Be­tel Leaf & Pork Satay Bun­dles


The long list of in­gre­di­ents here are all usu‑ ally avail­able from a well‑stocked Asian gro‑ cer, and that ex­tra mile is oh‑so‑worth‑it. Be­tel leaves are a com­mon South­east Asian in­gredi‑ ent eaten both raw and cooked. The lime leaves should be nearby in the re­frig­er­ated sec­tion, while pre­pared fried shal­lots (some­times la­belled “fried red onion”) and tamarind paste can be found on the shelves. Ar­rang­ing your assem­bly sta­tion ahead of time will leave only the pork to fin­ish. A quick fry, and you’re done.


⅓ cup (80 mL) co­conut milk

1 stalk le­mon grass, roughly chopped

3 to 4 tbsp (45 to 60 mL) peanut oil, di­vided 1 tbsp (15 mL) grated ginger

2 tsp (10 mL) packed dark brown su­gar

1 tsp (5 mL) ground turmeric

¼ tsp (1 mL) ground cumin

Pinch white pep­per

1 tsp (5 mL) salt

1 lb (500 g) pork ten­der­loin


2 tbsp (30 mL) packed brown su­gar

1 tbsp (15 mL) fish sauce

½ tsp (2 mL) tamarind paste

1 cup (250 mL) finely diced pineap­ple 1 small shal­lot, finely diced

1 Thai chili, finely chopped

6 makrut lime leaves

½ cup (125 mL) pre­pared fried shal­lots ½ cup (125 mL) chopped macadamia nuts 24 be­tel leaves, trimmed of all but

½ inch (1 cm) stem

1 For the satay, com­bine the co­conut milk, le­mon grass, 2 tbsp (30 mL) peanut oil and ginger in a blender; process un­til smooth, scrap­ing down sides as nec­es­sary. Add su­gar, turmeric, cumin, pep­per and salt; pulse to com‑ bine and set aside. (Marinade may be made up to 5 days in ad­vance and re­frig­er­ated.)

2 Cut ten­der­loin in half along its length; cut cross­wise into ¼‑inch‑thick (5‑mm) slices. Place in a non‑re­ac­tive bowl; pour co­conut milk mix­ture over. Gen­tly toss to coat and re­frig­er­ate, cov­ered, for up to 3 hours.

3 Mean­while, pre­pare your assem­bly sta­tion: in a small non‑re­ac­tive bowl com­bine su­gar, fish sauce and tamarind paste; stir un­til su­gar is dis­solved. Add pineap­ple, shal­lot and chili. Stir to com­bine (pineap­ple mix­ture may be dressed with the fish sauce mix­ture up to an hour in ad­vance).

4 Us­ing a sharp knife, re­move tough cen­tre rib from the lime leaves and finely sliver; ar­range in a small bowl be­side the pineap­ple rel­ish, fried shal­lots and macadamia.

5 When ready to serve, ar­range be­tel leaves on a large plat­ter or 2, glossy‑side up, in a sin‑ gle layer. Heat 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the re­main‑ ing oil in a large non­stick fry­ing pan over medium‑high. Us­ing a slot­ted spoon, re­move pork from marinade and fry in a sin­gle layer (do not crowd pan), undis­turbed for 2 min­utes per side or un­til golden. Re­peat with re­main‑ ing pork if nec­es­sary, re­fresh­ing oil if needed.

6 Ar­range a cou­ple of pieces of warm pork in the cen­tre of each be­tel leaf, fol­lowed by a gen‑ er­ous tsp (5 mL plus) of the pineap­ple rel­ish, a pinch of macadamia and shal­lots, and a few sliv­ers of lime leaf each. Serve im­me­di­ately. Makes 24 pieces

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