Succulent morsels of chicken meat typically grilled over a charcoal fire. In South East Asia, every country’s got their version of satay. This is the Malaysian (or Singaporean) version which is sweeter, and less spicy than the Indonesian’s version. We also use cubed pieces of meat unlike the Thai version which meat is in one strip.
Chef’s tip: To ensure that the meat remains moist, reserve the green stems of the lemon grass and split the lemongrass length-wise, leaving 2 inches uncut. Tie them together to make a brush. Baste the satay as you grill them with a mixture of water and oil. Also, when skewering the chicken, to avoid your fingernails from being dyed yellow by the tumeric, wear a food grade pair of gloves. Your hands will not smell later either.
8 shallots, peeled, sliced
3 stalks lemon grass, white part, cut finely. Reserve green parts.
2 cloves garlic, peeled, smashed
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground fennel
1 tablespoon ground tumeric
2 teasspoons kosher salt
5 tablespoons sugar
2 lbs chicken thighs, boneless, skinless, trimmed of fat
1 cup water + 2 tablespoons canola oil
20 bamboo skewers, soaked
Peanut Sauce Spice Paste:
4 large shallots, sliced
2 cloves garlic
4 red fresno chile, deseeded, chopped
3 candlenuts or macadamia
1 inch fresh galangal
1 stalk lemongrass, white part, sliced finely
½ inch fresh turmeric
1 tablespoon belachan
¼ cup canola oil
1 cup water
1½ cup roasted unsalted peanuts, crushed
4 tablespoons palm sugar
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar/ tamarind paste
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 english cucumber
1 red onion
To make the marinate and sate
1. In a food processor, grind shallots, lemongrass, garlic and oil together till a fine paste. Add dry spices and salt and sugar and mix together. Set aside.
2. Make cuts lengthwise into the green parts of the lemongrass leaving 2 inches from the leaves uncut. Bunch the stalks together with kitchen twine to make a basting brush. Mix a bowl of water with 2 tablespoons of canola oil and set aside as basting liquid.
3. Trim chicken of fat and cut chicken into small cubes 1 X 3/8 X 1 inch. Marinate chicken in marinade at least 30 minutes. Skewer chicken with the bamboo skewers. Scrape off marinade bits.
4. On a hot oiled grill/broiler on high, grill chicken skewers – about 2 minutes on each side, or more depending on thickness, until nicely browned. Baste with water mix as you grill.
To make the sauce:
5. In a food processor, grind all Peanut Sauce Spice Paste ingredients together
6. In a sauce pan, heat oil on medium high. Saute spice mixture till fragrant and oil separates. Add remaining sauce ingredients and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, till mixture is thick.
7. Cut cucumber at an angle, avoiding the seeds. Rotate cucumber per cut.
8. Cut onions into small wedges. Serve satay with peanut sauce and cut cucumbers and onions.
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