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Satay

Daring Cooks
January 2010

The January 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by cuppy of cuppylicious. She chose Satay!

I’m Cuppy, and Cuppylicious is my digital recipe box. As a half-Thai, I get asked regularly if I know any Thai recipes. The category of “Thai” is considerably sparse compared to my list of Indian recipes. There is one, however, that is clearly Thai-influenced, but without the two things that make me shrivel and hide from Thai food – spicy hot peppers and fish sauce.

Nearly a decade ago, I purchased a cleverly titled book called “1000 Recipes” by Martha Day. To this day, I’ve only ever used one of the thousand: Pork Satay with Peanut Sauce. Yes, the very British Martha Day has a very British interpretation of a classic Thai dish.

To download the recipe in .pdf format, click HERE!

Satay (or sate) is very often served as “street fare” all over the world, and you dip your cool little meat skewer into any variety of dipping sauces. In the US, I’m proud to say, we created the coolest and tastiest satay on the planet – the all-American corn dog. Hooray for the USA! Love me some corndogs.

Notes:

  1. Use any meat or tofu you like.
  2. Serve satay as an appetizer, side dish or main course.
  3. Skewer or no skewer, your call.
  4. Pan fry, grill, or broil, also your call.
  5. Alternative recipe below for faster marinade.
  6. Alternative recipe below for peanut allergies.
  7. You don’t have to use turmeric if you don’t have it. In the case of satay, turmeric just makes it yellow. Har har.
  8. Marinate (verb) – to steep (to wet thoroughly in or with a liquid; drench; saturate; imbue) in a marinade before cooking.

The required part of this challenge is to marinate. Marinades serve two purposes, to: 1) add awesome flavor and 2) tenderize tougher meats.

What I like to do is take tougher (cheaper!) cuts of meat and marinate them to make them soft and tender. The tougher the meat, the cheaper it seems to be. Think of it as “what part of the animal gets the most exercise?” and you’ll know which parts are the tough (cheaper!) cuts. Anything from the back and belly tends to be pretty tender already, as it gets very little exercise on the animal (haha… I just patted my own belly thinking about that!).

Meat cuts:
http://www.specialtyfoods.com.au/cuts.html

The key to a great marinade is to have an acid (lemon, lime, brine, soy, vinegar, etc) and an oil (peanut, vegetable, corn, olive, etc). If you’re already working with a soft meat (filet mignon) or vegetable (capsicum) or tofu, then you can skip the oil entirely. Potatoes and tofu still need to be marinated for flavor, otherwise you may as well dip French fries in catsup. Wink If you're going to grill, I suggest you include the oil anyway.

Marinade Info:
http://www.bbqrecipesecrets.com/marinades.html

Depending on the ingredients you select,

Prep:
Pork 30 minutes
Beef/Lamb 30 minutes
Chicken 30 minutes
Vegetables 5-10 minutes
Tofu 5-10 minutes

Marinate:
Pork 4-24 hours
Beef/Lamb 6-24 hours
Chicken 2-12 hours
Vegetables 5-10 minutes
Tofu 5-10 minutes

Cook:
Pork 20 minutes
Beef/Lamb 20 minutes
Chicken 10-15 minutes
Vegetables 5-10 minutes
Tofu 5-10 minutes

Equipment you’ll need for the long version:

Sharp knife
Cutting board
Food processor (optional)
Juicer (optional)
Medium bowl w/ lid or plastic wrap (or ziplock bag)
Pork Satay with Peanut Sauce
Satay Marinade

Satay Marinade (longer version)

Ingredients:

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)
1 pound of pork (loin or shoulder cuts) (16 oz or 450g)

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.)

Directions:

  1. Cheater alert: If you have a food processor or blender, dump in everything except the pork 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.
  2. Cut pork into 1 inch strips.
  3. Cover pork with marinade. You can place the pork into a bowl, cover/seal and chill, or place the whole lot of it into a ziplock bag, seal and chill.

Satay Ingredients 03Satay Marinade 02

Chill Chart:

Pork
4-8 hrs - Up to 24 hrs
Beef/Lamb
6-8 hrs - Up to 24 hrs
Chicken
1-4 hours - Up to 12 hrs
Vegetables
20 min – 2 hrs - Up to 4 hrs
Tofu (no oil)
20 min – 4 hrs - Up to 12 hrs

Faster (cheaper!) marinade:

Ingredients:

T vegetable oil (or peanut or olive oil) (1 oz or 30 mls)
2 T lemon juice (1 oz or 30 mls)
1 T soy sauce (0.5 oz or 15 mls)
1 tsp ginger powder (5 mls)
1 tsp garlic powder (5 mls)
1 tsp cayenne pepper (5 mls)

Directions:

  1. Mix well.
  2. Cut pork into 1 inch thick strips (2-2.5 cm thick), any length.
  3. Cover pork with marinade. You can place the pork into a bowl, cover/seal and chill, or place the whole lot of it into a ziplock bag, seal and chill.

Cooking Directions (continued):

  1. If using wooden or bamboo skewers, soak your skewers in warm water for at least 20 minutes before preparing skewers.
  2. Gently and slowly slide meat strips onto skewers. Discard leftover marinade.*
  3. Broil or grill at 290°C/550° F (or pan fry on medium-high) for 8-10 minutes or until the edges just start to char. Flip and cook another 8-10 minutes.

* If you’re grilling or broiling, you could definitely brush once with extra marinade when you flip the skewers.

Peanut Sauce

Ingredients:

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)

Directions:

  1. Mix dry ingredients in a small bowl. Add soy sauce and lemon, mix well.
  2. Over low heat, combine coconut milk, peanut butter and your soy-lemon-seasoning mix. Mix well, stir often.
  3. 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.

Pepper Dip (optional)

Ingredients:

4 Tbsp soy sauce (2 oz or 60 mls)
1 Tbsp lemon juice (0.5 oz or 15 mls)
1 tsp brown sugar (5 mls)
1-2 dried red chilies, chopped (keep the seeds for heat)
1 finely chopped green onion (scallion)

Mix well. Serve chilled or room temperature.

Tamarind Dip (optional)

Ingredients:

4 Tbsp tamarind paste (helpful link below) (2 oz or 60 mls)
1 Tbsp soy sauce (0.5 oz or 15 mls)
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 finely chopped green onion (scallion)
1 tsp brown or white sugar, or to taste (about 5 mls)

Mix well. Serve chilled or room temperature.

Tips for grilling tofu

More on wooden and bamboo skewers

More dips and sauces

How to make tamarind paste

cuppy
1000 Recipes
Martha Day
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The key to a great marinade is to have an acid (lemon, lime, brine, soy, vinegar, etc) and an oil (peanut, vegetable, corn, olive, etc). If you’re already working with a soft meat (filet mignon) or vegetable (capsicum) or tofu, then you can skip the oil entirely. Potatoes and tofu still need to be marinated for flavor, otherwise you may as well dip French fries in catsup. Wink If you're going to grill, I suggest you include the oil anyway.


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