Malaysia: Satay Night

These pictures don’t do this food justice, but I had to blog about one of my absolute favorite Malaysian dishes, and something that recently made the rounds as a popular appetizer.

Satay comes from a Chinese dialect (Teochew?) meaning “three pieces,” representing the three pieces of meat that are skewered on a bamboo stick.

Yet this is no simple grilled meat — the secret’s in the sauce… and the marinade (something I find seriously lacking when Western restaurants decide to carry satay). A mixture of lemongrass, tumeric, shallots, coriander and other aromatics, the marinade rub adds multi-leveled flavor to the charcoal-charred meat.

As a child I used to beg for chicken satay! Delicious eaten at a roadside stall, ordered stick by stick, or packed up in a bag to be enjoyed at home. Satay has many variations, but this version is simply my favorite.

It makes a lovely meal served with a flavorful and spicy peanut dipping sauce, ketupat (Malaysian rice cakes, beautifully wrapped in woven coconut leaves), raw red onion and sliced cucumber.

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