Satay is marinated thin strips of meat, skewered and grilled over wood or charcoal. Often associated with Thai food, satay’s real origin is Indonesia. Skewered meat or shish kabob was introduced to Indonesia by the Arabs around the 19th century. Its popularity spread from Indonesia into other neighboring Southeast Asian countries. Beef and chicken were mainly used for satay. Nowadays, one can use just about anything that can be marinated and threaded onto skewers. If chicken is unavailable, substitute with pork, shrimp, or tofu. Satay gets its nice yellow tint from tumeric. Common spices used to make satay are turmeric, cumin, coriander, garlic, shallots, lemongrass, galanga, fish sauce, soy sauce, palm sugar, and lime juice. My recipe is Thai based satay infused with Indian spices.
The idea to serve chicken satay in a hotdog bun came from my friend Erik. While Erik was grilling the satay, I happened to glance over as he placed a hotdog bun on the grill and I blurted out, “You better put another bun on for me!” That’s how the chicken satay sandwich came about. I didn’t get a chance to garnish my sandwich because we were experimenting. Next time, I would add diced tomatoes, onions, cilantro and a squirt of Sriracha sauce. If satay is a dish you really like, then you’re not going to want to pass on trying this dish.
|2½||lbs. boneless chicken thighs – slice into long bite-size pieces|
|1½||cups coconut milk|
|4||large cloves garlic – chopped, then pound using mortar & pestle or food processor|
|1||lemongrass (3 inch lower, light parts only) – sliced into thin rounds, then pound using mortar & pestle or food processor|
|1||tsp. fresh grated galanga|
|1||Tbsp. Madras curry powder|
|1||tsp. garam masala|
|1½||tsp. tamarind concentrate (or substitute with lime juice)|
|½||tsp. kosher salt|
|1||tsp. palm sugar (or substitute with brown sugar)|
|1||tsp. fish sauce|
|¼||raw peanuts – dry roasted, then ground|
1. chicken thighs
Slice chicken thighs into long bite-size pieces. Place sliced chicken into 1 gallon freezer bag (“marinade bag”).
2. remaining ingredients
Add remaining ingredients into marinade bag. Squeeze air out of freezer bag before closing. Shake bag well to make sure marinade evenly covers chicken. For best result, let marinade sit in refrigerator overnight before grilling.
3. final step
For grilling outdoors – soak skewers in water for 1 hour, thread chicken half way on skewers, grill chicken for 6-8 minutes on each side. The chicken should be slightly charred but not burnt. For grilling indoors using broiler – on high, cook each side for 6 minutes. Serve as is, with jasmine rice, or in a grilled hot dog bun!