May 23, 2023
Asian flavors captivate consumer imagination with new global flavor discovery. Chefs wanting to elevate flavor experiences can look to Asian-style pork skewers as a jumping off point for inspiration.
Here, we utilize fresh pork’s blank canvas (ground, sliced, cubed) as the featured ingredient for culinary creativity with skewer-style creations, zeroing in on seven areas where Asian influences produce next-level, on-trend tastes that generate menu excitement.
Glazing or spritzing a pork skewer during cooking, with trend-forward Asian profiles, produces a caramelized, textured stickiness—along with enticing hues and charred bits—which create delectable, heightened mouthfeel.
- Tamarind + galangal + turmeric + orange juice + fish sauce + honey glaze
- Okinawan black sugar + soy sauce-caramel glaze
- Tropical fruit-gastrique spritz
Rolling a cooked pork skewer in a signature Asian-infused dry spice blend imparts an immediate pop of external flavor to complement every succulent savory bite.
- Star anise + cinnamon + clove + coriander + cracked black pepper + dried scallion
- Matcha sea salt + black sesame seeds + red chile
- Black garlic + onion + Sichuan peppercorns + sugar + flaked salt
Applying a housemade Asian-centric schmear to one side of the pork skewer right before service creates an impactful and highly visual punch of flavor.
- Togarashi Gremolata (cilantro, shiso leaf, lime zest, gingerroot, togarashi, oil)
- Malay “Romesco” (red chiles, roasted tomato, garlic, roasted peanuts, ginger, lemongrass, pandan, mirin, oil)
- Thai Chermoula (Thai basil, mint, cilantro, lime, coconut flakes, chili paste, shallot, cumin, salt, oil)
Basting a pork skewer during cooking with bold Asian-flavored whipped butter (or unsweetened coconut cream) creates nuanced, rich flavors ideal for complementing pork’s versatility.
- Sriracha + yuzu + butter
- Sambal oelek + kaya + butter
- Miso + coconut sugar + butter
Accentuate patrons’ love of pork further with a distinctive Asian-flavored dipping sauce that evokes a memorable pork skewer experience.
- Spicy peanut sauce
- Gochujang barbecue sauce
- Soju tare sauce
Utilizing a natural element with Asian cues as the skewer or serving vessel imparts subtle flavor into the pork and can communicate ancillary story lines.
- Lemongrass or sugar cane stalk skewer
- Bamboo skewer
- Banana leaf as a handheld serving vessel
Imparting identifiable flavor on a pork skewer via specific cooking materials/surfaces provides an additional way to shape flavor and story from various Asian regions.
- Binchotan charcoal (authentic Japanese)—known for thermal conductivity, low smoke point, long burn and odorless smoke
- Thaan charcoal (Thai)—budget- and environmentally friendly
- Konro grill (Japanese)—ceramic grill with wire rack
FEATURED RECIPE: Vietnamese Chargrilled Pork Sausage Skewers