It takes only a minute to toss all the marinade ingredients for this fabulous pork satay into a food processor. But if you want to plan ahead, you can make the marinade up to three days in advance and keep it in a covered jar in the refrigerator. Although skewers are always fun for a family meal--a good excuse for eating with your fingers--keep this recipe in mind as an appetizer for entertaining, too.
- 12 10-inch bamboo skewers,soaked in water for 15 minutes, then drained.
- 2 pork tenderloins, 10 to 12 ounces each, trimmed of excess fat and silver skin
- 1 stalk lemongrass
- 6 quarter-size slices peeled fresh ginger
- 1 shallot, quartered
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1½ teaspoons kosher or sea salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 5 teaspoon vegetable oil
Immerse the skewers before lighting the grill, so they have plenty of time to soak. Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill or preheat a gas grill on medium-high.
Remove the tenderloins from the refrigerator 20 to 30 minutes before grilling. Cut the pork on a sharp diagonal, across the grain, into 1/8-inch-thick slices and place in a large bowl.
Cut off and discard the dried, grasslike top half of the lemongrass. Trim the base from the bulb end and remove and discard the tough outer leaves. Using only the white and light green parts, cut in half lengthwise, and then cut crosswise into ½-inch pieces.
In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, combine the lemongrass, ginger, shallot, sugar, salt, cumin, coriander, and red pepper flakes and process until finely minced. With the machine running, add the vegetable oil through the feed tube and process until a paste forms. Transfer the paste to the bowl with the pork and brush or rub the paste evenly over the meat.
Thread the pork onto the skewers, dividing it evenly and weaving each slice to pierce it 2 or 3 times. Bunch the meat a bit, so it covers about 8 inches of each skewer.
Oil the grill grate. Fold a footlong piece of aluminum foil in half lengthwise and lay it on the grill grate. Arrange the skewers so the exposed bamboo is protected from the flame by the foil and the meat is directly over the fire. Use 2 pieces of foil if necessary. Grill the skewers, turning them once, until the pork is cooked through and the edges are slightly caramelized and charred, about 3 minutes per side. Serve immediately.
Nutritional information is based on using 20 ounces of pork tenderloin.