Malaysian Satay With Unique Peanut Satay Sauce
In Malaysia, Satay is the most famous street food appetizer and snack in the country.
Sold by street hawkers, you can find Satay stalls in any Malaysian Food Court, Hawker Stalls, restaurants, and hotel buffets.
A great Malaysian Satay comprises three things – bamboo skewered grilled meats, “Nasi Impit” (compressed rice) served with a delicious Peanut Satay Sauce.
Out of the three, the Satay Sauce is often overlooked, but the sauce makes the Malaysian Satay truly unique, perfect, and delicious.
One of my favorite late-night snacks is dipping the flavorful, tender, smoky marinated meat into the nutty, creamy Malaysian Satay Sauce.
The Satay peanut sauce is a dipping sauce flavored with palm sugar and has a slight hint of sourness from tamarind.
One of the most iconic food scenes in Malaysian is a man fanning burning coal with a Kipas Satay (Palm-Leaf Fan) and grilling the meat skewed over the fire.
Malaysian Satay Meat
The catching scent of this much-loved dish with smoky-sweet grilled meat is addictive.
A ripping hot grill – preferably a Malaysian barbecue trough with hot charcoals works best.
Vendors often scented the marinade with local Malaysian spices and herbs.
You can smell the beautiful lemongrass scent that creates the meat flavorful as it grilles – to get that delicious charring on the meats.
You can prepare Satay from various meats.
Meat commonly used is chicken and beef.
Some outlets have lamb, mutton, venison, duck, and seafood such as fish, shrimp, squids.
You might find a few stalls offering offal, tripe, intestine, liver, and even rabbit!
Satay is prepared by cutting the meat into small cube shapes, sometimes in slices.
There are three types of Satay.
Both varieties are made with skewered chunks of Chicken or Beef on bamboo skewers and served with freshly cut cucumber and red onion wedges.
The difference is in the choice of meat.
1 Malay Satay (Halal)
Malaysian Satay is said to be the king of all Satays, and the Malay stalls make the best-grilled Chicken and Beef.
Delicious Chicken Satay or grilled Chicken Skewers marinated with spices and served with peanut sauce is one of the most delicious appetizers for a Malaysian meal.
The Satay is served with Nasi Impit (Boiled Compressed Rice) and a Satay Peanut Sauce.
2 Nyonya Satay Babi – Pork Satay (Non Halal)
One of the many Peranakan comfort foods, the Nyonya Satay Babi, is not the traditional Malaysian Satay.
The Nyonya Baba household eats this simple grilled pork dish with steaming hot white rice.
Pork loin is sliced thinly and marinated in a spice mixture, and then simmered in coconut cream.
The result is a delicious tender pork dish covered in flavorful, rich spice sauce.
The Nyonya Pork Satay has sliced pork, pig intestines, and sometimes chicken livers.
The Chinese Satay stalls have pork and pig intestine on the menu.
Malaysian Satay Sauce – Peanut Sauce
The Malaysian Satay Sauce is one of the tastiest Malaysian sauces.
The principal ingredients are peanuts, and the savory sauce is sweet, spicy with a hint of sourness.
As Satay is available in many Southeast Asia countries, almost every country has its own special peanut authentic satay sauce.
While you will find several variations of the peanut sauce, I found the BEST peanut sauce in Malaysia.
The Malaysian Satay Sauce has a rich and complex taste.
One thing to note is that the Malaysian peanut sauce does not contain soy sauce or fish sauce, nor coconut milk.
The Malaysian Satay is served with raw cucumber and onion slices and a bowlful of sauce.
You can skewer the cucumber for a full burst of flavors and eat it with the meat dipped in the Satay Sauce.
The minimum order is ten stick of satay.
You can have a mix of Chicken Satay and Beef Satay.
Malaysian Satay Sauce
The Malaysian Satay Sauce is one of the most popular Asian dipping sauces that goes perfectly well: Chicken Satay and Beef Satay.
Malaysian Satay Peanut Sauce Ingredients
We always prepare the best Satay Peanut Sauce from scratch.
The umami-rich peanut sauce has three important components
- dry roasted peanuts
- tamarind paste
- palm sugar
The taste of tamarind ranges from sweet and sour to a tangy and tart flavor, often depending on the ripeness of the fruit.
While you may want to substitute Palm Sugar with Brown Sugar, some liken palm sugar’s flavor to distinct toffee-like butterscotch or caramel.
The spice blend includes dry ground chili, garlic cloves, onions (essential aromatics), stalks of Lemongrass, Galangal (aromatic rhizome), an intense flavor, and vegetable oil, and salt.
The Satay Peanut Sauce from the intermingling of the herbs and spices with the texture of crushed peanuts makes it a sure-fire dipping sauce with a delectable taste.
There are variations in the spiciness level with the addition of more or fewer chilis.
The authentic and spicy peanut sauce has a rich taste of peanuts.
My favorite Satay Sauce is not too chunky with a bit of crunch in the sauce.
It has a mixture of roughly chopped coarse peanuts and half of the peanuts finely blended to give the sauce a smoother and thicker consistency.
If you’re wondering if you could make Peanut Sauce from store-bought peanut butter, you can too – if you’re abroad and not too fussy and like a smooth paste texture.
Peanut Sauce is versatile and goes well with a variety of dishes – you can use it as a gravy for Roast Chicken, salad, wraps, Noodles, and Spring Rolls.
3 Satay Celup (Melaka)
While most Malaysian Satay is grilled, the locals in Melaka love their Satay Celup – a ‘steamboat satay’ dish.
Since the 1950s, Capitol Satay Celup has served this unique Malaysian cuisine.
Raw or semi-cooked meat and vegetables on skewers are cooked by dipping them into a thick, Spicy Peanut Satay Sauce boiling pot.
Diners select their preferred skewers from the refrigerated counters before cooking these in a boiling sauce at their table.
Then, over 80 types of skewered seafood and vegetables at Capitol Satay Celup you can choose for your meal.
The variety includes chicken, cockles, abalones, fish balls, cuttlefish, mushrooms, vegetables, quail’s eggs, shrimps, and fried bean curds!
There are also Premium food items like skewered tiger prawns, abalones, and scallops!
The aromatic ground peanuts sauce has a savory combination of a glutinous texture, fragrant with a sweet flavor.
Satay Celup is one of Malacca’s signature dishes not to be missed.
You can find this style of a similar Lok Lok Steamboat in Penang and Kuala Lumpur.
Note: Restaurants in Malaysia would never use Peanut Butter for the main reasons – we like to use fresh groundnuts to obtain the best result.