Saturday, May 30, 2009
How to make Traditional Javanese Chicken Satay.
In order to draw this picture of a wandering Javanese satay seller from my childhood days in Singapore, I have to scratch and scrape my memory across more than half a century. It was a common sight then, to see hawkers selling their food on makeshift roadside stalls, pushcarts and even walking from one neighbourhood to the next to sell their food, balancing with a bamboo pole on their shoulders with two receptacles hanging from each ends. I do not know of anywhere in modern Singapore where traditional hawkers still plied their trades in this way. Their demise gradually started from the 1960s, when concerns over public health and the rapid development of the city led to a major consolidation of satay stalls at Beach Road, which came to be collectively called the Satay Club. Open only after sunset, it became a popular place for families dining out and a venue for young lovers to meet.
In those days, there were no tables when you eat at street hawkers and customers usually ate their satays sitting on very low stools around the hawker’s small makeshift stalls. Sauces were either served in common containers or poured over the satay sticks and ketupat (rice dumpling wrapped in a square shape with coconut palm leaves).
Although we seldom prepare the satay in the traditional way, we thought it is appropriate to post the traditional recipe which my wife has found in her old scrap book here.
The Traditional Javanese Satay Recipe:
2 kati (1kg) Chicken meat cut into thin strips.
Ingredients to finely pound (ground)
(a) 2tbsp Ketumbar (coriander seeds)
(b) 1tbsp jintan manis
(c) 1tbsp jintan puteh
(d) I thumb size fresh turmeric (1tsp tumeric powder)
(e) 5 dried chillies (1tsp chillies powder)
(f) 1 stalk serai (lemon grass, if unavailable use the rind of 1lemon)
(g) 2 slices langkuas (galangar, if unavailable use ginger)
(h) 2 tbsp palm sugar ( if unavailable use brown sugar/sugar)
(i) 1 tbsp thick tamarind juice(if unavailable use lemon juice)
(j) Salt to taste
1. Roast coriander seeds, fennel seeds, cumin seeds separately and grind to make a paste.
2 Add tamarind /lemon juice to the paste. Add the sugar and tumeric powder.
3 This is the satay marinade. Cover the meat with this marinade and leave till overnight in the refrigerator.
4 Skewer the marinated meat with bamboo/steel skewers, and grill them. Turn the skewered meat over now and then. Each time you turn the skewered meat, baste them with the marinade.
Dipping Sauce for Satay:
1. 2tbsp Ketumbar (coriander seeds)
2. 1tbsp jintan manis (fennel seeds)
3. 1tbsp jintan puteh (cumin seeds)
4. 10 dried chillies (11/2 tsp chilli powder)
5. 10 shallots
6. 2 cloves garlic
7. 1 tsp blachan powder
8. 4 buah keras (candlenuts)
9. 1 stalk serai(lemon grass)
10. 1 cup roasted peanut ground not too finely (substitute crunchy peanut butter)
11. 4 tbsp palm sugar (brown sugar)
12. 1 1/2cup coconut milk
13. 1 tbsp tamarind juice(lemon juice)
14. Salt to taste.
15. 2 tbsp oil.
Grind ingredients 1-9 to a paste. Hear oil in pan and fry all grounded ingredient till fragrant. Add other ingredients and simmer in low heat till oil rises to the top. Serve as a dipping sauce with grilled satay.