Thursday, January 14, 2010

Thai... Satay... and Homemade Peanut Butter

After a somewhat lengthy break from all types of daring challenges, I came back. To my surprise, the daring recipe was satay. Yum. This is the food I can eat every day. So, without much hesitation and before I knew it, I was chopping the onions and garlic and digging through my spice cabinet in search of coriander. Voila! My chicken breast was marinating. Then I started to read comments and got a bit concerned -- is this too simple? What if it does not taste like satay that I love? By the following morning, I decided to put the worries behind and also do shrimp satay while I am at it.

With marinade behind me, I started off on the peanut sauce to realize that I don't have peanut butter. We are not big peanut butter fans, so lack of it is not surprising. The surprising part was that I did buy some roasted peanuts during my last shopping trip. Before long, I came across Alton Brown's Homemade peanut butter. Having figured that you cannot go wrong with 4 ingredient recipe endorsed by one of my favorite cooking people, I had my peanut butter in 2 minutes. Simple and oh-so-amazingly good. Whatever peanut butter was left from the sauce disappeared in no time.

But I digress. Broiling the meat/shrimp and stirring the sauce took no time either. “No time” here and “no time” there somehow added up to about an hour of bouncing around the kitchen. The meal was delicious. It definitely did not taste like satay from my favorite Thai restaurant but that did not seem to matter, as it was refreshing (I might have put more lemon juice than needed) and delicious. Many thanks to Cuppy for the challenge, we will be definitely making this again!!

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

The key to a great marinade is to have an acid (lemon, lime, brine, soy, vinegar, etc) and an oil (peanut, vegetable, corn, olive, etc). If you’re already working with a soft meat (filet mignon) or vegetable (capsicum) or tofu, then you can skip the oil entirely. Potatoes and tofu still need to be marinated for flavor, otherwise you may as well dip French fries in catsup. If you’re going to grill, I suggest you include the oil anyway.

Pork Satay with Peanut Sauce

Satay Marinade:

1/2 small onion, chopped2 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)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)


1. Cheater alert: If you have a food processor or blender, dump in everything except the pork and blend until smooth. Lacking a food processor, I prefer to chop my onions, garlic and ginger really fine then mix it all together in a medium to large bowl.
2. Cut pork into 1 inch strips.
3. 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.
*If you’re grilling or broiling, you could definitely brush once with extra marinade when you flip the skewers.

Peanut Sauce

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.

Pepper Dip (optional)

4 Tbsp soy sauce (2 oz or 60 mls)
1 Tbsp lemon juice (0.5 oz or 15 mls)
1 tsp brown sugar (5 mls)
1-2 dried red chilies, chopped (keep the seeds for heat)
1 finely chopped green onion (scallion)
Mix well. Serve chilled or room temperature.

Tamarind Dip (optional)

4 Tbsp tamarind paste (helpful link below) (2 oz or 60 mls)
1 Tbsp soy sauce (0.5 oz or 15 mls)
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 finely chopped green onion (scallion)
1 tsp brown or white sugar, or to taste (about 5 mls)
Mix well. Serve chilled or room temperature.


  1. oh I just think your version looks delicious and knowing that you used a recipe from Alton makes it so much better.

  2. those prawns look yummy!

  3. Alton Brown is the king of all things foodie! Woohoo! ;D I'll have to try his peanut butter, it looks superb!

    I'm glad you enjoyed the challenge and found it easy enough to do in "no time". ;)

  4. WOWOWOWOW you made home-made PB great job. And your seafood satay looks so fabulous and delicious. Well done and "no-time" does add up to "some-time". Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.