Things 2 try   before we die
  Best food & drink by category
Best food & drink by region Special occasions National menus
Alphabetical index

Sponsored links


Special occasions




Highslide JS

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 seasonings.

Left: Chicken satay Indonesian style.

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.

Indonesia’s diverse 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.

Highslide JS

It may be served with a spicy peanut sauce dip, or peanut gravy, slivers of onions and cucumbers, and ketupat (rice cakes).

Left: Singapore 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.


Back to What People Eat & Drink



World's best food

Sponsored links


World's best drinks