grilled beef satay with spicy peanut dipping sauce

The Kids love foods cooked on a skewer. Whenever we go to Penang, we always order beef satay- $7.50/5 sticks, so make that two orders.  After seeing this recipe, I was curious if we could have the same dish for a fraction of the price.

It calls for two items that might not be in everyone's pantry.  The first is fish sauce, which I had bought many years ago, and which until now had remained unopened.  The smell is pungent and an integral part of Southeast Asian cuisine.  I thought I bought the bottle with three crabs on it, and I now see it's got two crabs and one shrimp.  I was duped!

Another ingredient is Sriracha, which we use more often.  The Husband enjoys putting this condiment on anything from beans and rice to a fried egg.

The flavors were not the same as Penang's satay, but the results were delicious nonetheless.

from Cook's Illustrated Summer Grilling 2010

Note:  Meat that is partially frozen for about 20 minutes is easier to slice into thin strips. About forty 6-inch wooden skewers or twenty 12-inch wooden or metal skewers are required for this recipe.  (We prefer to use metal skewers because wooden skewers often burn, even when first soaked in water.)  If you would like to halve the recipe, buy a 1-pound flank steak and cut the remaining ingredients in half.  The peanut sauce may be made a day in advance and refrigerated.  Bring the sauce to room temperature before serving.

Peanut Sauce
½ cup smooth peanut butter
¼ cup hot water
2 tablespoons juice from 1 lime
2 tablespoons Asian chili sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro leaves
1 medium garlic clove, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 teaspoon)
2 scallions, white and green parts, sliced thin

1 large flank steak (about 2 pounds)
¼ cup fish sauce
¼ cup vegetable oil, plus more for cooking grate
2 tablespoons Asian chili sauce, or more to taste
¼ cup packed dark brown sugar
¼ cup minced fresh cilantro leaves
2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
4 scallions, white and green parts, sliced thin

For Peanut Sauce:
Whisk peanut butter and hot water together in medium bowl.  Stir in remaining ingredients; transfer to serving bowl and set aside.

For Satay:
Cut flank steak in half lengthwise and freeze for 30 minutes.

Slice steak against the grain into ¼-inch-thick strips.  Combine fish sauce, oil, chili sauce, brown sugar, cilantro, garlic, and scallions in gallon-size zipper-lock plastic bag or large bowl.  Add meat and toss to coat evenly.  Refrigerate for 1 hour but no longer.  Weave meat onto individual skeweres- 1 strip meat for short skewers or 2 to 3 strips meat for longer ones- and lay flat in shallow container.

To Gas Grill: 
Turn all burners to high and heat grill with lid down until very hot, about 15 minutes.  Scrape grate clean with grill brush.  Turn all burners to medium-high.  Lightly dip wad of paper towels in vegetable oil; holding wad with tongs, wipe cooking grate.  Spread half of skewers out on cooking grate and grill, covered, until meat has cooked through and is lightly charred around edges, about 7 minutes, flipping skewers over halfway through grilling time.  Transfer skewers to serving platter and cover with foil to keep warm.  Repeat with remaining skewers.  Serve immediately with peanut sauce.


  1. Your photo of the beef satay is amazing - I want to reach into my screen and grab one!

  2. I tried to comment on this post yesterday, but got an error message...trying again today...

    A wonderful pairing...beef and peanut butter!


  3. Thanks for a nice dinner idea. Have been searching half a day for something different.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...