Satay is a very popular delicacy in Indonesia; Indonesia's diverse ethnic groups' culinary arts (see Indonesian cuisine) have 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.
Although both Thailand and Malaysia claim it as their own, its Southeast Asian origin was in Java, Indonesia. There satay was developed from the Indian kebab brought by the Muslim traders. Even India cannot claim its origin, for there it was a legacy of Middle Eastern influence.
A dish with widespread popularity, the origins of satay are unclear. The word "satay" itself is thought to have been derived from Indonesian: sate and Malay: saté or satai, both perhaps of Tamil origin. Satay was supposedly invented by Javanese street vendors as an adaptation of Indian kebabs. This theory is based on the fact that satay has become popular in Java after the influx of Muslim Tamil Indian and Arab immigrants to Dutch East Indies in the early 19th century. The satay meats used by Indonesians and Malaysians — mutton and beef — are also favoured by Arabs and are not as popular in China as are pork and chicken.
Another theory states that the word "satay" is derived from the Min Nan words sa tae bak (三疊肉), which mean "three pieces of meat". This theory is discounted, however, as traditional satay often consists of four pieces of meat and the fact that four is considered to be an inauspicious number in Chinese culture.
From Java, satay spread through the Malay Archipelago and, as a consequence, numerous variations of the dish have been developed and exist. By the late 19th century, satay has crossed the Strait of Malacca into neighbouring Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand. In the 19th century, the term migrated, presumably with Malay immigrants from the Dutch East Indies, to South Africa, where it is known as sosatie. The Dutch also brought this dish as well as many other Indonesian specialties to the Netherlands, thereby influencing Dutch cuisine even to this day.
Satay may be served with a spicypeanut sauce dip, or peanut gravy, slivers of onions, cucumbers, and ketupat (rice cakes). Pork satay can be served in a pineapple-based satay sauce or cucumber relish. An Indonesian version uses a soy-based dip.
Indonesia is the home of satay (known as sate in Indonesian and pronounced similar to the English), and satay is a widely renowned dish in almost all regions of Indonesia; it is considered the national dish and one of Indonesia's best dishes. Satays, in particular, are a staple in Indonesian cuisine, served everywhere from street carts to fine dining establishments, as well as in homes and at public gatherings. As a result, many variations have been developed throughout the Indonesian Archipelago. In Indonesia there are some restaurants that specialized on serving various kinds of satay and present it as their specialty, such as Sate Ponorogo Restaurant, Sate Blora Restaurant, and also chains of Sate Khas Senayan restaurants, previously known as Satay House Senayan. In Bandung, the West Java Governor's office is popularly called Gedung Sate (Indonesian: Satay building) to refer the satay-like pinnacle on its roof.
Indonesia has the richest variations of satay in the world. The satay variants in Indonesia usually named after the region its originated, the meats, parts or ingredients its uses, also might named after the process or method of cooking.
Originating on the island of Madura, near Java, is a famous variant among Indonesians. Most often made from mutton or chicken, the recipe's main characteristic is the black sauce made from Indonesian sweet soy sauce/kecap manis mixed with palm sugar (called gula jawa or "javanese sugar" in Indonesia), garlic, deep fried shallots, peanut paste, petis (a kind of shrimp paste), candlenut/kemiri, and salt. Chicken Madura satay is usually served in peanut sauce, while the mutton Madura satay is usually served in sweet soy sauce. Sate Madura uses thinner chunks of meat than other variants. It is eaten with rice or rice cakes wrapped in banana/coconut leaves (lontong/ketupat). Raw thinly sliced shallot and plain sambal are often served as condiments
A dish from Padang and the surrounding area in West Sumatra, which is made from cow or goat offal boiled in spicy broth then grilled. Its main characteristic is a yellow sauce made from rice flour mixed with spicy offal broth, turmeric, ginger, garlic, coriander, galangal root, cumin, curry powder and salt. It is further separated into two sub-variants, the Pariaman and the Padang Panjang, which differ in taste and the composition of their yellow sauces.
A variant of satay originating in Ponorogo, a town in East Java. It is made from sliced marinated chicken meat, and served with a sauce made of peanuts and chilli sauce and Garnished with shredded shallots, sambal (chili paste) and lime juice. This variant is unique for the fact that each skewer contains one large piece of chicken, rather than several small slices. The meat is marinated in spices and sweet soy sauce, in a process called "bacem" and is served with rice or lontong (rice cake). The grill is made from terracotta earthenware with a hole in one side to allow ventilation for the coals. After three months of use, the earthenware grill disintegrates, and must be replaced.
A sate of a yearling or five-month-old lamb; the nickname for this dish in Tegal balibul is an acronym of "baru lima bulan" (just 5 months). Each kodi, or dish, contains twenty skewers, and each skewer has four chunks — two pieces of meat, one piece of fat and then another piece of meat. It is grilled over wood charcoal until it is cooked between medium and well done; however it is possible to ask for medium rare. Sometimes the fat piece can be replaced with liver or heart or kidney. This is not marinated prior to grilling. On serving, it is accompanied by sweet soya sauce (medium sweetness, slightly thinned with boiled water), sliced fresh chilli, sliced raw shallots (eschalot), quartered green tomatoes, and steamed rice, and is sometimes garnished with fried shallots.
A streetside chicken satay seller near Borobudur, Central Java
A satay variant from Ambal, Kebumen, Central Java. This satay uses a native breed of poultry, ayam kampung. The sauce is not based on peanuts, but rather ground tempeh, chilli and spices. The chicken meat is marinated for about two hours to make the meat tastier. This satay is accompanied with ketupat.
A variant originating in Blora, located in Central Java. This variant is made of chicken (meat and skin) pieces that are smaller compared to the other variants. It is normally eaten with peanut sauce, rice, and a traditional soup made of coconut milk and herbs. Sate Blora is grilled in front of buyers as they are eating. The buyers tell the vendor to stop grilling when they are finished with their meal.
Sate buntel, minced goat meat wrapped in membrane, Solo, Central Java
A satay variant from Matang Geulumpang Dua, Bireun, Aceh. This satay is made from beef, usually served with peanut sauce and soto or soup separately.
From a region in Southern Sulawesi, this satay is made from beef and cow offal marinated in sour carambola sauce. It has a unique sour and spicy taste. Unlike most satays, it is served without sauce.
Sate Buntel (Wrapped Satay)
A specialty from Solo or Surakarta, Central Java. It’s made from minced beef or goat (especially meats around ribs and belly area). The minced fatty meats are wrapped by thin fat or muscle membrane and wrapped around a bamboo skewer. The size of this satay is quite large, very similar to a middle eastern kebab. After being grilled on charcoal, the meat is separated from the skewer, cut into bite-size chunks, then served in sweet soy sauce and merica (pepper).
Indonesian Chinese version of nasi campur with pork satay
A satay variant from Balinese cuisine. This satay is made from minced beef, chicken, fish, pork, or even turtle meat, which is then mixed with grated coconut, thick coconut milk, lemon juice, shallots, and pepper. Wound around bamboo, sugar cane or lemon grass sticks, it is then grilled on charcoal.
A delicacy from Lombok, the neighboring island east of Bali. It is made from a mixture of minced meat (beef, chicken, or fish), shredded coconut meat, and spices. The mixture then is wrapped around a skewer and grilled over charcoal.
Another Lombok delicacy. It is made from beef, cow's intestines and other cow's internal organs. The sauce for sate ampet is hot and spicy, which is no surprise since the island's name, Lombok Merah, means Red chili. The sauce is santan (coconut milk) and spices.
Commonly found in Purwakarta, Cianjur and Bandung, the cities in West Java, this satay is made from beef marinated in a special paste. The two most important elements of the paste are kecombrang (Nicolaia speciosa) flower buds and ketan (sweet rice) flour. Nicola buds bring a unique aroma and a liquorice-like taste. It is served with ketan cake (jadah) or plain rice.
A rare satay recipe of the Betawi people. It is can be found in Jalan Kebon Kacang, Central Jakarta. The satay is made from minced beef mixed with shredded coconut and spices, wrapped around a flat bamboo skewer. Usually eaten with ketupatlaksa betawi (Betawi style Laksa with ketupat glutinous compressed rice).
Also a speciality from the Betawi people. It is also can be found in Jalan Kebon Kacang, Central Jakarta. The satay is made from slices of has dalam (tenderloin) the finest part of beef, marinated with sweet spices. Usually eaten with ketupatlaksa betawi.
A variant of satay popular in Java, made with goat, lamb or mutton meat. Different than other satay, sate kambing is not usually pre-seasoned or pre-cooked. Raw lamb is skewered and grilled directly on the charcoal. It is then served with sweet soy sauce, sliced shallots, and cut-up tomatoes. Since the meat is not pre-cooked, it is important to choose a very young lamb. Most famous vendor usually use lamb under three to five months old. Lamb from goat is also more popular than lamb from sheep due to milder flavor.
A variant of satay popular in Kudus, where most Muslim believed that it is forbidden to eat beef in order to respect the Hindus. This satay is made with water buffalo meat. The meat is cooked first with palm sugar, coriander, cumin, and other seasoning until very tender. Some vendor choose to even grind the meat first in order to make it really tender. It is then grilled on charcoal, and the served with sauce made with coconut milk, palm sugar, and other seasoning. Traditionally, satay kerbau is served on a plate covered with teak wood leaves.
This variant of satay is made from rabbit meat, a delicacy from Java. It is served with sliced fresh shallots (small red onion), peanut sauce, and sweet soy sauce. Rabbit satay usually can be found in mountainous tourist region in Java where locals breed rabbit for its meat, such as Lembang in West Java, Kaliurang in Yogyakarta, Bandungan and Tawangmangu resort in Central Java, also Telaga Sarangan in East Java.
Sate Burung Ayam-ayaman (Bird Satay)
The satay is made from gizzard, liver, and intestines of "Burung Ayam-ayaman" (a migrating sea bird). After being seasoned with mild spices and stuck on a skewer, this bird's internal organs aren’t grilled, but are deep fried in cooking oil instead.
A unique delicacy from Banten. It is a satay made from boneless "Bandeng" (milkfish). The seasoned spicy milkfish meat is separated from the small bones, then placed back into the milkfish skin, clipped by a bamboo stick, and grilled over charcoal.
Another Lombok rare delicacy. It is made from belut, (lit. eel ) commonly found in watery rice paddies in Indonesia. A seasoned eel is skewered and wrapped around each skewer, then grilled over charcoal fire, so each skewer contains an individual small eel.
This is made with large shrimps, shelled and cleaned and often with the tails off and lightly grilled. Some recipes call for a marinade of thick coconut milk with sambal (chili paste), powdered galangal root (Laos), ground candlenut (kemiri in Indonesian; one can substitute macadamia nuts in a pinch), minced shallots and pressed garlic. One can add salt to taste. It can also be eaten with the peanut sauce so popular with other satays, but this might overpower a more delicate taste.
Another rare delicacy from Yogyakarta. It is a satay made from freshwater "Bulus" (softshell turtle). It is served with sliced fresh shallots (small red onion), pepper, and sweet soy sauce. Bulus meat is also served in soup or tongseng (Javanese style spicy-sweet soup).
A rare and exotic delicacy usually founds in foodstalls specialize on serving exotic meats like snakes and lizards, such as the one founds near Gubeng train station in Surabaya, or near Mangga Besar and Tebet train station in Jakarta. It usually uses ular sedok (cobra) or sanca (python) meat. It is served with sliced fresh shallots (small red onion), pickles, pepper, and sweet soy sauce.
Popular among the Indonesian-Chinese community, most of whom do not share the Muslim prohibition against pork. This dish can be found in Chinatowns in Indonesian cities, especially around Glodok, Pecenongan, and Senen in the Jakarta area. It is also popular in Bali which the majority are Hindus, it is also popular in North Sulawesi, the North Tapanuli, and Nias, where most people are Christians, and also popular in the Netherlands.
There is two types of liver satays, cattle liver (goat or cow) and chicken liver satay. The cattle liver made by diced whole liver, while the chicken liver satay is made from mixture of chicken liver, gizzard, and intestines. Usually gizzard is placed on the bottom, intestine on the center and liver or heart on the top. After seasoning, the internal organs are not fried or grilled, but are boiled instead. It’s not treated as a main dish, but often as a side dish to accompany bubur ayam (chicken rice porridge).
The most popular variant of sate kerang is from Medan, North Sumatra, it is rich spicy cooked shellfish in skewer an often become oleh-oleh (food gift) for visitors visiting Medan. In Java sate kerang it is mildly marinated and boiled, also served as a side-dish to accompany soto.
Quail eggs satay and chicken liver-intestine satay
Several hard-boiled quail eggs are put into skewers, marinated in sweet soy sauce with spices and boiled further, also served as a side-dish for soto.
Sate Telor Muda (Young egg Satay)
This satay is made from premature chicken egg (uritan) obtained upon slaughtering the hens. The immature eggs that has not developed the eggshell yet are boiled and put into skewers to be grilled as satay.
Satay made from goat testicles marinated in soy sauce and grilled. It is eaten with peanut sauce, pickles, and hot white rice.
Sate Susu (Milky Satay)
A tasty dish commonly found in Java and Bali, made from grilled spicy beef brisket with a distinctive milky taste, served with hot chilli sauce.
Sate Kere (Poorman's satay)
A cheap vegetarian satay made from grounded tempe from Solo city, served in peanut sauce and pickles. The word "kere" in the Javanese language means "poor"; it originally was meant to provide the poor people of Java with the taste of satay at an affordable price, since meat was considered a luxury in the past. Today, sate kere also includes intestine, liver and beef satays mixed with tempe ones.
Known as sate in Malay (and pronounced similarly to the English), it can be found throughout all the states of Malaysia in restaurants and on the street, with hawkers selling satay in food courts and Pasar malam. While the popular kinds of satay are usually beef and chicken satays, different regions of Malaysia have developed their own unique variations. Sate is often associated with Muslim Malays, but pork sate is also available at non-halal Chinese eating establishments.
Woman cooking some satay in Tanjung Aru Beach food stall court, Sabah
There are a number of well-known satay outlets in Kajang, Selangor which is dubbed the Sate City in the country. Sate Kajang is a generic name for a style of sate where the meat chunks are bigger than normal, and the sweet peanut sauce served along with a portion of fried chilli paste. Given its popularity, sate Kajang is now found throughout Malaysia. Stalls and restaurants around Kajang offer not only the more traditional chicken or beef satay, but also more exotic meats such as venison, rabbit or fish, as well as gizzard, liver, and a number of other variations.
Oil from the satay causes the hot coals to flame
Another type of meat satay is the sate lok-lok from Penang and sate celup (dip satay) from Malacca. Both are Malaysian Chinese fusions of the hotpot and the Malay satay. Pieces of raw meat, tofu, century eggs, quail eggs, fish cake, offal or vegetables are skewered on bamboo sticks. These are cooked by being dipped in boiling water or stock. The satay is then eaten with a sweet, dark sauce, sometimes with chilli sauce as an accompaniment. If the satay is eaten with satay sauce, it is called sate lok-lok. If the satay is cooked with boiling satay peanut sauce, it is called sate celup. Both dishes are available from street vendors or in certain restaurants, and the majority are not halal. Customers use a common container containing boiling stock to personally cook their satay. Sauces are either served in common containers or individually. There are usually no tables near street vendors, and customers thus tend to gather around the food cart.
Chicken satay in the Netherlands with peanut sauce, French fries, prawn crackers, and mayonnaise; as served in a pub in Amsterdam
Known as saté or sateh it is fully adapted in Dutch everyday cuisine. Pork- and chicken satays, almost solely served with spicy peanut sauce, are readily available in snackbars and supermarkets. The version with goat-meat (sateh kambing) and sweet soy sauce is available in Indonesian restaurants and take-aways. Pork or chicken satay in peanut sauce, with salad and French-fries is popular in pubs or eetcafes.
Another favourite in Dutch snackbars is the satékroket, a croquette made with a peanut sauce and shredded meat ragout.
Singapore satay served with peanut sauce, cucumber and onion
Satay is one of the earliest foods to be associated with Singapore; it has been associated with the city since the 1940s. Previously sold on makeshift roadside stalls and pushcarts, concerns over public health and the rapid development of the city led to a major consolidation of satay stalls at Beach Road in the 1950s, which came to be collectively called the Satay Club. They were moved to the Esplanade Park in the 1960s, where they grew to the point of being constantly listed in tourism guides.
Open only after dark with an "al fresco" concept, the Satay Club defined how satay is served in Singapore since then, although they are also found across the island in most hawker stalls, modern food courts, and upscale restaurants at any time of the day. Moved several times around Esplanade Park due to development and land reclamation, the outlets finally left the area permanently to Clarke Quay in the late 1990s to make way for the building of the Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay.
Several competing satay hotspots have since emerged, with no one being able to lay claim to the reputation the Satay Club had at the Esplanade. While the name has been transferred to the Clarke Quay site, several stalls from the original Satay club have moved to Sembawang in the north of the city. The satay stalls which opened at Lau Pa Sat are popular with tourists. Served only at night when Boon Tat Street is closed to vehicular traffic and the stalls and tables occupy the street, it mimics the open-air dining style of previous establishments.
Satay (Thai pronunciation: [sā.téʔ]) is a popular dish in Thailand. Usually served in peanut sauce, Thai satay have various recipes, such as chicken, beef, pork to vegetarian variants that employs soy protein strips or tofu. Satay can easily found in virtually any Thai restaurant worldwide. Because Thai cuisine is heavily marketed internationally and has attracted world culinary attention earlier than Indonesian cuisine, despite its Indonesian origin, there is widespread misconception abroad that satay is originated from Thailand. As the result it is most frequently associated with Thai food.
Another popular misconception, the term "satay" is often mistakenly identified as peanut sauce. Traditionally, satay referred to any grilled skewered meats with various sauces, it is not necessarily served solely in peanut sauce. However, since the most popular variant of satay is chicken satay in peanut sauce (Sate Madura in Indonesia, Sate Kajang in Malaysia, and Thai chicken use peanut sauce); in modern fusion cuisine the term "satay" has shifted to satay style peanut sauce instead.
For example, the fusion "satay burger" refers to beef hamburger served with so-called "satay sauce", which is mainly a kind of sweet and spicy peanut sauce or often replaced with gloppy peanut butter. The Singapore satay bee hoon is actually rice vermicelli served in peanut sauce. The Thai fusion fish fillet in satay sauce also demonstrates the same trend. The fusion French cuisineCuisses de Grenouilles Poelees au Satay, Chou-fleur Croquant is actually frog legs in peanut sauce. The Indomieinstant noodle is also available in satay flavour, which is only the addition of peanut sauce in its packet.