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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Daring Cooks' Satay

I am not an expert of Thai food despite I have been staying here for 7 years. Pretty much still learning about it everyday. All I can say is Thais have extreme taste buds - the food has to be either very sweet or very sour or very spicy. Nothing less is acceptable. In Thai we call it "khaem khoun" meaning "very tasty or concentrated".

In regards to that, I could say the challenge satay recipe turned out pretty good. Satays were delicious and tasty (according to me and T, a Thai), but the sauce needed a bit of adjustment. Had added a few teaspoons of granulated sugar and soy sauce. The final taste was acceptable by T but I personally would like it even sweeter to resemble satays from my favorite shop.

In DB Forum, jillouci commented that the cucumber dip was missing from the challenge recipe and therefore attached necessary detail of how to prepare it. This dip recipe was easy to prepare and I added sliced shallots and red chilies. End result was fabulous, exactly as what I had expected - sweet, sour, and with a kick! Thanks, jillouci!

Finally, my extra tip to make satays taste better. Reserve 125 ml of coconut milk in a shallow plate and dip satays in before grilling or pan frying.

The January 2010 DC challenge was hosted by Cuppy of Cuppylicious and she chose a delicious Thai-inspired recipe for Pork Satay from the book 1000 Recipes by Martha Day. Thanks to Cuppy for this wonderful and practical challenge. Will definitely make this delicious dish over and over again!

Have made some adjustment to the recipe for my own convenience and preference. Original recipe could be found here.

Makes 38 sticks

1. Satay Marinade

- Pork shoulder > 400 grams
- Small onion - cut in chunks > 1/2
- Garlic - cut in chunks > 4 cloves
- Ginger root - cut in chunks > diameter 2 cm, length 3 cm
- Lime juice > 5 teaspoons
- Soy sauce > 1 tablespoon
- Ground coriander > 2 teaspoons
- Ground cumin> 1 teaspoon
- Fresh turmeric - cut in chunks > diameter 1 cm, length 6 cm
- Vegetable oil > 2 tablespoons

- Cut pork into 1 inch strips with thickness less than 0.5 cm and place in a bowl. Set aside.
- Combine everything except ground coriander and cumin, in a blender and blend until smooth.
- Cover pork with marinade. Use fingers gently fold ground coriander and cumin into pork.
- Cover bowl with cling film and refrigrerate overnight.

2. Cucumber Dip.

- Cucumber - remove skin, cut into 1.5 inch length strips > 1
- Shallots - slice thinly > 5 cloves
- Red chilies - cut small > 3
- Salt > 1/8 teaspoon
- Granulated sugar > 4 tablespoons
- Rice vinegar > 4 tablespoons
- Water > 2 tablespoons

- Combine cucumber, shallots and chilies in a bowl. Set aside.
- Mix water, sugar, salt, and vinegar in a saucepan. Bring to boil.
- Pour boiled mixture over the cucumber mixture.
- Cool, cover with cling film and chill overnight.

3. Peanut Sauce

- Coconut milk > 180 ml
- Peanut butter > 3 tablespoons
- Ground roasted peanuts - preferably chunky > 90 grams
- Lime juice > 2 teaspoons
- Soy sauce > 4 teaspoons
- Granulated sugar > 4 teaspoons
- Ground cumin > 1/2 teaspoon
- Ground coriander > 1 teaspoon

- Mix all dry ingredients in a small bowl. Add soy sauce and lime juice. Mix well.
- Over low heat combine coconut milk, peanut butter, and soy-lime-seasoning mixture. Mix well and stir constantly until peanut butter completely blends into coconut milk. Remove from fire. Do no bring to boil or overcook.
- When it is cool, mix in the ground peanut. Set aside.

4. Pork Satay

- Marinated pork
- Skewers > 38
- Coconut milk > 125 ml

- Place coconut milk into a shallow plate.
- Remove marinated pork from fridge and gently slide pork strips into skewers.
- Dip satays into coconut just before grilling or pan frying.
- Grill at 290C or pan fry on medium-high until the edges just start to char. Flip and do the same.


  1. Beautiful photos as always.

    I was a bit confused by the cucumber dish being called a dip. It seems more like a salad or condiment. Funny that I came to almost the same recipe. My father used to make almost the same salad only with the addition of tomato.

  2. Hi, Kris! Your pictures are wonderful. Everything is so appetizing considering i just had this lunchtime, i feel like eating them again=;).

    I thought of cucumber salad but didn't have them at the moment but made braised gai-lai instead. I also noticed that you also didn't use lemon, as i mentioned in my blog lime is used more in Asian countries than lemon. It does give a different kick when you use lime. I also added Thai bird chili on mine and pounded peanuts on my peanut sauce. Great blog!

  3. I'm very happy you were able to alter this recipe and make it your own!! It looks and sounds wonderful!

    I especially like the idea of dipping the final product in coconut milk before grilling. I'll definitely try that next time.

  4. WOW! great pictures, the scattered spring onions on top was a nice touch to the brown/yellow of the meat. I love how you made so many sauces, especially a cucumber one, love it!

  5. Gorgeous! I love the cucumber dip accompaniment too I really wish I could've made this challenge...the whole living in a hotel for a month thing just is not conducive to cooking...Good news is next month I will have a kitchen yay! I will definitely make this when I can though, but with your adaptations because I think I would like it a bit sweeter as well :)

  6. love your version of this challenge, especially the tip about the dipping before the grilling.
    I will have to try it.

  7. Lovely photos, as usual. And thanks for the variation tips on Cuppy's recipe, I will keep them!

  8. Looks delicious! And that cucumber dip... :) I'll be making satay more often, as I liked it a lot and I'll definietly do it with a cucumber dip next time!

  9. Eveything and I mean everything looks and sounds delicious. And the cucumber dip sounds even better beautiful work as always. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

    I will add the cucumber dip next time also.

  10. Oh, my...your photos are breathtaking. Makes me want to make this all over again! I love all your variations- wonderful job!

  11. Kris, how did I know your satays would be phenomenally gorgeous and mouth watering? Oh, maybe because everything you bake and cook is! Stunning pictures as usual,and just wow, all around. I made a cucuumber, lime, cilantro-yogurt sauce with mine, but now I wish I had seen the recipe above. Oh well!

  12. My family love satay, I have to try it! Thanks for the extra tips. Lovely photos as always.

  13. How nice to have a "local" challenge! Your satays are gorgeous and everything sounds simply delicious! Thanks for all the tips - I'll definitely be here when I make it next time =D.

  14. Gorgeous photos! So nice to hear how someone who is able to have this style of food frequently likes it. I also have to agree that the peanut sauce needed a bit more flavor, but we still liked it well enough over here :)

  15. This looks wonderful. I want to try this at home using chicken.

  16. Hi Kris!
    Thank you for checking out my blog. You did a great job on this DB challenge. I followed the recipe exactly and was actually quite disappointed with the results. I have had much better but it was still a fun exercise and certainly pretty to look at. I hope you get a chance to try the cream puffs. They are really fabulous!
    Take care,

  17. Oh wow!!!!!!! Those look so good!!! I love cucumber anything, so that dip sounds perfect on a hot day! Great job and photography (as always!) ;)

  18. Kris,
    This look incredible. I love all of those flavors; lime, cumin, coriander and the spice just waiting to excite your mouth.

  19. So appetizing! I love Thai food and Satay is one of my favorite dishes! Mmmmhhh, that spicy marinaded meat, the silky peanut sauce and the refreshing cucumber slad!



  20. Absolutely beautiful photos! Your satay sounds so delicious, I will definitely try the cucumber dip recipe next time I'm making satay (I agree this recipe is a keeper!).

  21. Ahh... it looks gorgeous! I agree on the peanutsauce though.. I have tasted the real thing in Thailand ages ago and haven't been able to find it since! Needs more peanuts and more flavor! But your photos are divine, as always.. :)

  22. Love how you presented the satay with the cucumber sauce. Almost looks like flowers on top. Great job on this challenge!

  23. Beautiful pictures! The satay looks delicious.

  24. I like the idea of varying the peanut sauce with chunks of peanuts too. I'll have to try this next time.
    I love your very first picture. It is beautiful!

  25. Amazing photos & challenge as usual..
    You're definitely one of my favourite bookmarks, although after lunch otherwise I'm hungry again!

  26. Absolutely, absolutely delicious looking satays. I love your interpretation of this challenge and the pictures are all so gorgeous.

  27. Gorgeous photos -- Great variations on the theme, and I love the chunky peanut sauce.

  28. Thanks for sharing the cucumber dip recipe (I missed it on the forums), and for the pre-grilling tip. Your pictures are lovely, and everything looks delectable!

  29. It looks amazing, I love your presentation! Absolutely gorgeous pictures!

  30. Looks delicious and gorgeous! Have you had Malaysian Satay? There's turmeric in the Malaysian version. And instead of the cucumber dip, we have the cucumbers and red onions fresh, and just dip into the peanut sauce. The Malaysian satay also serves with "ketupat" -- rice that has been wrapped in a woven palm leaf pouch and boiled. As the rice cooks, the grains expand to fill the pouch and the rice becomes compressed (Wikipedia). Makes me miss home!!!

  31. hii Kris! MMM, Satay's always a good food to have around! Throw in thick peanut sauce and you're in pure heaven. :) Thanks for sharing!

  32. Whenever I consider joining the Daring Cooks and decide I wouldn't have the time, they do yet another recipe that I'd have liked to try. I love satay, yum! Think I'll give your version a try anyway :)

    Beautiful photos as always.

    BTW, thought I'd pass this on to you :)

  33. Looks incredibly delicious! Just like the satay we used to get from hawker stalls :)

  34. beautiful pictures! i love satay and yours are making my mouth water at 2 in the morning!

  35. I am pretty hungry right now and your photos are so phenomenal that it seems I can just reach right in and grab a skewer! :) I wish I could!!! Beautiful and delicious!

  36. What a perfect challenge. This is one of my most favourite Thai dishes - lucky my husband cooks a very nice satay :)

  37. I think Thais have the same taste buds as my hubby}:P