ADVERTISEMENT

Here, a lean, center-cut pork loin is treated to a glaze made with ginger, sesame oil and a fresh plum. The preparation is summery and light. The skewered pork cooks quickly on the grill with little prep time. A side benefit of making your own marinade and glaze: sodium control.

Make ahead: The pork needs to marinate for at least two hours or overnight. If you use wooden or bamboo skewers, soak them in water for at least 30 minutes before grilling.

> Ginger-Plum-Glazed Pork Skewers

For the pork and marinade:

1 pound boneless pork loin, sliced on the diagonal into 6-inch-long, 1-inch thick pieces (may substitute boneless, skinless chicken breast halves cut into pieces)

2 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce

1 1-inch piece peeled ginger root, grated (1 teaspoon)

1/2 teaspoon sugar

For the glaze:

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

1 1-inch piece peeled ginger root, grated (1 teaspoon)

1 thin-skinned plum, such as Santa Rosa, pitted and cut into 1/4 -inch dice ( 1/2 cup)

3 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce

For serving:

2 scallions, white and light-green parts, cut crosswise into thin slices

Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)

For the pork and marinade: Trim and discard fat from the pork. Cut the loin in half horizontally, as you would a sandwich roll. Place the halves cut side down, then cut them lengthwise into 1/4 -inch-thick slices.

Whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger and sugar in a small bowl; transfer to a resealable plastic food storage bag or a shallow dish. Add the pork slices and turn to coat thoroughly in the marinade. Cover or seal; refrigerate for at least 2 hours or as long as overnight.

When ready to cook, thread each pork slice (or 2 small ones) onto a skewer.

Preheat the grill to medium-high (450 degrees). Lightly coat the grill rack with oil and place it on the grill.

Meanwhile, make the glaze: Heat the olive oil and sesame oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the ginger; cook for 30 seconds. Add the diced plum, sugar and soy sauce. Once the sugar has dissolved and the mixture begins to boil, reduce the heat to medium-low to maintain a slight bubble at the edges. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the fruit is soft.

Use an immersion (stick) blender to puree until smooth, or transfer to a blender with the center knob of the lid removed and a towel placed over the opening (to allow steam to escape); puree until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl.

Arrange the skewers of marinated pork on the hot grill. Close the grill lid; cook for 2 to 4 minutes, until the pork pieces start to look cooked on top and the undersides have grill marks.

Turn the skewers over. Use half the marinade to brush the just-cooked sides of the pork. Close the lid and cook for 2 or 3 minutes, until the pork is cooked through. Turn the skewers over and brush the remaining glaze on the second sides. Close the lid and cook for 1 minute.

To serve, transfer the skewers to a platter or serving plate. Garnish with the sliced scallions and sesame seeds, if desired. Serve warm.

Makes about 16 skewers (4 servings).