Thai Pork Sates


serves 4 as an appetizer
550 g (1 1/4 lb) fillet of pork
15 ml (1 tbsp) curry powder
1.5 ml (1/4 tsp) coriander powder
1.5 ml (1/4 tsp) turmeric powder
pinch of cayenne pepper
45 ml (3 tbsp) peanut oil

for thai peanut sauce

100 g (4 oz) finely cut desiccated
coconut 100 g (4 oz) salted peanuts
2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) turmeric powder
2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) curry powder
1.5 ml (1/4 tsp) cayenne pepper
30 ml (2 tbls) sugar
5 ml (1 tsp) lemon juice

for thai cucumber relish

1/2 cucumber, peeled
30 ml (2 tbsp) thinly sliced
shallots or spring onions 1/2 hot green chilli, very thinly sliced
30 - 45 ml (2 - 3 tbsp) lemon juice
20 - 30 ml (4 - 6 tsp) sugar


1. Cut the pork into 5 mm (1/4 in) thick slices, then cut each slice into 25 mm x 5 cm (1 x 2 in) rectangles. Place the pork strips in a bowl and add the curry, coriander, turmeric, cayenne pepper and salt.

2. Wet your hands and gently knead the spices into the meat, adding 5 ml (1 tsp) each of peanut oil and water to help work in the spice mixture. Knead again. Cover the bowl and leave for 2 hours.

3. To make Thai peanut sauce, put the desiccated coconut in a bowl and add 300 ml (10 fl oz) water. Knead for 3. minutes. Strain the coconut through a fine sieve, pressing the coconut milk - about 250 ml (8 fl oz) - into a bowl with a wooden spoon.

4. Grind the peanuts coarsely, using a clean electric coffee grinder. Add the turmeric, curry, cayenne pepper and sugar to the coconut milk and cook over a medium heat, stirring, until the sauce comes to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and add the ground peanuts. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice and salt to taste. Remove the sauce from the heat and cool.

5. To make Thai cucumber relish, cut the cucumber in half lengthways and then cut each half into very thin slices. Put the sliced cucumber in a bowl. Add the thinly sliced shallots or spring onions and green chilli, lemon juice and sugar. Chill until ready to serve.

6. To grill the pork sates, thread 8 thin metal or bamboo skewers with 4 pieces of pork each. The skewer enters the meat 2-3 times, like a needle threading through cloth.

7. Heat the grill without the grid to high. Brush the grid and the pork sates with peanut oil and grill 10 cm (4 in) from the heat, turning frequently, until the sates are cooked through - 4—6 minutes on each side. Serve 2 skewers per person. Garnish each plate with Thai peanut sauce and cucumber relish.

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