When your hubby invites his boss home for dinner....
Something unexpected. A satay dinner.
Satay: Tracing its origins to the Arabs, the satay has been adapted to the multi-cultural palates of Asians with various spicy sauces and different ways of marinating the meat.
Origins: Arabs were known to skewer their meat on swords before roasting and Middle Eastern nomads would barbecue their meat on metal skewers in a dish known as kebab or sharwarma.
The spice trade brought Arab traders to Southeast Asia and led to the spread of Arab culinary culture to the Indonesians and eventually to Malaya. The kebab or sharwarma has also spread to India and even Beijing residents can savour fiery flavored kebabs today. However, a key adaptation of the dish in Asia is that wooden rather than metal skewers are used for the satay.
The satay sauce, made from ground peanuts and other spices, was first introduced in the Philippines by the Spanish from South America. It is used to marinate the pieces of satay meat, with the remaining sauce served as a dip with the grilled meat.
Serve satay with this sweet and fragrant peanut sauce.
2 pieces chicken breast meat
30 sticks bamboo skewer - soak in water for 5 hours
1 stalk lemon grass - bashed to resemble a brush
3 cloves garlic
5 pieces shallots
1/2 in blue ginger
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp fennel powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp brown sugar/ castor sugar
1/ Wash and pat dry the chicken breast meat.
2/ Slice thinly approximate 3/4 in width x 2 in length.
3/ Pound / blender the garlic, shallots and blue ginger until very fine.
4/ Marinate the slice chicken meat with all the marinate ingredients. Cover with cling wrap and keep in fridge for 1 day or over night.
5/ Skewer the chicken meat onto the bamboo skewer. Don't pack the meat too close together.
6/ For best flavor, grill it over a charcoal grill. But you can still grill it using electric oven.
7/ Dip the lemon grass in cooking oil, baste the satay 2 to 3 times and grill until cook. Don't over cook the satay.
8/ Serve the satay with cucumber, onions, compressed rice and peanut sauce.
2 stalks lemon grass
1in blue ginger
8 dried chillies
4 candle nuts
4 cloves garlic
200 mls thick coconut milk
150mls - 200mls water
2 pieces tamarind - soak in hot water
1/2 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp fennel powder
1/4 cup oil
1 tsp salt
3 - 4 tbsp sugar
1/ Roast the peanuts until brown, remove the husk and pounded till grainy texture.
2/ Cut the lover segment of the lemon grass and cut into small pieces. Keep the lemon grass leave.
3/ Soak the dried chilli in hot water until soft. Remove the seed and pound until very fine.
4/ Blend the garlic, shallots, lemon grass, blue ginger and candle nuts with a bit of water into a fine paste.
5/ Heat up the oil, stir fry the chilli paste for 5 mins, add the blended paste from number (4), keep stirring for 8 mins.
6/ Add the lemon grass leaves, curry powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, fennel powder, tamarind and water. Let it boil for 5 mins then add the thick coconut milk.
7/ Add salt and sugar to taste, simmer the sauce until slightly thicken. Remove from heat and enjoy.
To make compressed rice/ ketupat
Ketupat is made from rice that has been wrapped in a coconut leaf pouch and boiled. As the rice cooks, the grains expand to fill the pouch and the rice becomes compressed.
1/ Remove the spine of the young coconut leaf with a paring knife, so that the leaf are split into two ribbon like pieces. Wipe the leaf with a damp towel.
Make 3 loops on your left hand and do the same on your right hand. Make sure that the tail of the leaf on your right hand is on the opposite direction of the leaf on your left.
2/ Hold 3 loops on each hand.
3/ This is where it get tricky. Fold the 1st loop of leaf on your right and weave it to the 1st loop on your left.
4/ Do the same to the 2nd and 3rd loop. The trick is keep weaving in and out.
6. Make a U turn for the wider tail and weave it then make sure both the wider tail meet at the end of the diagonal.
7/ Repeat the other wider end, follow step 6.
8/ Tighten the pouch by adjusting and pulling both end of the tails. Tuck the wider end neatly.
My coconut leaves pouch is ready.
You can refer here for the step by step tutorial to weave the coconut leave pouch. Or you can play around with satin ribbon to weave the pouch.
Wash the rice and toss of access water.
Filled the ketupat pouch with uncooked rice at the top opening of the pouch. Filled till 3/4 full, as the rice cooks the grains expand to fill the pouch and the rice become compressed.
After filled with rice, tied the long end of the tail together.
Boil a big pot of water with 2 tsp salt, cook the ketupat for 3 hours. Top up with hot water when necessary, making sure that the rice pouch are immerse in the boiling water.
When cooked, remove and leave it to cool. Best to serve the compressed rice after 8 to 10 hours.
Best to use Thai variety rice cos the texture is more compact and smooth.
Remove the leaf and cut into cubes.
If you don't have coconut tree at home ........
or you can't find any coconut trees nearby your home......
There is another way to make the compressed rice.
1/ Wash 2 cup of rice, boil the rice with 1 tsp of salt and 3 cup of water until the rice is soft and water evaporate. Remove from heat and keep in the pot for 15 mins.
2/ Spread out rice in a greased cake tin. Cover with cling wrap, use the base of the glass to compressed the rice hard. Put weight on it.
3/ Leave it for 8 to 10 hours in room temperature. Cut into cube and serve with satay and peanut sauce.
Or you can use ready packed compressed rice. Just drop in a pot of hot water and boil it for 30 mins.
My chicken satay is ready to be serve.
Another way of making satay....Prawns satay salad. Marinate the prawns for 6 to 8 hours. Grill the prawns for 4 to 5 mins until cooked.
Peel the prawn shell, squeeze the lemon on the grilled prawn to enhance the flavor. Serve with lettuce, cucumber, onions and tomato.
If you like, you can grill the satay till slightly charred to get the mild smokey scent.
Have these prawn crackers for gossip chat tidbits while waiting for the satay to cook.....
Have a wonderful week ahead.