Indonesian Pork Sate`

February 21st, 2010

Indonesia is composed of thousands of islands big and small and among them Java, Sumatra and Bali are the most popular islands for tourism. The largest archipelago in the world, Indonesia attracted powerful Buddhist, Muslim and Hindu rulers for the past two thousand years. Some of Indonesia’s eastern islands like Molucca or Spice Islands now called Maluku were the only place in the world where cloves and nutmeg grew. The people of Maluku used to plant a clove tree to celebrate childbirth. The child would also wear a string round his or her neck strung with cloves to protect them from evil spirits and diseases. The food of Indonesia is very rich and has a great variety inherited from the different historical influences over the years. The cultures are so diverse that many languages and dialects are spoken. Bahasa Indonesia is the national language and it was derived from Malay the language of Malaysia

In Indonesia meats grilled on bamboo skewers are called Sate` and in Malaysia they are called Satay. Indonesian cuisine is a unique combination of spicy chilies and flavorful herbs and other seasonings with the sweet coconut, peanuts and honey. Sate` is one of the most popular dishes in Indonesia with it’s peanut dipping sauce. There is also a famous salad called “Gado Gado” which is a mixture of vegetables, potatoes and tofu served with peanut sauce. Sate` is made with lamb, chicken, shrimp, turtle, beef or pork.

Satay is very popular in Singapore. This island state stands out as a tropical paradise of different kinds of food. Singapore is the place where I first tasted Satay. The exotic cuisine of Singapore is a blend of various cultures brought by the different immigrant groups who settled there. It also interesting to realize that the Satay that you can buy from a vendor in Indonesia or a street food stall in Singapore is considered to be a very sophisticated cocktail snack in other parts of the world. There is really no comparison to this meal of sticks with barbecued meat dipped in a spicy sweet peanut gravy.


Indonesian Pork Sate` Marinade

2 Cups Lean Pork cut in thin long slices like miniature bacon, ¾ inch wide, 6 inches long, 1/8 inch thick,

4 Garlic cloves peeled and grated

1 Tsp. Fresh ground Black Pepper

4 Tbs. Soy Sauce

1 Cup Shallots or Onions chopped

1 Tbs. Ginger peeled and grated

1 Tbs. Galangal peeled and grated (optional)

½ Cup Coconut milk

2 Tsp. Coriander Powder

1 Tsp. Turmeric Powder

1 Tsp. Cayenne Pepper Powder

2 Sticks Lemon Grass diced or one tablespoon Lemon Rind

1 Tbs. Brown Sugar

1 Tbs. Salt

2 Tbs. Oil

1 Package Bamboo skewers soaked in water for about one hour. This prevents it from burning the skewers in the oven or the grill

Blend garlic, black pepper, soy sauce, shallots or onions, ginger, galanghal, coconut milk, coriander, turmeric, cayenne, lemon grass, brown sugar, salt and oil in a food processor or blender. In a bowl put the mixture from your blender and marinate the pork in it for about two hours.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and set to broil.

Thread the marinated pork pieces into the bamboo skewers and lay them on a broiler pan. Place it in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until cooked. It is better if you turn the pork once halfway through the cooking and rub the other side with the remaining marinade.


The Indonesian Sate` Peanut Sauce

1 Cup Creamy peanut butter

1 Cup Shelled raw Peanuts little fried in a fry pan without oil for flavor

½ Cup Candlenuts (optional)

1 Cup Coconut Milk available in cans at grocery stores

8 Dried Hot Chilies soaked in hot water or half teaspoon Cayenne Pepper powder

2 Tbs. Tamarind pulp available at Indian or Asian Grocers

8 Shallots chopped

4 Garlic cloves peeled and grated

1 Stick Lemon Grass chopped or one tablespoon grated Lemon Peel

1 Tbs. Chopped Jalapenoes or any hot Green Chilies

4 Tbs. Soy Sauce

2 Tbs. Lemon Juice

¼ Tsp. Ground Black Pepper

1 Tbs. Brown Sugar

4 Tbs. Oil

1 Tsp. Salt

In a food processor or blender first chop the fried peanuts and the candlenuts. Add soaked chilies or cayenne, shallots, garlic, lemon grass, green chilies, soy sauce, lemon juice, pepper, sugar and salt. Heat the oil in a pot then take it off the burner to cool it a little. Add all the blended ingredients to the oil and keep cooking on medium heat. Gradually add the peanut butter, coconut milk and tamarind pulp. Keep stirring till the mixture gets thick. Use as a dipping sauce for any type of Satay. This is my own developed recipe and I think it goes very well with any barbecued meat, fish or vegetables.

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