The January 2010 DC challenge was hosted by Cuppy of Cuppylicious and she chose a delicious Thai-inspired recipe for Pork Satay from the book 1000 Recipes by Martha Day.

Chicken Satay, with rice and green beans

The past month in the UK has been a little bit crazy. I honestly don’t remember the snow ever lying for so long. It’s been snowing every couple of days in Edinburgh since before Christmas! I guess I would typically think of satay of a summer dish, but spicy food is great on cold days. Plus we all need a dose of the summer feeling in the depths of winter!

The main thing we had to do for this challenge was to marinade our choice of meat (or vegetarian options) to enhance the tenderness and flavour. I used the more “complicated” marinade simply because I had all the ingredients to hand – I cook a lot of curries!

Satay Marinade

  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 T ginger root, chopped (optional) (2 cm cubed)
  • 2 T lemon juice (1 oz or 30 mls)
  • 1 T soy sauce (0.5 oz or 15 mls)
  • 1 tsp ground coriander (5 mls)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin (5 mls)
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric (2-2.5 mls)
  • 2 T vegetable oil (or peanut or olive oil) (30 mls)
  • 2 chicken fillets (although with this amount of marinade you could easily do 4)

Feeling the need to make it more Thai? Try adding a dragon chili, an extra tablespoon of ginger root, and 1 tablespoon (0.5 oz or 15 mls) of fish sauce. (I keep some premature (still green) dragon chili peppers in the freezer for just such an occasion.)

Ingredients for Chicken Satay Marinade
See the snow in the background!

Cheater alert: If you have a food processor or blender, dump in everything except the chicken and blend until smooth. Lacking a food processor, I prefer to chop my onions, garlic and ginger really fine then mix it all together in a medium to large bowl.

Cut the chicken fillets into 1 inch strips.

Cover the chicken with marinade. You can place the chicken into a bowl, cover/seal and chill, or place the whole lot of it into a ziplock bag, seal and chill.

I have to say this was a great marinade and would be suitable for any type of curry, not just Satay – although I did skewer my chicken there is no necessity to.

After leaving the chicken to marinade for around 6 hours, I removed them from the fridge and threaded them on to wooden skewers. (Remember if using wooden skewers to soak them in water for at least 10 minutes so they won’t go on fire!)

To cook the skewer they should need at least 10 minutes on each side under the grill, but watch that they don’t start to burn.

While the skewers were cooking I made the Satay sauce.

Satay Sauce

  • 3/4 cup coconut milk (6 oz or 180 mls)
  • 4 Tbsp peanut butter (2 oz or 60 mls)
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice (0.5 oz or 15 mls)
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce (0.5 oz or 15 mls)
  • 1 tsp brown sugar (5 mls)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin (2.5 mls)
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander (2.5 mls)
  • 1-2 dried red chilies, chopped (keep the seeds for heat)

Satay Sauce

Mix dry ingredients in a small bowl. Add soy sauce and lemon, mix well.

Over low heat, combine coconut milk, peanut butter and your soy-lemon-seasoning mix. Mix well, stir often.

All you’re doing is melting the peanut butter, so make your peanut sauce after you’ve made everything else in your meal, or make ahead of time and reheat.

I guess I have to say I am not a huge fan of Satay sauce, again with me having problems with sweetness in savoury food. I wouldn’t have put any sugar in the sauce, but the Other Half (who is some what an expert in Chicken Satay) said it was perfect.

Mind due he also said he would eat the sauce on a slice of toast…