Pork Satay with Spicy Sweet Soy Dipping Sauce

Freshly grinding the spices yields a much tastier pork satay. Indonesian sweet kecap manis soy sauce is typically called for in this dipping sauce, but can be hard to find. Here, we spice up tamari (or soy sauce) and molasses for a similar flavor.

Pork Satay with Spicy Sweet Soy Dipping Sauce
Photo: Ryan Liebe
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 30 mins


  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds

  • 1 ½ teaspoons cumin seeds

  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds

  • ¼ cup chopped shallot

  • 3 tablespoons chopped lemongrass

  • 3 tablespoons canola oil, divided

  • 1 tablespoon light brown or coconut sugar

  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon water

  • 1 ¼ pounds pork shoulder, trimmed and cut into 3/4-inch chunks

  • 2 tablespoons molasses or honey

  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari or soy sauce (see Tip)

  • 2 tablespoons lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving

  • 1 small Fresno or jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped

  • 2 Persian cucumbers, thickly sliced diagonally

  • Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish


  1. Grind coriander, cumin and fennel seeds in a mini food processor to a fine texture, about 1 minute. Transfer 1/4 teaspoon of the mixture to a small microwave-safe bowl. Add shallot, lemongrass, 1 1/2 tablespoons oil, sugar, turmeric, salt and water to the food processor. Process, scraping down the sides as needed, until a coarse paste forms. (Alternatively, crush the spices and aromatics with a mortar and pestle.)

  2. Place pork in a medium bowl, scrape the seasoning paste onto it and massage to coat well. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight.

  3. Meanwhile, add molasses (or honey) and tamari (or soy sauce) to the reserved ¼ teaspoon spice mix. Microwave on High until bubbling, 15 to 30 seconds. Let cool for 5 minutes. Stir in lime juice and Fresno (or jalapeño) pepper.

  4. Preheat grill to medium-high.

  5. Divide the pork among 4 metal or bamboo skewers, pressing the pieces together to form a column. Brush the pork with the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil. Grill the skewers, turning occasionally, until an instant-read thermometer registers 145°F, about 6 minutes. Serve with the sauce and cucumbers. Garnish with lime wedges and cilantro, if desired.

To make ahead

Marinate pork (Steps 1-2) overnight.


4 metal or bamboo skewers


People with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity should use soy sauces that are labeled "gluten-free," as soy sauce may contain wheat or other gluten-containing ingredients.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

409 Calories
27g Fat
18g Carbs
24g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 409
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 18g 7%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 11g
Protein 24g 48%
Total Fat 27g 35%
Saturated Fat 7g 35%
Cholesterol 86mg 29%
Vitamin A 228IU 5%
Sodium 700mg 30%
Potassium 535mg 11%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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