Pork Skewers with Cumin Seeds

If there is one thing we miss the most from our previous house, it’s the grill. This recipe for pork skewers gives you the option to use a broiler, which is an acceptable, but not ideal substitute. It’s quick cooking but leave time for marinating and if you’re using wooden skewers, soaking them. Serves 4:

Pork Skewers with Cumin Seeds

  • 1 ¾ pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1 ½” chunks
  • Salt
  • 1 lime, plus some wedges for serving
  • ¼ cup cilantro or basil, leaves and tender stems, plus more for serving
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 1 jalapeño or serrano chili, seeded
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 ½ tablespoons fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 small red onion, sliced, for serving

Season pork lightly with kosher salt and put it in a bowl or resealable bag.

Juice the lime into a blender or food processor and add cilantro, fish sauce, garlic, jalapeño and honey. Blend until the jalapeño and garlic are puréed, then add fennel, cumin, coriander seeds and pulse four or five times to bruise the spices and mix them in.

Pour the mixture over the pork, tossing to coat the pieces. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (or up to 24 hours) while you heat the grill.

When ready to cook, heat the grill or broiler with a rack positioned 4 inches from the heat source.

Thread the pork onto skewers, leaving a little space between cubes. Grill over the highest heat possible, or broil on high, for 2 to 5 minutes, then flip the skewers and continue cooking until the meat is browned all over and charred in spots. It should be just cooked through.

Serve the pork with cilantro sprigs and onion slices on top, and lime wedges on the side for squeezing and enjoy!

My verdict:

Did you ever make a dish that looked better than it tasted? We’re big cumin lovers, but there were too many cumin (and other) seeds. I think a quick trip through a spice grinder or mortar and pestle before going into the blender would have been a big improvement, even though it would mean something else to wash…

I’ve finally learned to go easy on the jalapeños until I’ve tasted what I’m making. Ditto the fish sauce. If you’re not a fan, soy sauce would probably make a good substitute.



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