I love peanut butter but never between two slices of bread. So, no, I don’t eat peanut butter sandwiches. But I cook and bake with peanut butter. For this pork with spicy lime and peanut butter sauce, seasoned pork is dredged in flour, fried, then tossed in a mixture of melted butter, lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, honey, chili sauce and peanut butter. Then, some toasted sesame seeds and finely sliced shallots for a final touch and lunch was ready.
What’s with the spicy lime and peanut butter sauce? Where did the idea come from? I love sweet and sour pork, and I have learned that there are so many variations that can be created from the basic recipe. The “sour” component can be vinegar or citrus juice and the sweetness can come from sugar, simple syrup, fruit juice, pureed fruits or honey. The sweet and sour sauce can be spicy, thin, thick, clear or cloudy. It can be any color (depending on the ingredients). It can form a pool beneath the pork or it can be so thick and sticky that it coats the meat without dripping at all.
So, I’ve been experimenting with different ingredients to make sweet and sour sauce. Together, lime juice, chili sauce, peanut butter and honey make a deliciously thick version.
- 200 grams pork (neck or shoulder is recommended)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger grated (or 1/4 tsp. of ginger powder)
- 2 to 3 tablespoons flour or corn starch
- 2 cups vegetable cooking oil
- 2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons chili sauce
- 2 tablespoons lime (or lemon or kalamansi) juice
- 2 tablespoons butter
- sesame seeds toasted, to garnish
- scallions snipped, to garnish
Cut the pork against the grain (see how) into slices about a quarter of an inch thick. Toss with the salt, pepper and ginger.
Heat the cooking oil until fine wisps of smoke float up.
Toss the pork in the flour, shake off the excess, and fry in batches until golden brown and crisp. If the slices are thin enough and the temperature of the oil in just right, each batch of pork should cook in three to four minutes. Scoop out the pork and drain on paper towels.
Put the peanut butter, Worcestershire sauce, honey, chili sauce, lime juice and butter in a microwaveable bowl. Microwave on HIGH for about a minute. Stir to make a smooth paste (it will be quite thin).
Add the pork to the sauce and toss to coat each piece completely.
Add the sesame seeds and toss to distribute as evenly as possible.
Transfer the sauce-coated pork on a platter, sprinkle with snipped scallions and serve at once.