Say the word 'satay' and one cannot help but water at the mouth. If you've tasted it before you'll remember how delicious it is to bite into a juicy chunk and also to dip it in its classic creamy peanut sauce.
So how did this humble little pieces of meat on a stick get its name?
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), Encyclopaedia of Chinese and Oriental Cookery
It’s difficult to determine the actual origins of satay but one popular theory is that Arab merchants shared their kebab recipes with the locals in Southeast Asia. The locals started to skewer meats and grilled them on an open flame. They added local ingredients like lemongrass, galangal, tamarind and coconut sugar and made it their own.
The name “satay” is from the Chinese words 三塊 which sound like “sar tae” in Hokkien dialect. It means “3 pieces”. There was a significant Hokkien population living in Southeast Asia but they could not speak the local language. They saw that the skewers always had 3 pieces of meat on them and named it that. Before long, even the locals started using this term. And of course, the rest is history.
For your satay to have that extra oomph, you'd want to have it with @my.blue.tea Satay Powder. It is all natural and has no MSG, no preservatives and no artificial colouring! This is a delightfully simple recipe, so it´s a great one to start with for beginners and even your little ones at home could chip in and develop their budding culinary skills! You can use this powder to marinate any meat (or tofu, if you want a vegetarian option) of your choice.
INGREDIENTS 50g satay marinade base 20ml water 90g sugar 1kg boneless chicken/ beef/ mutton (cut into strips) or Tofu (use the firm type so it does not disintegrate when you skewer it)
* 2 tbsp @my.blue.tea Pandan leaf oil
* Heat cooking oil, pour it over dried pandan leaf
(1) Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and marinade for at least 3 hours in the fridge.
(2) Arrange on skewers and ready to grill/pan/sear/roast.
(3) Brush excess pandan oil over satay for each flipped side using a piece of lemongrass to brush.
* No water is required for marination of wet meat. Use sufficient sugar for caramelization.
* Adjust sugar amount to achieve desired sweetness.
* 50 grams of satay powder for 1kg of meat -
** for a minimum 3 hours (>6 hours is recommended).
What do you do with leftover satays ? You can 'upcycle' it and make satay cauliflower or satay fried rice. That´s how versatile our satay marinade powder is!
From this simple recipe, there are many variations you can play around with. You can skewer the pieces of meat and then BBQ them. Others prefer to simply pan fry the meat pieces and create their own ´deconstructed´ satay. As mentioned in our recommendations above, it is best to baste the meat with pandan oil using pandan green tea leaves and to actually use a piece of lemongrass as the brush. It´s not only an environmentally-friendly brush to have around the house but it also helps it to give the meat an extra flavour. You can also serve the satays with ketupat (rice cake), onions and @my.blue.tea satay sauce.
And if you do not want to skewer - satay anything some inspiration below with our Spicy Christmas Pack
@explore.nonstop made Satay Maryland and Satay Celup Fishballs
Dr Janice @ipohgirl made Satay Leg of Lamb --> recipe on Youtube and Tik Tok
Satays make for a great BBQ dish because it is quick and easy and always popular! It´s the poster dish for this BBQ season!
Make this Christmas and holiday season memorable for your guests by serving them Pandan Mojito. The taste is one you´re not going to forget!