Satai sapi

When I think of satay, I usually think of the Malaysian version – peanuts, chillies, shallots etc.  So as I leafed through my Rick Stein’s Far Eastern Odyssey (which I highly recommend if you love to try authentic South East Asian recipes), I was interested in this Indonesian version which I came across.

It was sweet, salty and spicy.  We had it with rice and steamed bak choy tossed in coconut oil, but it would go really well with some cooling cucumber as well.  Instead of making the paste in a mini food processor, I got hubby to pound it all up in a mortar and pestle.

Rick Stein’s recipe uses beef, but he makes a note that it is also traditionally made with lean pork, such as fillet.


Satai sapi


Satai sapi (beef satay)



500g lean beef, such as sirloin or fillet steak, well trimmed of all fat

1 Tbsp coriander seeds

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp black peppercorns

25g garlic, roughly chopped

3 medium-hot chillies, halved lengthways, seeded and roughly chopped

2 tsp lime juice

2 tsp palm sugar

1 Tbsp kecap manis

1 Tbsp vegetable oil, plus extra for brushing

1 quantity of kecap manis and lime dipping sauce (see below for recipe)



Soak 16 x 18cm bamboo sewers in cold water for 30 minutes.  Cut the beef into 2cm pieces and place them in a bowl.

Heat a dry, heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat, add the coriander seeds, cumin seeds and peppercorns and shake them around for a few seconds until they darken slightly and start to smell aromatic.  Tip them into a spice grinder and grind them into a fine powder.  Tip the spice powder into a mini food processor and add the garlic, chillies, lime juice, sugar, kecap manis, oil and a tesapoon salt, and grind everything together into a small paste.

Marinade paste

Marinade paste

Add the spice paste to the beef and mix together well.  Set aside to marinate for about 15 minutes.

Beef pieces marinating

Beef pieces marinating

Thread 5 pieces of the beef onto each bamboo skewer.  Preheat the barbecue or grill to medium-high; a disposable foil-tray barbecue would be ideal for this.  Brush the satay lightly with a little more oil and barbecue or grill for about 4 minutes, turning once, until just cooked through.  Serve straight away while still hot with the kecap manis and lime dipping sauce.

Satays in the grill pan

Satays in the grill pan



Kecap manis and lime dipping sauce (sambal kecap)



3 Tbsp kecap manis

2 tsp lime juice

2 red bird’s eye chillies, very thinly sliced

15g shallots, very finely chopped



Mix all the ingredients together and pour into dipping saucers to serve.


Satai sapi


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