Peanut Noodle and Pork Satay
Note: "I turned my favorite satay appetizer into a no-fuss, no-skewer weeknight dinner," writes Tara "Teaspoon" Bench in "Living Life Deliciously" (2020, Shadow Mountain). "Traditional Thai satay is made with pork cutlets, but we are used to the American standard of little chicken pieces marinated in exotic spices, ginger and fish sauce and grilled on little bamboo skewers. Here, you'll mix some of those same great flavors into ground pork and skip the skewers." Serve over rice noodles with Thai peanut sauce.
Thai peanut sauce:
• 1 c. full-fat, unsweetened coconut milk
• 1 1⁄2 tbsp. Thai red or Massaman curry paste
• 1⁄3 c. natural (unsweetened) creamy peanut butter
• 1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt
• 1⁄3 c. light brown sugar
• 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
• 1 tsp. fish sauce
• 1⁄4 c. water
• Small pinch red pepper flakes
• 1 (14-oz.) pkg. rice noodles
• Thai Peanut Sauce, prepared
• 2 tbsp. olive oil
• 1⁄4 Napa cabbage, cut into wedges or large squares (about 3 c.)
• 1 lb. ground pork
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 tsp. light brown sugar
• 3⁄4 tsp. turmeric
• 1 tsp. ground coriander
• 1⁄2 tsp. fish sauce
• 1 tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
• 1⁄2 c. chopped basil
• 1⁄2 c. chopped mint
• 2 Persian cucumbers, cut into 1⁄2-in. pieces
• Crushed peanuts
• Lime wedges
To prepare the peanut sauce: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring coconut milk, curry paste, peanut butter, salt, brown sugar, vinegar, fish sauce, water and pepper flakes to a simmer, whisking constantly.
Reduce heat to low and simmer 3 to 4 minutes, being careful not to let the mixture scorch the bottom of the pan. Remove pan from heat and let the sauce cool to room temperature. Reserve. (Extra sauce can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days.)
To prepare the satay: Cook rice noodles according to package directions. Drain and toss with 1/2 cup Thai peanut sauce in a large bowl.
Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Add cabbage and cook just until bright green and tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove cabbage from skillet and set aside.
Add pork and garlic to the same hot skillet. Cook, breaking pork into very small pieces, until almost cooked through, about 3 minutes. Add brown sugar, turmeric, coriander, fish sauce and soy sauce. Cook another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add cabbage back to pan; set aside.
Serve noodles topped with pork and cabbage; top with cucumbers, basil, mint and crushed peanuts, to taste. Drizzle as generously as desired with extra peanut sauce and a squeeze of lime.