Satay or Spicy Chicken Skewers is Malaysia’s National Dish. If you visit Malaysia, you will see these street stalls with open grills making stacks of these spicy meaty sticks.
Kajang, a small town near Kuala Lumpur was a favourite destination for Satay. They made famous their version of satay and especially their Satay Sauce. We often had Satay eat off when we went. Satay was served on massive platters on the table as soon as you sat down. You just need to order your choice of chicken or beef. Sometimes, they had some offal ones too. Accompanying the satay are steaming bowls of satay sauce, one each. Side plates with ketupat (pressed rice), cubes of cucumber and red onions are always served with Satay in Malaysia. You eat your fill and your bill is tallied up by the Satay man counting up the empty sticks on the table. Those were the days. Sadly today, you can’t rely on the honesty of the customers to run a business this way. You get the number of sticks that you order.
This recipe is as close to the Kajang Satay recipe as I can make it. Give it a try. You don’t have to make it into skewers. You can use the same marinade on pieces of chicken. Then bake the chicken and finish it off under the grill for a bit of char.
This recipe was created for the Red Tractor Poultry campaign.
Malaysian Chicken Satay Recipe
- 500 g skinless boneless chicken thighs, cut into strips OR tenderised rump steak
Satay Meat Marinade
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp turmeric powder
- 2 tsp ground fennel
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 10 banana shallots
- 6 crushed cloves garlic
- 1 inch piece of ginger grated/blended or 1 tbsp ginger powder
- 1 tsp belacan powder
- 1 pack of long Bamboo skewers soaked in water to prevent burning
Satay Sauce Recipe
- 6 dried chillies soaked in water
- 2 stalks lemon grass lightly bruised
- 1 thumb sized piece galangal crushed
- 3 candlenuts
- Blend all the above and combine with
- 2 tsp belacan powder. Or substitute 1 tbsp fish sauce.
- 1 cup roasted peanuts crushed to breadcrumbs. You can pulse this in a food processor.
- 1/2 cup tamarind juice made with soaking asam/tamarind pulp in warm water and sieved
- 1 cups water
- 1 can coconut milk
- Salt to taste
- 1- 2 tbsp sugar or to taste
Malaysian Satay Marinade
- Blend the garlic and shallots and combine the spices. Then add all the other ingredients.
- Marinade the meat in this mixture for at least 2 hours or better if it is left overnight in the fridge.
- Skewer the meat onto the bamboo skewers, don’t pack the meat too closely together to enable the satay to cook quickly and evenly.
- For the best flavour, cook this over a charcoal grill or alternatively you can just grill it in the oven or on a griddle pan.
- Grilling the satay
- Baste the satay with a stalk of lemongrass, that has been bashed to resemble a brush, and oil while grilling.
To make the Satay Sauce:
- 1. Fry the blended spices and belacan granules until fragrant. (Probably about 10-12 minutes)
- 2. Add the tamarind juice and coconut milk.
- 3. Add the crushed peanuts.
- 4. Simmer until the sauce thickens and season with salt and sugar to taste. If it is too dry, add a bit more water.
- Note: You can make a large batch of the satay sauce and use it as a dressing for the gado gado salad.
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