satay kai (chicken satay)
Satay of course is originally an Indonesian/Malay dish, but it has been
in Southern Thailand for a very long time. This is a Thai version.
You can of course also make the same recipe with chunks of beef or pork,
or large prawns (if you can get the very large ones [3-4 per pound] then
they are usually deheaded and the skewer threaded lengthwise down the
1 teaspoon coriander seed
1 teaspoon cumin seed
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
about 1 pound chicken breasts, skinned, boned, and cut into bite sized
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon curry powder (Thais use a mix called "phom kari", but
an Indian style Madras curry powder is fine)
pinch turmeric powder (it's only a colorant, so very little!)
8 tablespoons coconut milk
3 tablespoons palm sugar
The chicken is beaten flat, using the flat of the blade of a heavy
cleaver (or using a meat-tenderising mallet, or the 'sahk' of the mortar
and pestle (i.e. the grinding piece, not the bowl :-) -- in Thailand
these are usually granite. You could also use a rolling pin...)
The coriander and cumin are toasted and then crushed in a mortar and
pestle or food processor (coffee grinder...) The ingredients are then
combined to form a marinade, and the chicken is marinated overnight.
The pices of chicken are then threaded on the 8" satay sticks, lossely
folding them in half and piercing through the folded meat to form a
The completed sticks are then grilled, broiled or barbequed on fairly
high heat (they taste best done over charcoal, as they absorb the
smoke). Turn them regularly and brush them liberally with the remaining
marinade. Cooking should take between 5 and 10 minutes depending on the
heat of your cooker.
--nam jim satay (Peanut Sauce)
A peanut dressing accompies these snacks. This is my favorite variation.
If you have red or massaman curry paste that is preferred, but you can
use curry powder to taste if you prefer. Also you can if you wish use
peanut butter rather than fresh peanuts.
4 ounces of freshly roasted (unsalted) peanuts.
3-4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 ounce chopped onion
1-2 tablespoon red or massaman curry paste
1 teaspoon fish sauce
8 tablespoons coconut milk
4-6 teaspoons lime juice (to taste).
2-3 teaspoons brown sugar.
First grind or crush the peanuts to a fairly fine powder
Then combine them with the remaining ingredients (except the lime
juice), to form a smooth sauce. If the sauce is too thick, you can thin
it with a little chicken stock. Now add the lime juice, tasting as you
progress to check the balance of flavors is correct.
Note use Red curry paste with beef or pork satay, massaman with chicken.
If you are doing shrimp satay then use half the quantity of massaman
--a jad (Cucumber Pickle)
4 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
2-3 tablespoons cucumber, very coarsely chopped, or sliced
2 shallots (purple onions) chopped
3-4 red and green prik ki nu (birdseye chillis), thinly sliced.
Combine the ingredients, and leave to stand overnight.
Each diner should have a small bowl of nam jim and a small bowl of a
jad. However the satay themselves are normally served "communally".
Special thanks to - Muoi Khuntilanont.