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Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Sarah's BBQ - Homemade Satay and Kuah Kacang (Peanut Sauce also known as Satay Sauce)

Continuing on with the story of Sarah's BBQ...
She wanted Satay and so The Lovely Wife and I decided that we would try and make our own. We've never made satay before but we thought this would be as good a time as any to try.

The recipe is based on a mixture of various recipes to 'create' our own. This is what we did although in hindsight, we should have halved the ingredients!!

3 kg chicken breast - diced
2 stalks lemongrass - bruised and pounded
1 inch ginger - ground
4 cloves garlic - ground
3 tbsp honey
3 tbsp oil
3 Tbsp light soy sauce
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp turmeric
Black pepper
Bamboo skewers

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for a few hours. Meanwhile soak bamboo skewers in water for at least an hour. This prevents the sticks from burning once on the fire. Thread the marinated chicken on to the skewers. Grill/cook the meat on the barbecue basting it with a little oil as you do so.

Not so difficult really but a little time consuming. We got the kids involved in threading the meat on the skewers but since I was so busy with everything, I didnt get any pics. I also reckon that we should have barbecued the meat a little bit more as although it was nicely cooked, it didnt have that little bit of charred meat that makes satay all the more delicious.

Satay is also never complete without Ketupat. Fortunately, you can get the 'instant' variety where the rice comes pre-packed in heat resistant plastic bags. You just need to boil it and then let it cool before cutting it up.

As for the Kuah Kacang, my wife based it on a recipe from Amy Beh, one of Malaysia's well known chefs. Again in retrospect, we should reduce the chillies as although it was delicious, it was also very, very spicy!

This is how it goes:

Kuah Kacang

15-16 dried chillies
2 fresh red chillies
12 small onions
2 cloves garlic
4 candlenuts (buak keras)
1 stalk lemon grass
1 tsp fennel powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tbsp ground coriander
2 slices galangal
6-7 black peppercorns

200g roasted peanuts, coarsely ground.
1 grated coconut, squeezed for 250ml thick coconut milk
1 tbsp tamarind paste, mixed with 100ml water and squeezed for tamarind juice.
1 ½ - 2 tbsp sugar or to taste
1 tsp salt or to taste
5 - 6 tbsp oil

Grind together all the spices to make a paste. Heat oil in a wok and fry ground spices for 2-3 minutes. Add 1-2 tablespoons coconut milk and simmer until oil rises and is fragrant. Pour in a little water and tamarind juice. Continue to simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Add the ground peanuts and remaining coconut milk. Simmer for 2-3 minutes over low heat. Add sugar and salt to taste. Bring to a boil for 3- 4 minutes.

Indeed a most succesful Satay, Kuah Kacang and Ketupat endeavour! My son loves his Ketupat and Kuah Kacang and he was certainly very happy with this! I have to admit the Satay and Kuah Kacaing is not as good as the ones you get at the local food stalls but for a home made effort, I have to say it was pretty darned super!


Naomi said...

When I left KL, I somehow ended up with 2 Malaysian recipe books that both gave very different recipes for satay. One had lots of ginger (and no garlic) and the other had lots of garlic (and no ginger). I did experiment both recipes for a party once, but the next time I wanted to make it - I forgot which was the right one!.

I never trusted satay recipes again. The ones on the web could have been from anywhere - thailand, indonesia, vietnam all have their own 'satay's

Now THANK YOU so much Dharm! I shall definitely try this.

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

An amazing meal Dharm and certainly worth the effort. Sarah is one lucky girl:D

Thistlemoon said...

I am literally drooling over here Dharm! Everything sounds like heaven! I am with Sarah! I want satay too!

Cynthia said...

I am just realising how starved I am, Dharm the sauce is drool-worthy!

Deeba PAB said...

Woohoo...hat's off to the lovely wife & you Dharm...this does look darned good. 3kgs must have made a lot! Love it!!

Deeba PAB said...

Dharm...couldn't resist tagging you. It's not an annoying one...just a 7 random facts one & I know you'll write a hilarious one!

Anonymous said...

Hey Dharm, lovely blog. Was telling my husband about your culinary skills. Am new to the blogosphere..so first time here.
Nice satay. :-)

Anonymous said...


Those look most fantastic and are making me drool at work. Wish the weather hadn't turned cold, rainy and nasty here so I could use the grill but may have to try it on my grill pan.

Nikki @ NikSnacks said...

You know me...always asking questions (I promise I read every word this time): what is Ketupat? And what is a substitution for the candlenuts?

Naomi said...

thank you thank you Dharm,
I have made this twice now, and its delicious, easy and is becoming a staple.

C U soon.

Dharm said...

Thanks for the comments everyone!
Naomi dear, so glad this recipe worked for you and you now have a satay recipe you can trust!

Nikki, Ketupat is compressed rice also known as Nasi Himpit (literally Compressed Rice) although for authentic Ketupat, you are supposed to boil the rice in a packet of woven coconut leaves. I used the 'instant' version where the rice is boiled in heat resistant plastic and thus gets compressed. Thats the white 'cake-like' pics you see.

glamah16 said...

I just got a book on Malaysian food. I am so tempted to recreate this. Looks incredible.


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