell that in Asian markets anywhere around here? I don't think I ever saw them in the ones back home in Portland, OR hehe 🙂

  6. Your satay sounds great! I wonder if I would like using chopped fresh/frozen coriander in place of the ground stuff. Definitely would add a fresher flavor to the marinade. Good job!

  7. Hahaha! I love the first picture. 😉

    I'm glad you tried this challenge, even with your hesitation. There are hundreds of satay flavors all over the world, and this was just one of those generic recipes; it was all about the marinade use, and you did a great job on that. Pork shoulder is no easy meat!

    Too bad it wasn't up your alley.. it looks really tasty from here. 😉

  8. Those grasshoppers are humungous – or maybe that was just a close up.
    Your satay looks delicious!!! What a great idea to chop and freeze coriander.

  9. Good on you for doing this challenge. The pork satay looks great. And maybe try using raw groundnuts instead of peanut butter to keep the taste of the sauce quite "clean". Hope that makes sense.

  10. Oh wow, the grasshoppers are a little scary. Good thing DC did not include those buggers. A great peanut sauce is good for anything though. Chicken, noodles, salad…good stuff!

  11. Very disappointed by the lack of grasshoppers in your dinner. I'm sure this would have counteracted the cloying nature quite nicely.

  12. French Cooking – glad you liked the look of it.

    Miranda – I don't know many people who would "devour" this one.. Quite strong (oppositional) flavours…

    Audax – I think they are crickets!!!

    Divina – I am sure you would make a lovely satay!

    Simply Life – thanks!

    Carol – intestines beat crickets for being gross!!

    Rochelle – I don't think so!

    Evelyne – sorry! I couldn't resist!

    Tasty Eats – I also liked the look of the "fresh" as opposed to ground coriander.

    5 Star – thanks

    Cuppy – thanks again for hosting. I was really pleased with how tender the meat was so all was not lost!

    Blonde Duck – thanks!

    FLB – we always have frozen herbs on hand in the freezer – so useful!

    Kitchen Butterfly – marinading is such a great technique!

    Penny – I love the idea of doing the ground raw nuts for a cleaner flavour.

    Juls – satay is so easy and (generally) so tasty and tender! Try it!

    Rachael – thanks so much!

    Duo – satay crickets? Now THAT would have been daring!

    Conor – haha!

    Natashya – thank you. Yes, the crickets are pretty scary…

    Dian – thanks!

    Lo – absolutely NOT!!! 😀

    GREG (Sippity Sup) – I presume you mean the crickets up top…? 😉

  13. While quite nice, MArdi is right: I think "cloying" was my word, actually. These won't be a repeat, I don't think…unless some tweaking done.

    Personally, those crickets would have been nice. (And YES, Conor…have had them in the past.)


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