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Indonesian chicken satay
Indonesian chicken satay – or Sate Ayam in Indonesian – is simply delicious and moreish. It’s one of the most sought-after street foods in Indonesia.
You will almost always find a seller or restaurants and other places to eat that sell this grilled chicken on the stick.
This modest but yummy dish is favoured among Indonesian cuisines that it is now considered as one of the national foods. And it was officially chosen as one by the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, together with Gado-gado, Nasi goreng, Soto, and Rendang.
Satay is an influence from the Arab traders who came to the country hundreds of years ago. This food is basically the Indonesian version of middle-Eastern kababs/ kabobs/ kebabs. They are all grilled meat pieces on a skewer.
And there are many types of satay, i.e. chicken satay, goat satay, beef satay, pork satay, etc. However, the most well-liked are the ones made with chicken and goat’s meat.
The way Indonesians make satay is easy and straightforward. We don’t put too many spices or herbs to marinate the meat before cooking.
As a matter of fact, most street food sellers do not marinate the meat at all. However, they do brush the satay with spiced oil during the grilling.
Skinless and boneless chicken, onion, garlic, ground coriander, black pepper powder, kaffir lime leaves, cooking oil, chillies, salt and Indonesian sweet soy sauce are what you need to make this delicious Indonesian chicken satay.
When it comes to chillies, you can use either red chilli powder, dried-chilli flakes, or fresh red bird’s eye chillies. You can also adjust the amount according to your taste. This recipe offers a not-too-spicy flavour that even your young children can enjoy.
To make life easier, I must say that this recipe is very forgiving. You don’t have to fret if you don’t have kaffir lime leaves. I understand not everybody will have these exotic fragrant leaves. So feel free to skip. But do use them if you can get them. Because you can always use the rest for other recipes such as Lamb Tongseng, Ayam Suwir Bumbu Bali, and Ikan Pesmol, etc.
As for sweet soy sauce, please try your best to get the Indonesian sweet soy sauce to get the authentic flavour.
Ways to make Indonesian chicken satay at home
In this recipe, I recommend marinating the chicken before cooking. However, should you run out of time, you can just prepare the spiced oil and brush the chicken pieces with it as you grill/ cook the satay. And to make sure your poultry is flavoursome, try piercing the chicken pieces a little bit before you put them on the skewers.
Needless to say, grilling the satay on a barbecue is the best way to make this Indonesian chicken satay at home.
However, you can cook them on a griddle pan or oven grill to create an equally delicious satay.
The secret of delicious Sate Ayam
And the secret of delicious Indonesian chicken satay lies in the freshness of the meat and the satay sauce.
Because as you and I know, chicken can smell. And unfresh poultry meat is even more no-no. So if you want to make your own satay, make sure you get a fresh chicken.
The most recommended one is boneless chicken thighs. Because they have more fats that make the Satay moist and not dry when it is cooked
But really, I use boneless chicken breasts more often. Simply because my kids are not keen on the chicken thighs. They don’t like fats.
So, to avoid my satay getting dry when cooking, I have to marinate it with a few spices and oil. And of course, I also have to watch the griddle pan very very closely when I cook. Because I have to make sure the chicken meat cooks rightly, that it will be succulent and not dry.
Last but not least, no matter how well the meat pieces are grilled, if they don’t have tasty peanut sauce over them, the Sate Ayam won’t be as good.
Ways to enjoy the satay
Indonesians love their rice. It’s the main staple across the country.
Hence, plain white rice is the most common companion for this chicken satay. And another choice is to have your Sate Ayam with lontong which is hard-boiled rice cakes.
You can check out this post on how to make your own lontong.
As for the side, this satay is often served with a simple pickled cucumber, carrot, chilli and shallot. To make this pickle, you just cube those three veggies and add a few tablespoons of white vinegar (I use lemon), a teaspoon of sugar and salt to taste. Prepare the pickle a few hours before serving so the flavour will develop better. But if you want something similar with a more elaborate flavour, you can try my cucumber and tomato salad.
Thank you for checking this recipe. I hope you are now thinking of making the chicken satay. When you do, it will be awesome if you could share what you think about it in the comments below.
Before you go, don’t forget to check my other recipes for some inspiration for your dinner tonight ?.
- Ayam Kecap Manis – The best Indonesian chicken in sweet soy sauce.
- Macaroni Schotel recipe.
- Mie Goreng recipe: Indonesian stir-fried noodles.
- Ayam Goreng Bumbu: Indonesian spicy fried-chicken.
Thank you and all the best.