In the Philippines, this dish of grilled skewered pork marinated in lemongrass, honey and fish sauce would simply be called pork barbecue. Elsewhere in Southeast Asia, it would be a satay. Unlike the Filipino pork barbecue, however, these skewered pork slices aren’t brushed with any sauce during grilling. And, unlike the ubiquitous satay, there is no dipping sauce.
Based on a recipe by Luke Nguyen, the ingredients for the marinade are quite few. Yet, these few ingredients are enough to impart such amazing flavor, color and aroma to the pork. The secret? Sufficient marinating time.
Speedy prepared and grilled the pork skewers. The girls and I loved them.
- 500 grams pork neck/shoulder (kasim)
- 3 to 5 stalks scallions chopped
- 2 to 3 stalks lemongrass thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 6 tablespoons vegetable oil (will keep the meat ultra moist)
- 6 tablespoons patis (fish sauce)
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds stirred with 1 teaspoon of salt
- cilantro snipped
Cut the pork across the grain (see how) to about 1/4 inch thin (thinner, if you can manage it) then cut into small pieces, about 2 inches square.
With a mortar and pestle, pound the scallions, lemongrass and pepper.
Place the pork in a bowl. Add the lemongrass mixture, sugar, fish sauce, honey, vegetable oil and oyster sauce. Cover and marinate in the fridge overnight.
An hour before grilling, soak the bamboo skewers in water. That’s to prevent them from catching fire on the grill.
Fire up the grill.
Thread the pork slices with the bamboo skewers, four to five pieces per stick.
Grill the pork in batches (do not overcrowd the grill) until nicely browned and lightly charred, about two to three minutes per side.
To serve, sprinkle the skewered pork with the sesame seed-salt mixture. Then, sprinkle with snipped cilantro.
The skewered pork is great by itself as an appetizer or snack. Or, serve with rice as a main course.