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Pork Satay

Pork satay, a staple among hawkers in Singapore, is typically very sweet. Bryant Ng’s version, which he marinates in a combination of lemongrass and coconut milk, is more balanced. He also adds extra fennel seeds, making the tender skewered meat even more aromatic.

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4 to 6

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  • 3 large shallots, chopped (3/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 plump fresh lemongrass stalks, tender inner bulbs only, chopped
  • 1 Fresno chile, chopped
  • 2 Brazil nuts or macadamia nuts, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon palm sugar or light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground fennel seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon shrimp paste (see Note) or anchovy paste
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus more for brushing
  • 1 1/2 pounds pork shoulder, cut into 1-by-1/4-inch strips
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • Lime wedges, for serving


  1. In a food processor, combine the shallots, coconut milk, lemongrass, chile, nuts, palm sugar, fennel seeds, crushed red pepper, black pepper, shrimp paste, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and the 1 tablespoon of oil. Process until a paste forms.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the pork strips with the shallot paste, 1 teaspoon of salt and the granulated sugar. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Soak 12 bamboo skewers in water for at least 30 minutes. Light a grill. Thread the pork onto the skewers, brush with vegetable oil and season with salt. Grill over moderate heat, turning occasionally, until lightly charred and just cooked through, about 10 minutes. Transfer the pork skewers to a platter and serve with lime wedges.


Shrimp paste is available at Asian markets.

Suggested Pairing

Light, fruit-forward Dolcetto

Contributed By Photo © Christina Holmes

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