It’s the month of Ramadan, so first and foremost, I’d like to wish all of my Muslim friends and colleagues Mubarak Ramadan!
It’s been almost a year or so after Circuit Breaker, which started in around the second week of April last year. I recall, it was slightly after CNY, and we were all looking forward to the Hari Raya festivities and bazaars but had to be disappointed. Our Muslim friends could not do much visiting during Hari Raya, and many places were cold and quiet. It was a different type of new year celebration for many and we all had to adapt to a totally new mindset for a whole new world to come.
But life goes on, yes, and we all made it through the most horrible times of all. I am hoping that things will continue to get better, and if efforts from everyone continues on, we should be able to see the bazaar again soon, hopefully this time next year.
Here’s a dish of chicken satay with peanut gravy sauce to prepare for the celebrative mood ahead. Satay, with its origin from Indonesia, are skewers of marinated meat which are in turn grilled or barbequed for a nice burnt flavour. The juicy meat is eaten with a sweet peanut sauce, served with sides such as onions, lontong (rice cakes) and cucumbers. I have here both the recipes for the grilled meat as well as the peanut gravy, but if you have no time to make both, you can buy the ready-made gravy off-the-shelf too.
Ingredients (Chicken Skewers):
- Oil: 3 tbsp
- Lemongrass: 2 stalks (white bottom parts), sliced + 1 stick to baste satay with
- Garlic: 2 cloves
- Shallot: 6
- Turmeric powder: 2 tsp
- Coriander powder: 1 tsp
- Chilli powder (optional): 1 tsp
- Salt: 1 tsp
- Honey: 2 tbsp
- Water: 1 – 2 tbsp
- Chicken thigh: boneless, sliced into long strips
- Bamboo skewers: soaked in cold water for 2hrs
Method (Chicken Skewers):
- Blend together oil, lemongrass, garlic, shallots, turmeric powder, coriander powder, chilli powder, salt & honey. Add 1 to 2 tbsp water if needed to blend more evenly.
- Combine chicken meat with the marinade. Leave to chill in fridge for 6 hrs.
- Thread strips of chicken onto bamboo skewers, twisting the meat with each thread.
- Grill 5min on each side, using a lemongrass stalk to baste the meat with remaining marinade every 5min.
Ingredients (Peanut Sauce):
- Peanut: 1 cup, skinless
- Dried red chillies (optional): 8, soaked in water
- Garlic: 3 cloves
- Shallots: 4
- Lemongrass: 1 stalk (top white part only) + 1 stalk for frying sauce with
- Galangal: 1/2″ slice
- Water: 1 – 2 tbsp + 1 cup
- Oil: 1/3 cup
- Tamarind juice: 1/4 cup hot water + 1 heap tbsp tamarind pulp; soaked 15min, juice extracted
- Salt: 1/2 tsp
- Palm sugar: 2.5 tbsp
- Coriander powder: 1 tsp
- Kecap manis: 1 tbsp
Method (Peanut Sauce):
- Ground peanuts in blender. Set aside.
- Separately blend together dried red chillies, garlic, shallots, lemongrass & galangal. Add 1 to 2 tbsp water if needed to blend more evenly.
- Heat oil in wok. Fry paste till fragrant.
- Add in lemongrass stalk, peanuts, tamarind juice, 1 cup water, salt, palm sugar, coriander powder & kecap manis.
- Stir-fry on low heat for 5-10min till thickened and oil separates from sauce.
- Serve hot with grilled chicken skewers, cucumbers, onion slices & lontong (rice cakes).
I cooked this entire recipe without any chilli powder or dried chilli as I needed to make it child-friendly. It worked very well and tasted great without the chilli! This is also why the gravy looks slightly different from those sold outside – not as red and oily.
You can replace the chicken with beef, lamb or pork according to your preferences.
- Soaking the skewers in cold water prior to the threading of meat onto it allows the meat to be cooked and steamed by the water in it during the grilling itself. This helps to cook the meat more evenly and nicely!
About 20 sticks with large chunks of meat each