Sweet and savory pork kabobs made with a Chinese fermented black bean sauce with notes of pineapple, brown sugar, and ginger.
I absolutely love kabobs! I don’t think there’s anything better than meat on a stick, and it’s been my favorite since childhood. One Culture Foods recently reached out to me, and asked if I would like to try their new American sauces and collaborate with them on a recipe using one of them. They sent me three flavors, and I chose to use the Sweet Savory Spicy sauce because you guys know that the combination of those three is EVERYTHING that I’m about when it comes to cooking.
In Nigeria we have a dish called Suya, which is just meat that has been marinated heavily in spices that is then grilled on a stick. This was my source of inspiration, and with it being summer I knew the perfect way to use this sauce was to make kabobs. The sweet savory spicy sauce is made with fermented black beans with notes of pineapple, brown sugar, and ginger. It’s got a well-rounded sweetness with some subtle notes of spice, and the Chinese inspired flavor profile lead me to use it with pork. I think the two pair so well together.
These pork kabobs are perfect for summer grilling. I used bell peppers (red, green, and yellow), red onions, and fresh pineapples. If you’re like me living in a major city in a tiny apartment, grilling outdoors really isn’t an option. The good news is that you don’t need an outdoor grill to achieve the perfect kabobs. I made these indoor with my cast iron skillet and finished them off in the oven. It works like a charm, and as you can see I really got a nice char on them. Alternatively, you can use a grill pan, a George Foreman type grill, or broil them in the oven.
To season the pork I made a spice blend of salt, black pepper, cumin, garlic powder, and a tiny bit of Italian seasoning. It’s important to season the meat and to not just rely on the sauce for all the flavor. I put everything into a large resealable bag, and then added the black bean sauce and some grade B maple syrup. The darker the syrup the better. I then marinated it for 30 minutes before I started to assemble the kabobs. You can thread the kabobs in whatever pattern you choose. If you’re using wooden skewers, make sure you soak them in water at least 30 minutes before grilling them.
You can enjoy these on their own or with some rice. Once they finished cooking, I drizzled more of the black bean sauce on top and then garnished with some fresh cilantro.
If you’re looking for more pork recipes, try my Bourbon Glazed Pork Chops! Enjoy!
- 1 pound of Pork Tenderloin
- 3 tbsp ofSweet Savory Spicy Chinese Fermented Black Bean Sauce
- 2 tbsp Grade B Maple Syrup
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1½ inch chunks
- 1 green bell pepper, cut into 1½ inch chunks
- ½ pineapple, cut into 1½ inch chunks
- ½ red onion, cut into 1½ inch chunks
- Vegetable oil or cooking spray
- 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
- Cut the pork into 1½ inch size cubes. Place in a resealable bag and add the cumin, black pepper, salt, garlic powder and Italian seasoning. Add the black bean sauce and maple syrup. Seal the bag, toss so that all the pieces of pork are coated, and marinate for at least 30 minutes, or overnight.
- Preheat cast iron skillet or grill over medium-high heat.
- Thread the skewers in the pattern of your choice. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
- "Grill" kabobs for 10-15 minutes, turning a few times to ensure that all the pieces have charred.
- Transfer to a baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees for an additional 10 minutes. (If you're using an actual grill skip this step. If you are using a cast iron skillet, I do this to ensure that the pork is cooked all the way through).
- Serve immediately garnished with fresh cilantro and some more of the fermented black bean sauce.