Chicken Satay With Peanut Sauce Recipe
Satay is a traditional Indonesian dish consisting of skewered meat that’s served with a sauce on the side. All types of meat can be used to make satay, even some exotic varieties such as crocodile or snake meat. In most cases, the meat is marinated before grilling.
Marinades vary, but typically include dark soy sauce, sugar, garlic, lime juice, and other seasonings. It is believed that satay originated in the Indonesian region of Java and that it was developed under the influence of Muslim traders who migrated from India.
Another theory claims that satay was created in the 19th century by Indonesian street vendors as a variation on Indian kebabs. The theory is supported by the fact that satay became popular when Muslim and Arab immigrants had populated those areas.
From the moment it originated in Java, satay quickly spread throughout Southeast Asia, and eventually all over the world. In Indonesia, it has become a national dish and nowadays it can be found everywhere, from street vendors to high-class restaurants.
The most common sauces served with satay are peanut, soy, or pineapple sauce.
- 2 stalks lemongrass, lower portion only with the root ends cut off
- 1 teaspoon sliced fresh turmeric
- 1 tablespoon roasted peanuts
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar
- 4 shallots, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken breast, cut into one-inch thick cubes
- Satay sauce, cubed onion, and sliced cucumbers, for serving
Steps to Make It
- Gather the ingredients.
- Take one stalk of lemongrass and slice finely.
- Using a mortar and pestle or a food processor, blend the lemongrass, turmeric, peanuts, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, salt and 1 teaspoon sugar into a fine paste.
- Mix in the shallots, cinnamon, and 1 tablespoon cooking oil.
- Place marinade and chicken in a large bowl or resealable plastic bag and refrigerate. Marinate the chicken with this paste for at least three hours.
- Thread four to five pieces of the marinated meat on to a skewer, just like one might do with kebabs. Scrunch the meat up tightly against each other so that they stay in place. The meat should occupy slightly less than half the stick.
- Mix 3/4 cup water with a tablespoon of sugar and a tablespoon of oil in a small bowl. This is the basting liquid for the satay.
- Take the remaining lemongrass stalk and lightly pound the end where the root had been cut off using the blunt side of a chef’s knife. This is the basting brush.
- Put the meaty part of the skewer over the barbecue and grill on low heat, turning it over every two minutes.
- Dip the lemongrass stalk in the basting liquid and use it to baste the chicken often. The chicken will take 10 to 15 minutes to cook. Make sure the chicken is no longer pink.
- Serve the satay with satay sauce and fresh onion and cucumber.
- The secret to making tasty chicken satay is to allow the chicken to marinate in the ground spices long enough to absorb the flavors. After that, skewer the cubes of marinated chicken and cook on the grill. While electric grills are more convenient for home use, grilling the satay over live charcoal gives the chicken better texture and a richer flavor.
- If using bamboo skewers, soak in water for at least 3 hours. This helps to prevent them from burning too easily during grilling. Alternatively, metal skewers can be used.