This Nyonya satay uses pork, which would never be eaten by the Muslim Malays. Its inspiration, however, is Malay.
1 ¾ oz (50 g) pork shoulder or other cut with a little fat attached, cubed
4 tablespoons oil
Pinch each of salt and pepper
1 stalk lemongrass with its and crushed (to be used as a brush)
2 teaspoons coriander seed or 1½ teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon cumin seed or ½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon fennel seeds or ½ teaspoon ground fennel
1-in (2½-cm) piece turmeric root, or ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon tamarind purée
1 teaspoon sugar
2-3 tablespoons thick coconut cream
If using whole dry spices for the Marinade, roast them in a dry pan until brown, then grind them to a powder. Grind the turmeric, the spices, the tamarind purée and the coconut cream to a paste. Marinate the pork in the paste for least an hour. Soak some wooden satay sticks in water.
To make the Peanut Sauce, grind the chilies, galangal, lemongrass, shrimp paste, garlic and the shallots to a paste. Heat the oil in a wok or a pan and fry the paste until it is fragrant. Add the peanuts, coconut milk, tamarind water, sugar and salt. Mix well, bring to a boil and cook and stir until the oil floats on top.
Thread the pork on to the top one-third of the satay sticks, leaving two-thirds free for holding. Grill or cook under the broiler, basting them frequently with oil, using the lemongrass brush. Arrange on a plate with cucumber slices and serve with a bowl of Peanut Sauce for dipping and compressed rice or serve at a barbecue with other meats and a salad.