Pork satay is a cubed pork dish that is placed on skewers along with various vegetables. The satay is then grilled until the meat and vegetables are both tender. Both pork and chicken satay are common examples of Asian food, with some of the best recipes found in traditional Thai cuisine.
One of the unique characteristics of pork satay is the composition of the marinade used to prepare the meat. Peanut butter serves as the base for the marinade. The peanut butter is often combined with such ingredients as soy sauce, brown sugar, minced garlic, and a dash of lemon juice. The cubed pieces of pork are immersed in the peanut butter mixture and allowed to marinate for at least a couple of hours. Allowing the meat to marinate overnight will help to enhance the flavor and also tenderize the pork to a greater degree.
Once the pork is prepared for the pork satay, the cubes of meat are placed on skewers along with chunks of various vegetables. Sweet onions, such as Texas Sweets or Vidalia onions are excellent choices. To compliment the onions, large sections of red and green bell peppers are also included among the pork cubes. Water chestnuts round out the final ingredient to be placed on the skewers before the pork satay is placed on the grill.
While closely associated with Thailand, pork satay is not an exclusively Thai food. Many parts of Asia include variations of pork satay among their national dishes. Lamb and chicken may be used in place of pork and still create a final presentation that is pleasing to the eye as well as being delicious.
In some restaurants where pork satay is served, it is not unusual to serve the satay with white or fried rice and a small bowl of sweetened peanut sauce. The satay is removed from the skewer, allowing the pork cubes and the chunks of vegetables to be dipped into the dressing before consumption. However, some purists feel that dipping the chunks of pork in any type of sauce only masks the flavor of the grilled satay and prefer to serve the dish with simple white rice as an accompaniment.
Owing to the simplicity of the dish, it is possible to prepare pork satay at home. The marinade is easy to prepare and cubing the pork and the vegetables to the proper size requires very little effort. If a grill is not available, it is possible to place the filled skewers in a broiler and achieve a similar effect.