The perfect satay sauce is a blend of sweet, spicy, sour and salty. Though acid amounts for the smallest amount of volume in a satay sauce, it is probably the most important because it cuts through the richness of the peanut butter.
This sauce is extremely forgiving. if it is too thick, simply add water, a drizzle at a time, whisking to incorporate. As it heats it will loosen, so bear that in mind.
Use the best quality nut butter you can find, with as few ingredients as possible. Smooth peanut butter is preferable, but if you prefer flecks of nut in your satay, it's fine to use chunky.
If the sauce looks like it is separating, emulsify by stirring in a few drops of water at a time. This should bring it back together.
Some people like a kick to their satay, so don't be afraid to customise your sauce to your taste. A few drops of sriracha will intensify the heat and stay within the flavour profile of a traditional satay.
Satay sauce keeps well in the fridge and is an easy route to a speedy midweek meal. Serve with rice, stir-fried veg and a fried egg, or into noodles with sliced cucumber and chilli on the side.
Lamb, pork or chicken satay
Cubes of tender meat are marinated in spices, then threaded onto bamboo satay sticks and cooked on the barbecue or grilled
Preparation Time1 hours 5 mins
Cooking Time15 mins
Total Time1 hours 20 mins
450g lean lamb leg or chicken breast or thigh meat or pork fillet
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 shallots, or 1 small onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tbsp lemon juice or red wine vinegar
24-26 bamboo satay sticks or metal skewers (soak satay sticks in water 30 minutes before)
1-2 tbsp vegetable oil
For the satay sauce:
225g peanut butter
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp Tabasco
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
4 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp runny honey
juice of 1 lemon
125ml water or coconut milk
lettuce leaves and flat breads
First, make the satay sauce. Place the peanut butter, garlic, ginger, turmeric, Tabasco, oil, soy sauce, honey, lemon juice and water in a food processor or blender, pulse until smooth.
Cover and let stand for 30 minutes at room temperature to allow flavours to blend. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Add a little more coconut milk if too thick.
Cut the meat into 5mm thick strips and marinate with all the ingredients for at least 1 hour. Thread onto the soaked bamboo satay sticks so the end is covered. Allow to drain on a wire rack. Heat a barbeque or pan-grill until very hot.
Brush each satay with a little oil and chargrill turning frequently until just cooked. Serve hot with satay sauce, lettuce leaves and flat breads