Satay or sate is a dish consisting of chunks or slices of dice-sized meat (chicken, goat, mutton, beef, pork, fish, etc.) on bamboo skewers (although the more authentic version uses skewers from the midrib of the coconut leaf). These are grilled or barbecued over a wood or charcoal fire, then served with various spicy seasonings (depends on satay recipe variants).
Satay may have originated in Java, Indonesia, but it is also popular in many other Southeast Asian countries, such as: Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand, as well as in The Netherlands which was influenced through its former colonies.
Satay is a very popular delicacy in Indonesia, with a rich variety among Indonesia’s diverse ethnic groups’ culinary art. In Indonesia, satay can be obtained from a traveling satay vendor, from a street-side tent-restaurant, in an upper-class restaurant, or during traditional celebration feasts
Satay variants and outlets of note
Known as sate in Indonesian (and pronounced similar to the English), Indonesia is the home of satay, and satay is a widely renowned dish in almost all regions of Indonesia. As a result, many variations have been developed throughout the Indonesian Archipelago.
Originating on the island of Madura, near Java, is certainly the most famous variant among Indonesians. Most often made from mutton or chicken, the distinctive characteristic of the recipe 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, fermented "terasi" (a kind of shrimp paste),candlenut/kemiri, and salt. Sate Madura uses thinner chunks of meat than other varians of Satay. It is mainly eaten with rice or rice cake wrapped in banana/coconut leaves (lontong/ketupat). Raw thinly sliced shallot and plain sambal also often served as condiments
A dish from Padang city and the surrounding area in West Sumatra, is made from cow or goat offal boiled in spicy broth, which is then grilled. Its main characteristic is 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 according to taste and the composition of their yellow sauces.
A variant of satay originating in Ponorogo, a town in East Java. It is made from whole sliced marinated chicken meat, and served with a sauce made of peanuts and chilli sauce. Garnished with shredded shallots, sambal (chili paste) and lime juice. The uniqueness of this varient is each skewer contains a whole chicken meat, not several slices. The meat also previously being marinated in spices and sweet soy sauce for quite some times (process called "bacem") to allow spice to soak into the meat. The grill is made from terracotta earthenware that have hole in one side to allow blowing the wind onto the burning coal. After use around 3 months, the earthenware grill would break apart, thus must be replaced to ensure the hygiene of the grill. The dish served with rice or lontong (rice cake).
From a region in Southern Sulawesi, 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.
A variant of satay popular in South Kalimantan, especially in the town of Banjarmasin