A Balinese Chef shares the secret to his Chicken Satay, the national dish of Indonesia
The Four Seasons Sayan is the epitome of luxury on the banks of a river the deeply spiritual Balinese consider sacred: The Ayung. In its kitchens, Chef Wayan Sutariawan, a Balinese native from the village of Klungkung, has spent his career learning how to prepare ancestral Indonesian food. He shared his recipe for Indonesia’s own Grilled Chicken Satays with Peanut Sauce or “Sate Madura”. The dish is an integral part of the picnics Chef Suta hosts on the banks of the river or in the surrounding hills. These wonderfully flavorful skewers are a peanut lover’s dream. Best of all, they’re amazingly easy to make. In Bali, the dipping sauce ingredients are ground by hand with a mortar and pestle. But you can achieve the same result in a food processor. You can even buy ready-made Indonesian Peanut Satay in Asian markets but don’t tell Chef Suta I said so.
Take a look at just how magnificent Four Seasons Bali at Sayan is in this YouTube Video
The Satay is Southeast Asia’s gift to picnickers everywhere
Basically, a Satay is a kebab of seasoned, skewered meat that is cooked on a grill and served with a sauce. They were the original street food invented in Java in the 18th century. It was then that an influx of Indian and Arab traders immigrated to Indonesia and adapted the Indian kebab to their new home. Satays can be made with goat, lamb, mutton, beef, pork, fish, or even tofu. Traditionally, the meat was strung together on the mid-ribs of the coconut palm frond. But bamboo skewers work just as well. Once they’re marinated, they’re grilled or barbecued over wood or charcoal. (We used the grill element on our Viking range.). Various sauces are used but the combination of soy and peanut sauce is the most used of all. And peanut sauce is often called satay sauce. Here’s the recipe and some other Balinese dishes to enjoy.
Grilled Satay Skewers with Indonesian Peanut Dipping Sauce
Wonderfully flavorful and a peanut lovers dream. Best of all, they're so easy to make.
- For the Satay
- 2 lbs chicken thighs ( or 2 lbs of beef or lamb)
- 1 cup peanut sauce (see recipe below)
- ¼ cup sweet soy sauce
- 1 lime
- 3 tbsp cooking oil
- 24 bamboo skewers
- For the Peanut Sauce: 2 cups peanuts
- 5 candlenuts, optional (substitute macadamia nuts)
- 8 cloves garlic, sliced
- 2 red shallots, sliced
- 5 bird’s eye chilis, sliced
- 2 - 2½ cups water or chicken stock
- ½ cup sweet soy sauce
- ¼ cup palm sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- Step 1 Cut the meat into small cubes and place it in a bowl.
- Step 2 Mix the peanut sauce, sweet soy sauce, lime, and oil in a separate bowl or jug.
- Step 3 Keep half for later, and pour the other half over the meat.
- Step 4 Mix well and marinate for at least 15 minutes.
- Step 5 Thread the marinated meat onto the skewers and grill over hot charcoals (or BBQ grill).
- Step 6 Baste the meat with the marinade while cooking. Turn the skewers frequently to prevent the meat from sticking and burning, and cook through.
- Step 7 Serve with peanut sauce, freshly diced shallots, and lime wedges.