In Indonesia, where satay was first invented on the island of Java, satay grilled to crispy golden brown is the most iconic dish to be found on the street corners of this heavily populated Asian island. The same is true for many other regions in Asia where satay is as beloved as the spices it’s flavored with to coax out the protein’s virtues. The aroma of satay grilling at a vendor’s stall on any given street corner is as enticing as the snap and crackle of the meat as it cooks.
Satay, which is a dish denoting meat that is skewered, seasoned, grilled, and served with a dipping sauce, transforms everything from goat, mutton, pigeon, pork, fish, firm tofu, squab, duck, or chicken into a skewer of divine flavor that is both fun to eat and perfect for a crowd.
The traditional way to skewer meat for satay is to use a bamboo, palm frond, or sugar cane stick, but it’s just as tantalizing with a simple wood or metal skewer. The best way to prepare satay is over natural charcoal derived from wood, but charcoal briquettes will work in a pinch. Dipping sauces that work well with satay are only limited by the imagination: peanut sauce, soy sauce, sriracha, tahini, raita, aioli, or chutney are all satisfying dancing partners.
Chicken is the ideal neutral protein to use for satay. It provides a blank palette for creative spice blends to rub over your chicken after it’s been skewered and is ready for grilling. For even more of a satay punch, rub the chicken in its spices and refrigerate it for up to 12 hours before grilling to intensify the flavor.
The combination in this spice blend is easy to pull together with ingredients you most likely already have in your pantry. Garlic and onion are always a satay win and the addition of honey adds a sweetness that compliments the brightness of the citrus juice. Get the recipe.
Bring the flavors of Thailand to your grill with this satay blend that combines the very best flavors from a nation as adored for its satay as it is for its refreshing dipping sauces. Turmeric adds a golden color and sugar provides a hint of sweetness. Get the recipe.
There’s so much to love about this satay recipe it’s difficult to know where to begin. Let’s start with the lemongrass. It adds a fresh note of Asia that pairs so well with the shrimp paste, fennel, and cumin. Don’t let the ingredient list intimidate you. Everything is easy to source and the flavor bomb that results is well worth the effort. Get the recipe.
Red curry paste is the first ingredient in this recipe that tells the person devouring their satay that they’re in for something extraordinary. Fish sauce adds addictive brininess and coconut milk mellows everything out, including the cilantro which hints at citrus and concludes on a note as bright as this dish is memorable. Get the recipe.
Satay doesn’t have to be all about Asia. The dish is also adored throughout many African nations where the heat is ratcheted up a few notches. This recipe incorporates easy-to-source ingredients including cayenne, smoked paprika, and peanut sauce that are blended before being slathered over chicken for satay perfection. Get the recipe.
This satay recipe is exotic through and through with a tropical pineapple flourish that enhances the other ingredients such as honey, curry powder, and Thai red chile. It’s the ideal way to invite a summer’s day into a chilly winter afternoon. Get the recipe.