"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."
Words that should inspire me. Instead, they filled me with one of the most regretful sentiments, nostalgia.
Last year, the Workaholic and I found ourselves in the night market of Kuala Lumpur. It was an adventure that was slightly outside of our comfort zone, if only because we both had fears of eating undercooked anything and spending a day not able to leave the hotel. After scouring the street hawkers, we decided to nibble on small things, and the first thing we had were satay skewers. I've never been a huge fan of satay anything in the past, but they were there, they were small, they were non-committal. We ordered our skewers, the man told us how much it was while holding the meat-covered wooden sticks in the fire and just as we completed the financial part of the transaction, we got our meat. Were we afraid that this was undercooked & going to force us to make use of our international health insurance? Yes. We tenatatively bit in, dipping the meat in the little plastic bag of sauce that came with it. We were delighted. They were fantastic, succulent flavourful pieces of meat that, most importantly, dissolved all fear of hawker food. I fell in love with the food, the scenery and would so love to go back. I think the Workaholic would like to as well.
The satay skewers I made were 1) doomed to never be the satay skewers of my memories, 2) not grilled because my grill is covered in snow, and 3) not on skewers. I don't really think that the skewers made much of a difference, as the idea is to tenderize the meat through the marinade, and the meat was juicy and tender. They just weren't the same spices. This should come as no surprise, the recipe was a British interpretation of Thai, not potentially frightening Malaysian flavour that I had in mind.
The Workaholic bit into his dinner and asked, "Shouldn't they be spicier?" I had to agree. I followed Cuppy's recipe but it just didn't work out for us. The peanut sauce, on the other hand, was fantastic. The Workaholic found it to be too sweet (we don't eat any sugar any more) but I have been eating spoonfuls of leftover sauce out of the fridge (don't pretend as if you never do that!).
We may try other recipes for satay skewers that actually involve me going out to the grill and getting the burn marks I should. I might add fish sauce and chilis. Whatever I do, I'm waiting until the snow melts.
13 hours ago