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Recipes

Asha's Tangy Pork Skewers with Plums & Sumac

Asha Loupy

Serves: 4–6

Asha's Tangy Pork Skewers with Plums & Sumac

My favorite kind of summer marinades come together in 5 ingredients or less—case in point, the 3-ingredient marinade for these pork skewers. This blend of powdered Sirarakhong chillies, soy sauce and honey is full of smoky goodness with an umami backbone and just enough sugar to facilitate char without scorching on the grill (or grill pan). When testing this recipe, I used a Korean soy sauce, which has a milder salinity than your average Kikkoman. Make sure to taste your soy sauce before adding it to the marinade—if it is a little more salty, err on the side of 2 tablespoons rather than 3 in the recipe.

These skewers are best with a fatty cut like country pork ribs or pork shoulder, resulting in succulent meat that's rosy in the center with delectable, caramelized fatty bits that'll tempt you to sneak a piece as they are coming off the grill. A vibrant salad of plums, red onion, cilantro, lemon and sumac brings mouthwatering tanginess to the party, while also cutting the richness of the pork. Enjoy with an ice cold beer!

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Ingredients

For the pork
  • 2–3 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari, depending on the saltiness of your soy sauce (see headnote)
  • 1 tablespoon honey or date syrup
  • 1–2 teaspoons powdered Sirarakhong Chillies, depending on how hot you like it
  • 2 pounds boneless country-style pork ribs or pork shoulder, sliced into ½-inch thick, 1-x 2-inch wide strips
  • 6-inch wooden skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes
  • Neutral oil, for oiling the grill
For the sumac-y plums
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ¾ teaspoon Wild Heimang Sumac, plus more for garnishing
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4–5 just barely ripe plums, halved, pitted & sliced into wedges
  • ½ small red onion, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves and tender stems, torn into bite-sized pieces

Methods

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, honey and chillies until the honey is dissolved. Add the pork, stirring to make sure every piece is covered in the marinade, cover and refrigerate for 4 hours to overnight.
  2. Heat a charcoal or gas grill to medium high heat. While the grill is heating, remove the pork from the refrigerator and skewer 3 to 4 pieces on each wooden skewer. Place on a tray and allow to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes.
  3. Grill the pork skewers until cooked through, but still a little rosy on the inside, about 4 to 5 minutes per side. (I usually cook them to 140°F internal temperature, which brings them to 145°F after resting.) Alternatively, you can do this on a grill pan inside on your stovetop. Transfer the cooked skewers to a serving platter, tent with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
  4. While the skewers are resting, prepare the plum topping. In a medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil,lemon juice, sumac and ½ teaspoon salt. Add the plums, onions and cilantro, and gently toss to combine. 
  5. To serve, spoon the sumac plums over the skewers and garnish with an extra smattering of sumac. Serve immediately.