Satay or sate in Bahasa Indonesian spelling, is small pieces of seasoned meat, skewered, grilled and served with sauce. A dish widely popular in Asia; Indonesia and Malaysia are the two countries where satay can be commonly found. Chicken, mutton and beef are typically used in both countries as the majority of the population are Moslem.
The great thing about Indonesia is the diversity of religion, culture and cuisines. The island of Java with a Moslem majority, use plenty of chicken and mutton but if you travel to a different part of the country such as Borneo, North Sumatra and Bali, people eat pork.
The most popular satay has to be Sate Ayam or Chicken Satay, served with sweet peanut sauce and rice or rice cakes. The chicken thigh is cut up into small pieces and each skewer will have 4 pieces of meat. The raw satay is then marinated with sweet soy sauce and garlic before being cooked over a charcoal grill. Since the meat is a small size, the skewers do not take long to cook. After being cooked through, the satay are served with peanut sauce, which is made from ground peanuts, garlic, candlenut, and palm sugar. A serving of Chicken satay usually consists of 5 to 10 sticks, depending on the size and with a side of rice or rice cake wrapped in banana leaf.
Sate Ayam is traditionally sold by street vendors in a simple push cart complete with a small charcoal grill. The smoke from the grill and that distinct satay smell will attract the customers.
If you are feeling adventurous, here is a list of other types of Satay from different parts of Indonesia that may tickle your taste buds.
- Sate Babi: Popular in Bali, traditionally served with crushed fresh chilly and salt
- Sate Padang: Originating from West Sumatra, it is made from slices of beef tongue served with flavorful curry-like thick yellow sauce
- Sate Maranggi: Beef satay marinated in fragrant ginger flower paste served with peanut sauce and pickles
- Sate Kambing: Sheep satay cooked over charcoal traditionally served with raw white cabbage, tomatoes, shallot and sweet soy sauce
- Sate Lilit: Another Balinese specialty, can be made from chicken or fish. The meat is ground up with turmeric, garlic and other spices forming a thick paste. The paste then skillfully wrapped around a flat stick or lemongrass stick to be grilled over charcoal.
Whether you want to stick with chicken or be adventurous with your satay, it would be close to a sin not to have delicious satay while travelling in Indonesia.
To all Sate Lovers, don’t miss out on Satay Promo and Satay Night every Tuesday at Warung Damar. Opens daily from 11.00 – 23.00.