Sateh Pork Steamed with Vegetables and Tofu

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I really, really like this dish.  Stylistically, it falls in the category of marinaded meat steamed together with other stuff; in this case, vegetables and tofu.  It is, essentially, a steamed hot-pot.  Steaming the ingredients together allows the lemongrass and coriander flavors of the sateh pork marinade to subtly flavor the rest of the ingredients.  A drizzle of lime right before serving adds a clean fresh accent to both the pork and the vegetables.  The result is a light, fresh-tasting lunch that is satisfying but not heavy.  One of the things that I love about this dish is that it appears to come together out of thin air; what little prep work there is to do can be done by whoever gets up first to make coffee for the day.  Cleanup is similarly easy.  Just wash whatever bowl you eat out of and rinse the steamer.

It is also very much a social dish and fun to eat.  With each diner armed with a small bowl of rice, an eating bowl, and a pair of chopsticks, there is definitely a competitive element to “sharing” this sort of lunch with someone, as everyone scrabbles to grab the best stuff out of the steamer.  I think that the light, aromatic flavors of the marinade meat and the steamed vegetables, combined with the way you serve it (as a free-for all) conspire to create a relaxed, open and sort of care-free lunch experience that is just plain fun…. 

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