This recipe is influenced by South East Asian cooking, particularly Malaysian and Indonesian food where the salt combines from shrimp paste, the sour from tamarind, the sweet from palm sugar and the spice from chilli peppers.
The bursts of sweet pineapple cushioned between salty morsels of meat make a great meal or addition to a barbecue buffet.
If you don’t have an outdoor barbecue, a grill is just fine but the smoky, charred flavours of a barbecue are a great addition to this dish. I used pork, but you could use chicken just as easily.
Sticky Tamarind Pork & Pineapple Skewers
Anna’s very own recipe. Makes 12 kebabs.
700g pork sirloin, cut into cubes
200ml pineapple juice
400g fresh pineapple, cubed
120g grated palm sugar
80ml pineapple juice (extra)
20ml tamarind paste
6g belacan (shrimp paste)
2 small red (birdseye) chilli, finely chopped
1. To marinate the meat, place the pork and 100ml pineapple juice into a non-reactive dish (ceramic or plastic) and marinate in the fridge for an hour or so (the pineapple enzymes breaks down the protein and tenderises the meat).
2. To make the sauce, combine the palm sugar and pineapple juice in a saucepan and bring to the boil, dissolving the sugar.
3. Continue to simmer the liquid until it forms a sugar syrup. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
4. Wrap belacan in a little aluminium foil and roast in open flame for 30 seconds. You’ll know it’s ready because the smell becomes more apparent.
5. In a mortar and pestle, pound the belcaon and add the chilli into a paste. Add the tamarind paste and combine well. Drizzle in the sugar syrup and mix completely.
6. When ready to cook, drain meat from marinade, skewer then brush with the thick sugar syrup and barbecue, continuing to baste throughout the cooking process.
Pineapples supplied by the team at King of Fruit