At Wickedfood Cooking School in our Thai cooking lessons we make some delicious skewers also referred to as sâtés, click here for one of our recipes, with a delicious peanut sauce. This recipe however comes from David Thompson’s latest book Thai Street Food. He is one of Australia’s foremost chefs, restaurateurs and food writers, and widely acclaimed as the western world’s authority on Thai food:

“I am addicted to these. Along the street there are small grills, often just a large metal bowl with a rack perched on top. I’ll stop and look and long for the fruits of their labour – smoky grilled skewers of pork. I’ll smuggle some home as if carrying a guilty secret to relish in private. Sometimes, most of the time, I’ll break into the cache on the way home.”

“Grilling is one of the more popular techniques of the streets, where there are many ad hoc pieces of equipment and the grill is one of the most common. They are everywhere, grilling pork, satays, dumplings and squid. Using a charcoal grill imparts a depth of flavour that makes meat such as this grilled pork irresistible. It is important to light the grill 30-60 minutes before using and allow the coals to burn until they glow gently. If you have a charcoal grill you’ll know how long it takes to get to the right stage. Grilling over too high a heat will char and burn the pork before it is cooked and smoky. Very often there will be a small piece of pork fat at the bottom of the skewer. This helps to moisten the pork as it grills.”

“The Thais use mangrove charcoal from near the mouth of the Chao Phraya River. Not everyone has a charcoal grill, however, and these pork skewers can also be cooked on a chargrill plate on the stove top or under a preheated grill. While the taste will be less complex, they will still be extremely agreeable.”

skewers2300g pork loin or neck

50g pork back fat (optional)
12-15 bamboo skewers

4tbsp coconut cream

For the marinade:

1t coriander roots cleaned and chopped
pinch of salt
1t garlic, chopped
½t ground white pepper

2T shaved palm sugar

a dash dark soy sauce

2T fish sauce

2T vegetable oil

  1. Slice the pork into thinnish pieces about 2cm square. Cut the pork fat, if using, into rectangles, say 2cm x 5mm.
  2. Next make the marinade. Using a pestle and mortar, pound the coriander root, salt, garlic and pepper into a fine paste. Combine with the sugar, soy sauce, fish sauce and oil. Marinate the pork and fat in this mixture for about 3 hours. The more cautious can refrigerate this but, if doing so, then it is best marinated overnight.
  3. It’s a good idea to soak the bamboo skewers in water for about 30 minutes. This prevents them from scorching and burning as the pork grills.
  4. Prepare the grill. Meanwhile, thread a piece of pork fat, if using, on to the skewer first followed by two or three pieces of the marinated pork. Repeat with each skewer. When the embers are glowing, in fact beginning to die, gently grill the skewers, turning quite often to prevent charring and promote even caramelisation and cooking. Dab them with the coconut cream as they grill. This should make the coals smoulder and impart a smoky taste. Grill all the skewers.
  5. On the streets, they are reheated over the grill to warm them through before serving, but they are delicious warm or cool.

Makes 12-15
For more recipes from this book click here

Wickedfood Cooking School

Sunninghill – (011) 234-3252

Runs cooking classes throughout the year at its purpose-built cooking studios. Classes are run in the mornings and evenings 7 days a week (subject to a minimum of 12 people). The venue is also popular for corporate events and private functions – team building cooking classes, birthdays, kitchen teas, and dinner parties with a difference.

Our classes are hands-on, where every person gets to participate in the preparation of the dishes. They are also a lot of fun where you not only learn new skills, but get to meet people with similar interests. For corporate groups and teambuilding cooking classes these events are a novel way of creating staff interaction or entertaining clients.