I was walking through Paknam Market this afternoon when I came across a hawker selling moo sateh, otherwise known in English as Pork Satay. I love this snack though I must admit that, for me, the main attraction is the sauce!
If you want, you can also buy satay beef or satay chicken, but in Paknam Market they only seem to sell satay pork. You might be wondering at this stage why the pork has a yellow tinge. Well, that is to do with the turmeric. Actually, turmeric is a deep orange colour originally, but it turns curries, soups and some rice dishes yellow when cooked with them.
In this case, the cook pounds together galangal, lemon grass and turmeric until it is a fine paste. (You might remember the first two ingredients from the Tom Kha Gai (chicken coconut soup) recipe that I talked about the other week.) Other ingredients are then added which include roasted coriander seed, roasted cumin seed, ground pepper, salt and the ever present sugar. Then it is mixed in with the pork and left to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
There is now one sauce and one relish to prepare. You can see these in the photograph below. On the left hand side are the ingredients for the cucumber relish. This is made up of (from top left) cucumber, shallots, chili and a generous amount of vinegar. This vinegar has been pre-cooked with a pinch of salt and a generous helping of our friend sugar until the latter two dissolve. This is then left to cool.
On the right of this picture is a bowl of the very delicious satay sauce. This is also prepared in advance before the hawker sets up her stand. This is made with coconut milk, red curry paste and ground roast peanut. This is cooked together and then seasoned with sugar (again) tamarind juice and salt. (You probably guessed by now that Thai people have a sweet tooth!)
I love this dish, however, the only problem is deciding whether it is a snack or a meal! If it is the latter than it should be on my Top 10 Thai Street Food list (see one of the first drafts here.) Anyway, it is very cheap. It only costs 2 baht for each stick. The next time you are in Thailand, don’t forget to try some.