Grilling on skewers seems like a universal way to cook meat, don’t you think? Most citizens of the world probably have their own versions and names for it. Still, it’s the same delicious idea :). Indonesians (and some of our South East Asian neighbors) call this method as sate or satay. As a popular street food in the country, satay comes in different variation depending on the region. In my hometown, chicken satay with peanut sauce seems to be consistently in demand. One common scene close to dinner hours would be seeing a satay vendor push his cart on residential streets while calling out, “Teee…Sate.” Someone would usually shout back from their porch, “Satay man, come.” The vendor would stop in front of that house and start grilling. With a traditional bamboo fan on one hand, he’d fan the charcoal grill on his cart and turn and adjust the satay, to make sure they’re cooked properly, with the other hand. A wonderful aroma would fill the air. Once the satay is done, he’d start mixing the peanut sauce, shallots, sweet soy sauce, and chili paste and place the satay on top of it. I loved watching this “performance” when I was little.
I think what makes chicken satay so special would be the sauce. That nutty, sweet, savory, and tangy flavors…all in perfect harmony. Inspired by a recent cookout at a friend’s house, I decided to make my version of chicken satay this week. I’ve made peanut sauce before but this time I used the raw walnuts that I had at home. So here it goes:
For the chicken satay, we’ll need:
- 5-10 skewers (soaked in water for 15 minutes)
- 2-3 boneless and skinless chicken breasts (get the smaller size). You could also use boneless and skinless chicken thighs. Cut into strips (same size) to make them skewer-friendly.
- 2 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
- Coriander powder
- Ginger powder
- Lime juice from ½ lime
- 1 cup of raw walnuts
- 3 shallots
- 4 garlic
- 3 cayenne peppers
- Lime zest from 1 lime
- Lime juice from ½ lime
- 2 tablespoon of sweet soy sauce (substitute with: a mix of 1 tablespoon of light soy sauce and 1 tablespoon of honey)
- Marinade the chicken strips with olive oil, lime juice, a pinch of salt and pepper, and a dash of coriander and ginger powder. Set them aside for 10-15 minutes.
- In a food processor, mix: walnuts, shallots, garlic, peppers, salt, lime zest, and lime juice.
- Heat up a non-stick pan and cook the walnut mixture for two or three minutes until it starts to brown.
- In a bowl, mix the cooked walnut blend with the sweet soy sauce. Taste and adjust accordingly. I like to add thinly sliced shallots to the sauce at the end.
- Thread the chicken meat onto the skewers.
- Fire up the grill and cook them thoroughly (mine went for about 5 minutes on each side).
- On a serving plate, set the chicken satay and drizzle with the walnut sauce.
Great to serve with rice or grilled corn or just by itself. I served mine with mango sambal and rice. A nice dinner-for-two out on our little patio 🙂
Have a great day and thanks for coming!