Saturday, 15 March 2008
Cultural Exchange, Satay and Honesty
I've mentioned in a previous post that one of the things I love about food blogging is getting to learn about other cuisines, ingredients and cultures. Just as I learn, I also like to share. So in carrying on with the theme of Cultural Exchange, I'm going to share with you one of Malaysia's best known foods. When it comes to food, Malaysia is a 'food paradise'. All of you Malaysian's that are reading this would probably agree that there is nothing quite so special or delicious than Satay! Any visit to Malaysia would be incomplete without partaking of our delicious Satay. So what exactly is Satay??
Satay could probably be classified as Malaysia's National Dish although it would be a tough fight with Nasi Lemak. Basically, Satay is pieces of marinated meat, skewered on a thin bamboo stick and then barbecued (or grilled - depending which part of the world you come from) over burning charcoal. The grilled meat is then served with Kuah Kacang - a piquant peanut sauce, fresh cucumber and onion slices as well as Ketupat or Nasi Himpit (compressed rice).
Satay can be found at most food stalls that abound throughout the country. Most commonly, Satay is available as Chicken Satay, Beef Satay and sometimes Mutton Satay.
The picture above shows Beef and Chicken Satay with the Beef being the darker colour, of course.
There are some shops or food stalls that serve Tripe satay as well. Supposedly, the best Satay is in a small town called Kajang.
The difference between a great Satay and a good Satay often lies in the Kuah Kacang (Peanut Sauce). Sometimes the sauce is a bit sweetish and sometimes it is a little too piquant. There is no such thing as a Bad Satay because.. well Satay can never be bad - always either Great or just plain Good. That's Satay for you!
Just last weekend, we were wondering what to do for dinner. The kids were in their 'I dont know' mode while The Lovely Wife suggested buying back some stall food and in particular some Satay. The kids seemed happy with that as we all love Satay. My son in particular loves the Ketupat with Kuah Kacang (Peanut Sauce).
When we got home, I casually remarked to my wife to please use a nice plate to lay out the Satay while I went to get my camera. My son, on overhearing me say I was going to get the camera, immediately objected.
Michael: "Daddy, I hope your not taking pictures for your blog! "
Me: "I am Mike. Why not? "
Michael:" Thats cheating, Dads! You didn't make the Satay!! "
I couldn't help laughing and I explained to him that I wasn't going to cheat but there was nothing wrong with posting about Satay just to share with everyone else - as long as I didn't claim to have made it. But I'm glad he knows the importance of honesty!
Some people like to eat the Satay with just a touch of sauce. Others, like me, like to have lots and lots of peanut sauce with their Satay. However you eat it though, Satay is truly a most delightful and wonderful dish!