Satay or sate is a dish
consisting of diced or sliced chicken, goat, mutton, beef, pork, fish, tofu, or
other meats; the more authentic version uses skewers from the midrib of the
coconut leaf, although bamboo skewers are often used. These are grilled or
barbecued over a wood or charcoal fire, then served with various spicy
Left: Chicken satay
Satay may have originated in Java, Indonesia, but it is also
popular in many other Southeast Asian countries, such as: Malaysia, Singapore,
Thailand, the southern Philippines and Vietnam as well as in The Netherlands
which was influenced through its former colonies.
ethnic groups’ culinary art has produced a wide
variety of satays. In Indonesia, satay can be obtained from a travelling satay
vendor, from a street-side tent-restaurant, in an upper-class restaurant, or
during traditional celebration feasts.
In Malaysia, satay is a popular dish -
especially during celebrations - and can be found throughout the country. Close
analogues are yakitori from Japan,
shish kebab from Turkey,
chuanr from China
and sosatie from South Africa.
Turmeric is a compulsory ingredient used to marinate satay, which gives the dish
its characteristic yellow colour. Meats commonly used include beef, mutton,
pork, venison, fish, shrimp, squid, chicken, and even tripe. Some have also used
more exotic meats, such as turtle, crocodile, and snake meat.
It may be served with a spicy peanut sauce dip, or peanut gravy, slivers of
onions and cucumbers, and ketupat (rice cakes).
satay served with peanut sauce, cucumber and onion.
Pork satay can be served in a pineapple-based satay sauce or cucumber relish. An
Indonesian version uses a soy-based dip.