Malaysian & Singaporean Recipes

Spicy Steve's Malaysian & Singaporean Recipes

Malaysian Beef Satay

(Barbequed Beef Satay on a stick)

This is a classic Malaysian and Singaporean "Hawker" dish. Hawkers are food vendors who usually specialize in one or two dishes and work out of mobile road side stalls or stalls in "Hawker Centres" and markets. This is the concept on which our Food Courts are based. The Satay Man can usually be seen with his small charcoal BBQ fanning away at the coals and creating spectacular shows of erupting flames as he sizzles the satay. Give me a plate of good satay with peanut sauce, ketupat (pressed rice), cucumber and red onions and I have reached nirvana. The marinade is so good, you can eat them hot off the barbeque without the peanut sauce, but you must try both.

1 ½ lbs lean beef

1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp powdered cinnamon
8 shallots - diced
1 tsp coriander
1/2 inch fresh turmeric
1/2 inch galangal
1 stalk lemon grass
2 tsp. sugar
2 Tbsp peanut oil (cooking oil will substitute but it will not add the same flavour) salt to taste (at least 1 tsp)

1. Slice beef in small pieces 1/8 inch thick and 1 ½ inches long similar to what you might do for a stir fry.

2. Grind coriander, cumin, turmeric, galangal, lemon grass, salt and sugar with powdered cinnamon, diced shallots and peanut oil. This creates the marinade.

3. Mix with marinade and let sit for several hours or even better -overnight.

4. Soak your satay skewers in water. Again overnight is best to minimize burning.

5. Before cooking, skewer meat (usually about 3 pieces per stick) on sticks so the pieces are flat and not bunched up.

6. Grill on BBQ or over charcoal turning constantly and basting with lemon grass "brush" dipped in oil sugar mixture.

7. Serve as they are, or even better, with a Peanut Sauce (see separate recipe), sliced cucumbers and onions.

Cooking Tip:
Place a strip of tin foil across the front of your BBQ. Make it deep enough so the sticks can lay on it while the portion of the stick covered with meat is exposed to the flame. This will allow you to minimize the sticks burning and also allow you to close the lid on your BBQ to speed up cooking. Also make a little lip, or ridge, with the foil at the flame end of the BBQ to rest the stick on. You will have to watch your finger tips as the tin foil does heat up.

For Basting: (not included on the Ingredients List)
One stalk lemon grass - cut a 1/2 inch off the bottom and then smash the end to create a brush for basting. Use a knife to add extra slits and open up the smashed end. 1 Tbsp sugar mixed with 3 Tbsp peanut oil. Peanut oil withstands higher heat and adds more flavour. You can also use coconut milk instead of sugar.