Updated: Oct 25, 2020
Satay is a popular street food across South East Asia. Growing up in Bangkok we had our regular Satay man who went up and down streets in his tricycle selling his Satay. He would start the day with at least 500 or 800 skewers. His day ended when they were all sold out. There were pork, beef or chicken satays to choose from. We usually ordered 50 skewers which came with dipping peanut sauce and cucumber vinaigrette.
Rarely do Thai people make Satay at home. These skewers and the whole dish are labour intensive. The meat has to be sliced so thinly and threaded through a skewer. Thai herbs and spices are pounded and crushed to make the marinade for the meat. Then there is a spicy peanut dipping sauce to make. And the dish can't go with out cucumber vinaigrette.
However, it is fun to make with family and friends. Splitting up the tasks and planning ahead makes the process less overwhelming. Slice the meat and marinade it a day before. My 3 children will be threading the marinated meat on the skewers while my husband will BBQ these while I make the peanut sauce.
The recipe below here is authentic and traditional which requires fresh herb and spices. You will be rewarded with the most amazing aroma when these skewers go on the fire. The meat is so thin each skewer will take only minutes to cook. Medium heat and 100% attention at the BBQ station is a must.
Pork cut that is suitable for satay is shoulder and loin. There should be a bit of fat in. Lean cut gives no flavour and dries out on the fire.
The peanut dipping sauce recipe here is excellent for another Thai curry which I will be posting. The quantity is purposely more than you need for Satay. A Thai curry can be served in no time for dinner the next day using any left over sauce.
Skewers - soak them in cold water for a couple of hours so they don't burn on the BBQ
Make 30 skewers
Ingredients for the marinade
500g pork shoulder cut into thick steaks then slice thinly on the shorter side into 1 inch wide and 3 inches long
1/2 coconut cream
1 tsp galangal finely chopped
1 tbsp lemongrass chopped
1 tsp ground turmeric ( if you can get fresh turmeric, it is ever better)
2 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp caraway seeds
1/4 ground white pepper
1 tsp salt
2 tsp brown sugar
In a small food processor, blitz together all the ingredients above. Pour it over your pork and keep in the fridge for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
Thread the marinated meat on the skewers.
BBQ on charcoal on medium heat for 2-3 minutes until cooked through. Brush each skewer with some coconut milk as you cook it.
Ingredients of the peanut dipping sauce
7 cups of coconut milk
3 tbsp red curry paste
1 cup of roasted peanuts
1/2 cup of roasted white sesame seeds
3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp plain flour
Roast both types of nuts on a frying pan with no oil for a couple of minutes until fragrant but light brown. Then finely chop in a food processor.
In a small saucepan, add one cup of coconut milk. Heat it up gently until bubbling and the coconut cream starts to surface.
Add the curry paste. Cook stirring until fragrant.
Pour in the rest of the coconut milk, the nuts, sugar, fish sauce and salt. Cook on low heat until thicken.
Mix plain flour with some water to form a smooth paste. Trickle it in the sauce pan stirring. Adjust the season and turn off the heat.
Ingredients of the cucumber vinaigrette.
1/2 large cucumber sliced into small cubes
1 shallots finely sliced
1 red chilli sliced
1 1/3 cup of white distilled vinegar
2 tbsp sugar
Combine vinegar, salt and sugar in saucepan and heat it up gently until thicken slightly and leave it to cool.
Add the rest of the ingredients. Top with some coriander.