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Indonesian Pork Saté with Spicy Peanut Sauce Recipe


Strangely enough, my family's favorite holiday food is Indonesian Pork Satés with Spicy Peanut Sauce.  We lived in the Netherlands right before we moved to New Orleans (my dad was a naval officer) and my mom learned how to make a lot of wonderful Indonesian dishes.  This was always the most popular one and she still has to make it for us for every family gathering.


For the satés:

  • 2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 2 tablespoons salad oil, peanut or canola
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce, preferably ketjap manis 
  • 1 pound lean pork (loin or trimmed butt), cut in 1/2-inch cubes

For spicy peanut sauce:

  • 1 cup peanut butter (we use smooth but you can use crunchy if you like the texture)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon sambal oelek (red chile paste)
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce, preferably ketjap manis
  • 1-2 cups chicken stock or water, as needed
  • Radishes or cilantro springs, thinly sliced, garnish (optional)


  • 12-15 wooden skewers


For the satés:

Soak 12-15 wooden skewers in water. Mix the garlic, ginger, oil, and soy sauce in a medium bowl and add pork cubes. Stir to coat with marinade; set aside. (Meanwhile, you can make the spicy peanut sauce.)

Skewer the pork (about 4-5 cubes per skewer) on the soaked wooden skewers.  Grill or broil for 2-3 minutes on each side and serve with the warm peanut sauce and a garnish of shaved radishes and cilantro sprigs.

For the peanut sauce:

Place the peanut butter, garlic, chile paste, and soy sauce in a small pot and warm gently over low heat for about 4 minutes. Stir in the chicken stock or water slowly, adding a little at a time, as the mixture will thicken after each addition as it warms.

Note: This sauce can be made ahead of time and kept warm, or rewarmed. You will need to add more liquid when ready to serve, as the peanut butter will thicken while standing. The sauce should have a thick, creamy consistency, but be loose enough to stir easily. The seasonings can be adjusted to your personal taste; we like it a little spicy.