Recipe: Lao Grilled Pork Skewers
The enticing tropical flavors of Southeast Asia come together in these simple grilled pork skewers. The marinade doubles as a dipping sauce, and the skewers may be served in small portions as an appetizer, or with steamed rice as a main course.
3 stalks lemongrass, bottom half only, coarsely chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, deseeded and coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 knob ginger root, peeled and coarsely chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
1 small bunch cilantro, leaves and stems
1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
4 limes, juice only (about 1/2 cup)
3 tablespoons sugar
Water as needed (about 1/2 cup)
Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree to a fine consistency. Add water as needed for texture. Measure out ½ cup of the mixture for the pork marinade and reserve the rest in a separate container for the dipping sauce.
2 pounds boneless pork, cut into 1" cubes
8 bamboo skewers
1 cup dipping sauce
Place pork in a container with a tight-fitting lid. Drizzle with about ¼ cup of marinade, cover and shake gently to coat evenly. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. When ready to cook, assemble pork piece onto bamboo skewers and discard all leftover marinade liquid. Do not use pork marinade for dipping sauce. Using an electric countertop grill, an oven grill pan, or an outdoor barbeque, grill pork skewers until charred on the outside and done all the way through, about 3 to 5 minutes per side. Serve with dipping sauce. Serves 4.
Cook's Note: For a more spicy marinade/dipping sauce, leave the seeds of the chili peppers intact.