Satay Kajang with Peanut Sauce
In 1983 we set off on the holiday of a lifetime, three weeks in Malaysia. We visited my sister-in-law who was teaching English in Taiping, this was fantastic as she knew how to get around, could speak the language and took us to eat in some fantastic places. Highlights of our culinary adventure were Roti Canai (pancake with curry sauce) for breakfast, a steamboat (stock bubbling in a pot over a charcoal burner, with seafood and vegetables you cook in it yourself) in a Chinese Malay restaurant, chilli crabs burning our fingers and lips on Pankor island and Nasi Goreng (fired rice) eaten cold as a picnic in the jungle national park, Taman Negara.
One of the first meals we ate out in Taiping was Satay, cooked at an open air street stall and charged by the stick! I’d never seen anything like it (remember it was 1983) and it tasted so good. Inevitably I came home with a cook book “Traditional Malaysian Cuisine”.
I used it quite a lot when I returned home although many of the ingredients were still difficult to find. I was pleased when I saw that Chris from Cooking Around the World had chosen Malaysia as the country for Bloggers around the World this month, as it made me dig out this book and revisit this recipe:
1.5kg chicken fillet
1/2tsp powdered cinnamon
2.5cm piece of fresh turmeric or 1tsp dried turmeric
1 stalk lemongrass
2tbsp roasted peanuts
Salt to taste
1. Cube the chicken meat, drain and put aside.
2. grind coriander, cumin, turmeric, peanuts, salt and sugar. Mix this with the powdered cinnamon, diced shallots and 1tbsp oil.
3. Marinade the chicken in this mixture.
4. Using wooden skewers soaked for at least an hour in cold water, skewer 5 pieces of chicken on each skewer.
5. Grill over burning coals or under a hot grill, constantly sprinkling oil on the meat using crushed lemongrass.
6. Turn over and continue grilling until the chicken is cooked.
7. Serve with peanut sauce.
300g roasted peanuts
2.5cm piece of ginger
3tbsp pounded chillies
2 stalks lemongrass
1 mild onion
1/2 cup tamarind juice (I used Tamarind sauce)
Salt to taste
1. Grind the peanuts. put aside.
2. Grind lemongrass and ginger until fine.
3. Slice onion and stir fry until soft
4. Add in ground chillies and other ground ingredients
5. Add in the tamarind juice and lastly peanuts, sugar and salt. Simmer until the gravy thickens.
6. To serve, arrange a few sticks of satay on a plate and serve with a bowl of peanut sauce, cucumber and sliced onion. Satay also goes very well with rice.
Pounded chillies, marinating chicken, tamarind sauce and peanut sauce.
I fried off some of the onions from the marinade before adding the rice, then double the volume of stock to rice. This made a tasty savoury pilaff to accompany the satay. It didn’t disappoint, the flavours and textures compliment each other perfectly. If you haven’t tried making Satay yourself, I hope you can see that it’s really not too difficult and have a go!