Apparently, Satay originated from Java, Indonesia (they call it Sate) and is considered their national dish. However both Malaysia and Thailand claim it as their own. Satay is everybody’s favourite as the aroma of grilled spicy meat coupled with a delicious spicy peanut sauce creates a mouthwatering experience that’s truly irresistible.
There are many variations of Satay. You could use any meat – chicken, goat, mutton, beef or pork. The meat is diced or sliced (and sometimes minced) and marinated with spices, then threaded onto bamboo skewers and grilled over a wood or charcoal fire and served with a spicy sauce.
I find that off-the-shelf ready mixed Satay seasoning and Satay sauce (Ayam brand) produce quite an authentic taste and they are so handy to use. The flavour may be enhanced by adding some sambal chilli and sugar to the Satay sauce at the end of the cooking process.
- 300 gm beef flank (cut into thin strips)
- 300 gm belly pork (cut into thin strips)
- 300 gm chicken thigh (cut into 1/4 inch thick and 1 inch cubes)
- Satay seasoning (add sufficient amount to cover each piece of meat)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 3 tablespoons ginger (grated)
- 3 tablespoons shallots (minced)
- 1 tablespoon sweet soy sauce (for Pork Satay only)
- 1 tablespoon honey (for Chicken Satay only)
- oil for brushing (use a stalk of lemon grass for brushing, if available)
- 1 jar Satay sauce
- 1 can light coconut milk
1. Cut beef and pork into thin strips and chicken into cubes. For beef and pork, I prefer strip to cube as it has more surface area for the seasoning and it cooks quickly.
2. Marinade all the meat with Satay seasoning, garlic, ginger and shallots. Add a tablespoon of sweet soy sauce to the pork meat and a tablespoon of honey to the chicken meat. Massage each piece of meat to ensure it is fully coated with the seasoning.
3. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave the seasoned meat in the fridge to marinade overnight.
4. The next day, soak the bamboo skewers in water for an hour before grilling.
5. Thread the meat onto the bamboo skewers (3 or 4 strips to a skewer) and brush some oil evenly on the meat.
6. Put meat skewers under the grill. Cook the Beef and Pork Satay for 5 mins on each side or until slightly charred. Chicken Satay will take a little longer (10 mins) – check to ensure chicken is cooked through. Satay tastes best barbecued but grilling in the oven works for me too.
7. Pour the Satay sauce into a small saucepan and heat over a gentle flame. Some packaged Satay sauce require the addition of water and/or coconut milk, so follow the instructions on the package.
8. Taste the Satay sauce and add sambal chilli and sugar to taste. Serve Satay sauce as a dip in a small bowl.