pork and pineapple satay
500g pork fillets
1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
60ml soy sauce
finely grated lemon rind from half a lemon
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp Dark muscovado sugar
225g can pineapple chunks, or 1 small fresh pineapple
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
175 ml Coconut milk
6 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp Dark muscovado sugar
Using a sharp kitchen knife, trim any fat from the pork fillet and cut into 2.5 cm cubes. Place the meat into a large bowl.
Place the onion, garlic, soy sauce, lemon rind, spices and sugar into a blender or food processor. Add two pieces of pineapple and process until the mixture is a smooth paste.
Add the paste to the pork, tossing well to coat evenly. Thread the pieces on to a skewer, with the remaining pineapple pieces.
To make the sauce, por the coconut milk into a small saucepan and stir in the peanut butter. Stir in the remaining ingredients and heat gently, stirring until smooth and hot. Keep warm
Cook the pork and pineapple skewers on a medium-hot barbecue for 10-12 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden brown and thoroughly cooked. Serve with satay sauce.
Satay originated in Java, Indonesia. Satay is available almost anywhere in Indonesia, where it has become a national dish. It is also popular in many other Southeast Asian countries, such as: Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Thailand, and the southern Philippines, as well as in the Netherlands, as Indonesia is a former Dutch colony.
Satay is a very popular delicacy in Indonesia; Indonesia’s diverse ethnic groups’ culinary arts (see Indonesian cuisine) have produced a wide variety of satays. In Indonesia, satay can be obtained from a travelling satay vendor, from a street-side tent-restaurant, in an upper-class restaurant, or during traditional celebration feasts. In Malaysia, satay is a popular dish—especially during celebrations—and can be found throughout the country.
Close analogues are yakitori from Japan, shish kebab from Turkey, shashlik from Caucasus, chuanr from China, and sosatie from South Africa. It is listed at number 14 on World’s 50 most delicious foods readers’ poll complied by CNN Go in 2011.
Satay has achieved wide popularity in other parts of the world, which adds interest to the question of its origin:
“Although both Thailand and Malaysia claim it as their own, its Southeast Asian origin was in Java, Indonesia. There satay was developed from the Indian kebab brought by the Muslim traders. Even India cannot claim its origin, for there it was a legacy of Middle Eastern influence.”
— Jennifer Brennan (1988).
The word “satay” is derived from Indonesian: sate and Malay: saté or satai, both perhaps of Tamil origin Satay was supposedly invented by Javanese street vendors as the adaptation of Indian kebab. This theory is based on the fact that satay has become popular in Java after the influx of Muslim Tamil Indian and Arab immigrants to Dutch East Indies in the early 19th century. The satay meats used by Indonesians and Malaysians — mutton and beef — are also favoured by Arabs and are not as popular in China as are pork and chicken.
Another theory states that the word satay is derived from the Minnan-Chinese words sa tae bak meaning three pieces of meat. However this theory is discounted since traditional satay often consist of four pieces meats, while number four is considered as inauspicious number in Chinese culture.
From Java, the satay spread across the archipelago and as the result wide variants of satay recipes has been developed. By late 19th century, satay has crossed the straits into neighboring Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. In the 19th century the term migrated, presumably with Malay immigrants from Dutch East Indies, to South Africa, where it appears as sosatie. The Dutch brought this dish — and many other Indonesian specialties — to the Netherlands which has influenced Holland’s cuisine to this day.
Turmeric is a necessary ingredient used to marinate satay, which gives the dish its characteristic yellow colour. Meat commonly used includes beef, mutton, pork, venison, fish, shrimp, squid, chicken, rabbit and tripe. Some have also used more exotic varieties of meat, such as turtle, crocodile, horse, lizard, and snake meat.
Satay may be served with a spicy peanut sauce dip, or peanut gravy, slivers of onions and cucumbers, and ketupat (rice cakes). Pork satay can be served in a pineapple-based satay sauce or cucumber relish. An Indonesian version uses a soy-based dip.
Satay variants and outlets of note
Known as sate in Indonesian (and pronounced similar to the English), Indonesia is the home of satay, and satay is a widely renowned dish in almost all regions of Indonesia and is considered the national dish and one of Indonesia’s best dishes. Satays, in particular, are a staple in Indonesian cuisine, served everywhere from street carts to fine dining establishments, as well as in homes and at public gatherings. As a result, many variations have been developed throughout the Indonesian Archipelago. In Indonesia there is some restaurants that specialized on serving various kinds of satay and present it as their specialty, such as Sate Ponorogo Restaurant, Sate Blora Restaurant, and also chains of Sate Khas Senayan restaurants, previously known as Satay House Senayan. In Bandung, the West Java Governor’s office is popularly called Gedung Sate (Indonesian: Satay building) to refer the satay-like pinnacle on its roof.
Indonesia has the richest variations of satay in the world. The satay variants in Indonesia usually named after the region its originated, the meats, parts or ingredients its uses, also might named after the process or method of cooking.
- Sate Madura
- Originating on the island of Madura, near Java, is a famous variant among Indonesians. Most often made from mutton or chicken, the recipe’s main characteristic is the black sauce made from Indonesian sweet soy sauce/kecap manis mixed with palm sugar (called gula jawa or “javanese sugar” in Indonesia), garlic, deep fried shallots, peanut paste, petis (a kind of shrimp paste), candlenut/kemiri, and salt. Chicken Madura satay is usually served in peanut sauce, while the mutton Madura satay is usually served in sweet soy sauce. Sate Madura uses thinner chunks of meat than other variants. It is eaten with rice or rice cakes wrapped in banana/coconut leaves (lontong/ketupat). Raw thinly sliced shallot and plain sambal are often served as condiments
- Sate Padang
- A dish from Padang and the surrounding area in West Sumatra, which is made from cow or goat offal boiled in spicy broth then grilled. Its main characteristic is a yellow sauce made from rice flour mixed with spicy offal broth, turmeric, ginger, garlic, coriander, galangal root, cumin, curry powder and salt. It is further separated into two sub-variants, the Pariaman and the Padang Panjang, which differ in taste and the composition of their yellow sauces.
- Sate Ponorogo
- A variant of satay originating in Ponorogo, a town in East Java. It is made from sliced marinated chicken meat, and served with a sauce made of peanuts and chilli sauce and Garnished with shredded shallots, sambal (chili paste) and lime juice. This variant is unique for the fact that each skewer contains one large piece of chicken, rather than several small slices. The meat is marinated in spices and sweet soy sauce, in a process called “bacem” and is served with rice or lontong (rice cake).. The grill is made from terracotta earthenware with a hole in one side to allow ventilation for the coals. After three months of use, the earthenware grill disintegrates, and must be replaced.
- Sate Tegal
- A sate of a yearling or five month old lamb; the nickname for this dish in Tegal balibul is an acronym of “baru lima bulan” (just 5 months). Each kodi, or dish, contains twenty skewers, and each skewer has four chunks — two pieces of meat, one piece of fat and then another piece of meat. It is grilled over wood charcoal until it is cooked between medium and well done; however it is possible to ask for medium rare. Sometimes the fat piece can be replaced with liver or heart or kidney. This is not marinated prior to grilling. On serving, it is accompanied by sweet soya sauce (medium sweetness, slightly thinned with boiled water), sliced fresh chilli, sliced raw shallots (eschalot), quartered green tomatoes, and steamed rice, and is sometimes garnished with fried shallots.
- Sate Ambal
- A satay variant from Ambal, Kebumen, Central Java. This satay uses a native breed of poultry, ayam kampung. The sauce is not based on peanuts, but rather ground tempeh, chilli and spices. The chicken meat is marinated for about two hours to make the meat tastier. This satay is accompanied with ketupat.
- Sate Blora
- A variant originating in Blora, located in Central Java. This variant is made of chicken (meat and skin) pieces that are smaller compared to the other variants. It is normally eaten with peanut sauce, rice, and a traditional soup made of coconut milk and herbs. Sate Blora is grilled in front of buyers as they are eating. The buyers tell the vendor to stop grilling when they are finished with their meal.
- Sate Matang
- A satay variant from Matang Geulumpang Dua, Bireun, Aceh. This satay is made from beef, usually served with peanut sauce and soto or soup separately.
- Sate Banjar
- A variant of satay popular in South Kalimantan, especially in the town of Banjarmasin.
- Sate Makassar
- From a region in Southern Sulawesi, this satay is made from beef and cow offal marinated in sour carambola sauce. It has a unique sour and spicy taste. Unlike most satays, it is served without sauce.
- Sate Buntel (Wrapped Satay)
- A specialty from Solo or Surakarta, Central Java. It’s made from minced beef or goat (especially meats around ribs and belly area). The minced fatty meats are wrapped by thin fat or muscle membrane and wrapped around a bamboo skewer. The size of this satay is quite large, very similar to a middle eastern kebab. After being grilled on charcoal, the meat is separated from the skewer, cut into bite-size chunks, then served in sweet soy sauce and merica (pepper).
- Sate Lilit
- A satay variant from Bali, a famous tourist destination. This satay is made from minced beef, chicken, fish, pork, or even turtle meat, which is then mixed with grated coconut, thick coconut milk, lemon juice, shallots, and pepper. Wound around bamboo, sugar cane or lemon grass sticks, it is then grilled on charcoal.
- Sate Pusut
- A delicacy from Lombok, the neighboring island east of Bali. It is made from a mixture of minced meat (beef, chicken, or fish), shredded coconut meat, and spices. The mixture then is wrapped around a skewer and grilled over charcoal.
- Sate Ampet
- Another Lombok delicacy. It is made from beef, cow’s intestines and other cow’s internal organs. The sauce for sate ampet is hot and spicy, which is no surprise since the island’s name, Lombok Merah, means Red chili. The sauce is santan (coconut milk) and spices.
- Sate Maranggi
- Commonly found in Purwakarta, Cianjur and Bandung, the cities in West Java, this satay is made from beef marinated in a special paste. The two most important elements of the paste are kecombrang (Nicolaia speciosa) flower buds and ketan (sweet rice) flour. Nicola buds bring a unique aroma and a liquorice-like taste. It is served with ketan cake (jadah) or plain rice.
- Sate Lembut
- A rare satay recipe of the Betawi people. It is can be found in Jalan Kebon Kacang, Central Jakarta. The satay is made from minced beef mixed with shredded coconut and spices, wrapped around a flat bamboo skewer. Usually eaten with ketupat laksa betawi (Betawi style Laksa with ketupat glutinous compressed rice).
- Sate Manis
- Also a speciality from the Betawi people. It is also can be found in Jalan Kebon Kacang, Central Jakarta. The satay is made from slices of has dalam (tenderloin) the finest part of beef, marinated with sweet spices. Usually eaten with ketupat laksa betawi.
- Sate Kambing (Goat satay)
- A variant of satay popular in Java, made with goat, lamb or mutton meat. Different than other satay, sate kambing is not usually pre-seasoned or pre-cooked. Raw lamb is skewered and grilled directly on the charcoal. It is then served with sweet soy sauce, sliced shallots, and cut-up tomatoes. Since the meat is not pre-cooked, it is important to choose a very young lamb. Most famous vendor usually use lamb under three to five months old. Lamb from goat is also more popular than lamb from sheep due to milder flavor.
- Sate Kerbau (Water buffalo satay)
- A variant of satay popular in Kudus, where most Muslim believed that it is forbidden to eat beef in order to respect the Hindus. This satay is made with water buffalo meat. The meat is cooked first with palm sugar, coriander, cumin, and other seasoning until very tender. Some vendor choose to even grind the meat first in order to make it really tender. It is then grilled on charcoal, and the served with sauce made with coconut milk, palm sugar, and other seasoning. Traditionally, satay kerbau is served on a plate covered with teak wood leaves.
- Sate Kelinci (Rabbit meat Satay)
- This variant of satay is made from rabbit meat, a delicacy from Java. It is served with sliced fresh shallots (small red onion), peanut sauce, and sweet soy sauce. Rabbit satay usually can be found in mountainous tourist region in Java where locals breed rabbit for its meat, such as Lembang in West Java, Kaliurang in Yogyakarta, Bandungan and Tawangmangu resort in Central Java, also Telaga Sarangan in East Java.
- Sate Burung Ayam-ayaman (Bird Satay)
- The satay is made from gizzard, liver, and intestines of “Burung Ayam-ayaman” (a migrating sea bird). After being seasoned with mild spices and stuck on a skewer, this bird’s internal organs aren’t grilled, but are deep fried in cooking oil instead.
- Sate Bandeng (Milkfish Satay)
- A unique delicacy from Banten. It is a satay made from boneless “Bandeng” (milkfish). The seasoned spicy milkfish meat is separated from the small bones, then placed back into the milkfish skin, clipped by a bamboo stick, and grilled over charcoal.
- Sate Belut (Eel Satay)
- Another Lombok rare delicacy. It is made from belut, (lit. eel ) commonly found in watery rice paddies in Indonesia. A seasoned eel is skewered and wrapped around each skewer, then grilled over charcoal fire, so each skewer contains an individual small eel.
- Sate Kuda (Horse meat Satay)
- Locally known as “Sate Jaran”, this is made from horse meat, a delicacy from Yogyakarta. It is served with sliced fresh shallots (small red onion), pepper, and sweet soy sauce.
- Sate Bulus (Turtle Satay)
- Another rare delicacy from Yogyakarta. It is a satay made from freshwater “Bulus” (softshell turtle). It is served with sliced fresh shallots (small red onion), pepper, and sweet soy sauce. Bulus meat is also served in soup or tongseng (Javanese style spicy-sweet soup).
- Sate Ular (Snake Satay)
- A rare and exotic delicacy usually founds in foodstalls specialize on serving exotic meats like snakes and lizards, such as the one founds near Gubeng train station in Surabaya, or near Mangga Besar and Tebet train station in Jakarta. It usually uses ular sedok (cobra) or sanca (python) meat. It is served with sliced fresh shallots (small red onion), pickles, pepper, and sweet soy sauce.
- Sate Babi (Pork Satay)
- Popular among the Indonesian-Chinese community, most of whom do not share the Muslim prohibition against pork. This dish can be found in Chinatowns in Indonesian cities, especially around Glodok, Pecenongan, and Senen in the Jakarta area. It is also popular in Bali which the majority are Hindus, and also popular in The Netherlands.
- Sate Kulit (Skin Satay)
- Found in Sumatra, this is a crisp satay made from marinated chicken skin.
- Sate Hati (Liver Satay)
- There is two types of liver satays, cattle liver (goat or cow) and chicken liver satay. The cattle liver made by diced whole liver, while the chicken liver satay is made from mixture of chicken liver, gizzard, and intestines. Usually gizzard is placed on the bottom, intestine on the center and liver or heart on the top. After seasoning, the internal organs are not fried or grilled, but are boiled instead. It’s not treated as a main dish, but often as a side dish to accompany Bubur Ayam (chicken rice porridge).
- Sate Usus (Chicken Intestine satay)
- This mildly marinated satay is usually fried, also as a side-dish to accompany bubur ayam.
- Sate Babat (Tripes satay)
- Mildly marinated and mostly boiled than grilled, usually served as a side-dish to accompany soto.
- Sate Kerang (Shellfish satay)
- Mildly marinated and boiled, also served as a side-dish to accompany soto.
- Sate Telor Puyuh (Quail eggs satay)
- Several hard-boiled quail eggs are put into skewers, marinated in sweet soy sauce with spices and boiled further, also served as a side-dish for soto.
- Sate Telor Muda (Young egg Satay)
- This satay is made from immature chicken egg (uritan) obtained upon slaughtering the hens. The immature eggs are boiled and put into skewers to be grilled as satay.
- Sate Torpedo (Testicles Satay)
- Satay made from goat testicles marinated in soy sauce and grilled. It is eaten with peanut sauce, pickles, and hot white rice.
- Sate Susu (Milky Satay)
- A tasty dish commonly found in Java and Bali, made from grilled spicy beef brisket with a distinctive milky taste, served with hot chilli sauce.
- Sate Kere (Poorman’s satay)
- A cheap vegetarian satay made from grounded tempe from Solo city, served in peanut sauce and pickles. The word “kere” in the Javanese language means “poor”; it originally was meant to provide the poor people of Java with the taste of satay at an affordable price, since meat was considered a luxury in the past. Today, sate kere also includes intestine, liver and beef satays mixed with tempe ones.
Known as sate in Malay (and pronounced similarly to the English), it can be found throughout every state in Malaysia, in restaurants and on the street, with hawkers selling satay in food courts and Pasar malam. While the popular kinds of satay are usually beef and chicken satays, different regions of Malaysia have developed their own unique variations of satay. Sate is often associated with Muslim Malays of Malaysia Indicative of the melding of cultures, pork sate is also available at non-halal Chinese eating establishments in Malaysia.
There are a number of well-known satay outlets are in Kajang, Selangor which is dubbed the Sate City in the country. Sate Kajang is a generic name for a style of sate where the meat chunks are bigger than normal and the sweet peanut sauce is served with a dollop of fried chili paste. Hence, Sate Kajang is now found throughout Malaysia and not just in Kajang. Stalls and restaurants around the town offering not only traditional recipe with chicken and beef meat, but also more exotic meat such as gizzards, liver, venison, rabbit meat, fish and many other variants.
Another variation of the meat satay are the satay lok-lok from Penang and satay celup (dip satay) from Malacca. Both are Malaysian Chinese twists of the hotpot and the Malay satay. Raw meat pieces, tofu pieces, century eggs, quail eggs, fish cake pieces, offal or vegetable pieces are skewered on bamboo sticks. These are cooked by being dipped in boiling water or stock. The satay is eaten with a blackish sweet sauce with or without chili sauce. If the satay is eaten with satay sauce, it is called satay lok-lok. If the satay is cooked with boiling satay peanut sauce, it is called satay celup. This is available either from street vendors or at certain restaurants. Most of them are non-halal. Customers use a common container containing boiling stock to personally cook their satay. Sauces are either served in common containers or individually. There are no tables when you eat at street vendors and thus customers enjoy the food standing around the food cart.
The Philippines has two distinct styles of cooking satay. The first, which is native to the Hispanized peoples of Luzon and the Visayas, consists of mainly pork (sometimes chicken meat) marinated and then glazed with a thick sweet sauce consisting of soy sauce and banana ketchup, which gives the meat a reddish colour, and is then grilled. The marinating sauce, absent of peanuts, has little affiliation to traditional satay recipes used in other regions, and rather derives from a fusion of the satay cooking method used by pre-Hispanized natives, and the development of a preference for sweet as opposed to savory, derived from extensive Chinese, Japanese (yakitori) and Spanish culinary influences. Due to American influence, this version is simply called Barbecue/Barbikyu. Barbikyu (balbacoa in Zamboanga City) is usually served from street stands in major towns and cities.
The second style, called Satti, is native to the Moro peoples of the southern Philippines (Mindanao, the Sulu Archipelago, southern Palawan and Tawi-Tawi), and is a true satay dish, similar to traditional Malay and Indonesian sate recipes. The similarities include the preparation and cooking methods of the meat, an exception being that satti is served with a thick peanut infused soup as opposed to being served dry. The basic marinade for Satti includes the use of peanuts, garlic, ginger, onions, cumin, bagoong/belacan, chillies and coconut milk. Due to these areas being predominantly Muslim, the meats prepared for Satti are slaughtered according to Halal laws. Meats such as beef, chicken (manuk), goat (kambing) and lamb (anak biri) feature in Tausug Satti. Well renowned by Tausug, Samal and Bajau locals in the main southern Philippine cities of Zamboanga and Davao, Satti has not expanded into Christian dominated areas outside the region, apart from “delis” in the Muslim quarters of the Metro Manila urban area. Authentic Satti is served at restaurants and cafeteria outlets that specialize in cooking the food, with recipes being a closely guarded secret.
Satay is one of the earliest foods to be associated with Singapore; it has been associated with the city since the 1940s. Previously sold on makeshift roadside stalls and pushcarts, concerns over public health and the rapid development of the city led to a major consolidation of satay stalls at Beach Road in the 1950s, which came to be collectively called the Satay Club. They were moved to the Esplanade Park in the 1960s, where they grew to the point of being constantly listed in tourism guides.
Open only after dark with an “al fresco” concept, the Satay Club defined how satay is served in Singapore since then, although they are also found across the island in most hawker stalls, modern food courts, and upscale restaurants at any time of the day. Moved several times around Esplanade Park due to development and land reclamation, the outlets finally left the area permanently to Clarke Quay in the late 1990s to make way for the building of the Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay.
Several competing satay hotspots have since emerged, with no one being able to lay claim to the reputation the Satay Club had at the Esplanade. While the name has been transferred to the Clarke Quay site, several stalls from the original Satay club have moved to Sembawang in the north of the city. The satay stalls which opened at Lau Pa Sat are popular with tourists. Served only at night when Boon Tat Street is closed to vehicular traffic and the stalls and tables occupy the street, it mimics the open-air dining style of previous establishments.
Other notable outlets include the ones at Newton Food Centre, East Coast Park Seafood Centre and Toa Payoh Central.
The common types of satay sold in Singapore include Satay Ayam (chicken satay), Satay Lembu (beef satay), Satay Kambing (mutton satay), Satay Perut (beef intestine), and Satay Babat (beef tripe).
Singapore’s national carrier, Singapore Airlines, also serves satay to its First and Raffles Class passengers as an appetizer.
Satay is a popular dish in Thailand. Usually served in peanut sauce, Thai satay have various recipes, such as chicken, beef, pork to vegetarian variants that employs soy protein strips or tofu. Satay can easily found in virtually any Thai restaurant worldwide. Because Thai cuisine is heavily marketed internationally and has attracted world culinary attention earlier than Indonesian cuisine, despite its Indonesian origin, there is widespread misconception abroad that satay is originated from Thailand. As the result it is most frequently associated with Thai food.
Known as saté or sateh it is fully adapted in Dutch everyday cuisine. Pork- and chicken satays, almost solely served with spicy peanut sauce, are readily available in snackbars and supermarkets. The version with goat-meat (sateh kambing) and sweet soy sauce is available in Indonesian restaurants and take-aways. Pork or chicken satay in peanut sauce, with salad and French-fries is popular in pubs or eetcafes.
Another favourite in Dutch snackbars is the satékroket, a croquette made with a peanut sauce and shredded meat ragout.
Another popular misconception, the term “satay” is often mistakenly identified as peanut sauce. Traditionally, satay referred to any grilled skewered meats with various sauces, it is not necessarily served solely in peanut sauce. However, since the most popular variant of satay is chicken satay in peanut sauce (Sate Madura in Indonesia, Sate Kajang in Malaysia, and Thai chicken use peanut sauce); in modern fusion cuisine the term “satay” has shifted to satay style peanut sauce instead.
For example, the fusion “satay burger” refers to beef hamburger served with so-called “satay sauce”, which is mainly a kind of sweet and spicy peanut sauce or often replaced with gloppy peanut butter. The Singapore satay bee hoon is actually rice vermicelli served in peanut sauce. The Thai fusion fish fillet in satay sauce also demonstrates the same trend. The fusion French cuisine Cuisses de Grenouilles Poelees au Satay, Chou-fleur Croquant is actually frog legs in peanut sauce. The Indomie instant noodle is also available in satay flavour, which is only the addition of peanut sauce in its packet.
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