INDONESIAN STYLE BEEF SATAY WITH SPICY THAI PEANUT SAUCE
Who doesn’t love marinated, grilled meat on a stick? Especially with a delicious spicy Thai peanut sauce and basmati rice on the side. YUM! That’s my idea of a great meal. If you’re thinking the same thing, this is the place for you. And man, is this recipe easy.
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Beef satay is a popular dish throughout southeast Asia and Indonesia (hence the name Indonesian style beef satay), most popularly served by street vendors.
This Indonesian style beef satay is marinated with the umami flavors of fish sauce, soy sauce, lemongrass, chili sauce and tamarind. How many of you guys out there like fish sauce? I have to admit, when I was first introduced to it, I thought the idea was horrifying. Sauce, made purely our of fermented fish? YUCK! Oh but how wrong I was. A good friend of mine made me my first Vietnamese Nuoc Cham dipping sauce with fish sauce, and I was hooked! I don’t know how I ever lived without it; it has become a staple in my every day cooking. Not only is it amazing in Southeast Asian dishes, but it also works wonders to add that extra oomph of umami to sautéed vegetables, pasta sauce, red meat, chicken livers, and the list goes on. Be advised, a little bit does go a long way. And don’t worry, contrary to what you may believe, the fish sauce will not leave your dish tasting fishy. Just delicious. You’ll wonder where it’s been your whole life. So give it a shot – my favorite brand is Red Boat 40 made only with black anchovies and sea salt, no other additives.
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Well now that we’ve covered fish sauce I guess we can start. The intensely flavored marinade is what makes this dish special. I recommend using a lean cut of beef so the marinade does not turn it into mush. I use a fibrous beef cut such as flank steak. Skirt or hangar steak would also work well. The ingredients in the marinade will help to tenderize the beef and break town the fibers. This results in a tender, melt in your mouth piece of beef.
Slice the beef into 1 inch cubes and set aside. Combine all marinade ingredients, add the beef, and refrigerate for 24 hours.
Once all those good marinade ingredients have soaked into the beef (read: marinated for 24 hours), remove from fridge and put on bamboo skewers.
In the meantime, heat the grill to about 500 degrees. Grill the skewers for about 3-5 minutes on each side, depending on how evenly your grill cooks. Remove and let sit for 5 minutes.
Serve with basmati rice and spicy Thai peanut dipping sauce.
VARIATION: If beef is not your thing, this recipe can also be made with chicken, pork, or shrimp. Adjust the cook time accordingly for each. For additional spice, add extra chili garlic sauce to the marinade, or chop up a few Thai chilies and add them.
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