Satay has been one of those things that everyone in my family loves.
My 7 year old D, has called it ‘Chicken on a Stick’, forever. Its always been a sure thing to get her to eat whenever we are out for a meal.
Yet for no particular reason, I had never attempted to try it out myself.
My first brush with Satay was when I was about 10 years old and had travelled with my Dad and siblings to Singapore for a Food trade fair.
We tried many varieties of food on that trip.
One that exposed and refined our palates to receive a variety of flavours as we grew up.
We went to a place called ‘Satay Club’, a hawker center which had the most finger-lickingly delicious Satay on offer.
Photo Credits Kirsten Dixon A Singapore Hawker Centre
Being true blue Bombayites, hawker centers was right up our street.
But that was many moons ago.
Many, mannnnnyyy moons ago…….
We still enjoy our Satay. Hubby has even packed some from Malaysia and brought it back home for us to relish.
It is one of those dishes, I’m sure we all order at restaurants and relish at parties.
Yet for some reason, if you are like me, we are quite content to order it and have no reason at all to attempt making it.
Around 3 weeks ago, I had a strange compulsion to try out Satay. Since then I’ve made it thrice, always with great results.
I realised that it is soooo versatile.
My first attempt was just that…..an attempt. But it was delicious.
My second was when I had planned on Phad Thai for dinner. A friend decided to drop in that evening and I needed to a quick dish to add to the menu………Satay it was.
My third was for a picnic by the beach. I thought this would be a great crowd-pleaser along with chilled beers.
And what do you know, Satay is my new fav dish in my repertoire.
I’m sure it will be yours too.
Only once you have actually made it will you realise just how easy it actually is.
So JUST DO IT!!
Chicken Satay with Peanut dipping sauce.
( Adapted from About.com)
8 Boneless Chicken Breasts
40-50 wooden skewers
For the marinade:
1/4 cup chopped lemon grass (white portion only)
3 Shallots or Sambar onions
3 cloves garlic
1tsp chilli powder
1 ” ginger,chopped
2 tbs corriander powder
2 tsp cummin powder
1 tsp turmeric
3 tbs dark soya sauce
4 tbs fish sauce
5 tbs brown sugar
2 tbs vegetable oil
The first thing you need to do is to soak the wooden skewers in water. This is really important as if you don’t they will burn while grilling.
Cut the chicken breast into long strips. ( medium thin)
Using that part of the lemon grass which is closest to the root, the white part, chop roughly.
Place all the ingredients of the marinade in a food processor and mix well.
Taste your marinade. It should have a combination of sweet, salty and spicy, but should lead with sweet and salty for the best results when cooked.
Adjust the seasoning using the fish sauce for salty or sugar for sweet.
Add some more chilly powder if you like it spicy.
Strain the marinade through a sieve as the lemongrass tends to be a bit fibrous.
Marinade the chicken strips in this.
Even an hour is sufficient to marinade but 24 would be great!
When ready to cook, thread the meat onto the damp skewers.
Grill on a BBQ or in an oven.
I do it under the grill in my oven. 5 mins on one side and then another five after turning them over.
When you turn them over, baste with the remaining marinade.
Do not overcook or it will end up very dry.
Enjoy your satay with a peanut dipping sauce.
Somehow I feel a BBQ will take the Satay to a different level, but I make do with a gas grill.
Peanut Butter Satay Sauce.
Now I am not one to use packaged ingredients in my cooking……and I turn my nose up at shortcuts of the ‘packaged kind’.
But when I needed to make a dipping sauce for the satay, I needed peanut.
Unfortunately I did not have any in stock.
Fortunately I did have ‘Peanut Butter.’
Something I had bought to experiment with in my baking. It however seemed to have found another calling in my kitchen…..Satay Sauce.
3/4 cup Peanut Butter ( the type that I used still has a few crunchy bits left in)
1/3 cup water
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp dark soya sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
2 tbs palm sugar or brown sugar
2 tsp fish sauce
1/2 tsp lime juice or tamarind paste.( I just use lime juice here)
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/3 cup coconut milk
Once again, easy-peasy.
Just chuck everything into a mixie/food processor and blend away!
Taste and adjust seasoning, using fish sauce for salt, lemon for tang or some more brown sugar for sweetness.
This sauce is just great. It thickens as it sits, so just add a little coconut milk or water if you need it thinner.
It will stay in the fridge for a couple of weeks and works really well as a dip or sandwich spread.
These recipes are just up my street.
Throw everything together, blend and TAA DAA………..Finger lickingly, skewer gnawingly, lip smackingly delicioso…….