The Official Line: 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.
When I read the Daring Cooks’ challenge
for January, I must admit I breathed a sigh of relief. After blow out cooking marathons over the holidays I needed a bit of a break. Satays with a peanut sauce were simple enough to pull together on a weeknight and with the ability to use any type of meat I could even keep it on the healthy side.
With an eye for simplicity I opted to use shrimp and tofu, which only needed to rest in the marinade for about 30 minutes. (Other options such as pork or chicken would also work very well in this dish, but need to marinate for 8-24 hours.) After infusing the meat with ginger, onion, and an array of spices, all that was left was a quick turn on the grill. Everything was hunky dory until I tried to turn the skewers. The shrimp happily popped right off the grill pan, but the tofu hung on for dear life. After much prodding I finally got the tofu to turn over, but it left a layer behind that refused to budge and proceeded to burn while the second side cooked. Do you see
a pattern here
? I’m beginning to think that I should call myself a “challenged” Daring Cook! Fortunately the peanut sauce came together without a fight- requiring only that you warm up the coconut milk and peanut butter until they are combined.
When the shrimp and tofu were dipped into the thick and creamy coconut flavored sauce they were delicious. Warm, crispy on the edges, and slathered in a mildly spicy peanut sauce, satays are a fantastic way to eat food on a stick. Plus I always think food tastes better if you get to use your hands!
1 lb. Shrimp
8 oounces Extra-Firm Tofu, drained and cut into 1″ squares
1/2 small onion, chopped
2 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)
1 serrano pepper, seeded
2 T vegetable oil (or peanut or olive oil) (30 mls)
3/4 cup coconut milk (light is fine) (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)
Grill or Grill Pan
Make the Marinade
If you have a food processor or blender, dump in everything except the shrimp and tofu 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.
Marinate the Meat
Thaw shrimp if necessary. Place shrimp and tofu cubes into a gallon size Ziploc bag. Add the marinade into the bag, seal, and gently shake the bag until all ingredients are well covered. Set the bag in the fridge and let marinate for 20-60 minutes.
While the meat is marinating, place the bamboo skewers in water to soak.
Assemble the Peanut Sauce
Mix dry ingredients in a small bowl. Add soy sauce and lemon, mix well.
Over low heat, combine coconut milk, peanut butter and your soy-lemon-seasoning mix. Mix well, stir often. Keep the sauce warm while you cook the meat.
Cook the Satays
Heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high.
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*. Serve hot with peanut sauce on the side.
* If you’re grilling or broiling, brush the meat once with extra marinade when you flip the skewers.