pork & cashew satay with cucumber radish salad

Satay hails from South East Asia – primarily Malaysia & Indonesia. It’s meat on sticks, grilled & often served with peanut sauce. I don’t eat peanuts any more & as many know, I have a love affair with cashews. So instead of the obligatory peanuts in my satay sauce, I used roasted cashews. The result was delicious. The cashew satay sauce doubles as a marinade. So you make the sauce, use some of it for the marinade & then reheat what remains to serve with the cooked meat.

pork & cashew satay with cucumber radish saladTo be honest I find threading small pieces of meat onto skewers tedious. Usually it’s my husband who does the skewering of the meat as he has infinitely more patience than me. He was busy with work so I was skewering solo. 

Most recipes call for marinating the meat then threading it onto the skewers. I think that is too messy so I thread the meat onto the skewers then marinate it, ensuring the ends of the skewers are kept clean. I suggest you invest in a set of metal skewers for this method. Bamboo skewers are handy but no matter how long I soak those damn things in water, they still catch alight on the barbie. Trust me metal is better. My darling husband made these for me several years ago & they work a treat & have been used a bazillion times both at home & on photo shoots. Meat skewered & grilled – as much as it might be a little fiddly, is economical as you can make a little meat look like a lot of meat & skewered food looks good. 

pork skewers with satay sauceServe any salad you want with this recipe but I whipped up a simple cucumber & radish salad which was a perfect, fresh accompaniment to the morsels of lightly charred meat & the creamy cashew sauce. I added some whole, small mint leaves to the salad for freshness…& because I have what can only be described as a mint shrub growing on the front porch. Mint grows prolifically at the best of times but mine seems to be having a marvelous time in this hot, humid Floridan climate. Cilantro would also be lovely in the salad but I don’t have that growing, I’ve killed every cilantro plant I’ve bought. Fail!

fresh mintMake the salad dressing & cut the veggies ahead of time but toss everything together just before serving to preserve the crispness of the veggies. 

cucumber & radish saladI’m cooking with palm sugar these days, preferring that over regular sugar. Palm sugar has a rich, caramel-like flavor. If you don’t have any then use brown sugar instead but next time you shop, look out for palm sugar & buy some –  it’s splendid to cook with for both sweet & savory recipes. I urge you to try it, you’ll love it. 

pork & cashew satay


pork & cashew satay with cucumber & radish salad
Serves 4
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Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
12 min
Total Time
1 hr 2 min
Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
12 min
Total Time
1 hr 2 min
  1. 1 cup roasted cashews, plus 1/4 cup chopped
  2. 1/2 cup coconut milk
  3. 3 tablespoons grated palm sugar
  4. 2 tablespoons soy sauce (or ketcap manis – sweet soy sauce)
  5. 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  6. 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  7. 2 tablespoons hot water
  8. 2 small red chilies, trimmed of stems
  9. 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric, optional
  10. pinch of salt
  11. 24 oz (680g) pork butt (or any pork cut you fancy), cut into thin strips
  12. 12, 8-inch (20cm) skewers
  14. 3 tablespoons lime juice
  15. 2 tablespoons grated palm sugar
  16. 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  17. 1 garlic clove, minced
  18. pinch of salt
  19. 6 radish, thinly sliced
  20. 3 small cucumbers, sliced
  21. 3 tablespoons small mint leaves
  1. Place 1 cup of cashews, coconut milk, palm sugar, soy sauce, fish sauce, garlic, hot water, chilies, turmeric & salt in a small, deep bowl; use a wand blender to blend until smooth. Or use a food processor of regular blender. I use a wand blender because it is easier, less to clean up & it gets the sauce very smooth.
  2. Thread pork onto 12 skewers – I use metal ones so you don’t have to mess with soaking them & having them catch alight & that way you can reuse them. Place the skewers in a shallow dish. Pour 2/3 of the cashew satay sauce over the skewers & turn to coat. Cover & refrigerate 3 hours or overnight. Cover remaining cashew satay sauce & store in the fridge if you’re marinating the pork overnight.
  3. Cook pork skewers on medium hot grill (barbie), for 7 to 10 minutes, turning occasionally. I cook pork to just past medium. Overcooking it may make it dry.
  4. While pork is cooking, make cucumber radish salad: Combine lime juice, palm sugar, fish sauce, garlic clove & salt in a medium bowl; whisk to combine. Add radish, cucumbers & mint leaves; toss to coat in dressing. Make the salad just before serving. The dressing can be made a day ahead & stored, covered in the fridge.
  5. Carefully reheat cashew satay sauce in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until warm. Drizzle over pork skewers, sprinkle with 1/4 cup chopped cashews; serve with cucumber radish salad.
The Fresh Aussie http://thefreshaussie.com/





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