Cooking Classes


Spicy Chicken and Beef Satays

The January 2010 Daring Cooks challenge was hosted by Cuppy of Cuppylicious and she chose a delicious Thai-inspired recipe for Pork Satay from the book 1000 Recipes by Martha Day.

I made beef and chicken satay grilled on hardwood charcoal.  I bought Trader Joe's peanut sauce, but these satays are so flavourful that you don't even need the sauce!  I took a couple of 'authentic' recipes and just eliminated the hard to find ingredients.  It makes no difference to the enjoyment of these satays.

I actually made these last month, before the challenge, but with Christmas and all I decided to submit it as my entry for this challenge.  I had made exactly what was required with this challenge!

Beef Satay

3 t whole coriander seeds

2 shallots, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped

1 t ground turmeric
1 T fresh ginger,coarsely chopped
1 T brown sugar
1 T peanut oil
1/2 t salt

 Place the coriander seeds in a small food processor. Pulse until the coriander is well ground and dusty, about 2 minutes. (Don't remove the coriander from the food processor at this point — you're going to grind it again along with the other flavoring-paste ingredients.)

Add shallots, garlic, turmeric, ginger, brown sugar, oil, and salt to the food processor. Pulse until you have a smooth paste.  Add up to 2 tablespoons of water, 1 tablespoon at a time, periodically turning the processor off and, with a spoon, scraping the unground portions down toward the blade as you go, if necessary.  Transfer the blended marinade into a nonreactive bowl large enough to hold the beef.

Slice the beef into long, 1/4-inch-thick strips against (not with) the grain of the meat, as you would if carving a cooked piece of London broil. The pieces should be no wider than 1 inch.

Add the sliced beef to the bowl and combine it well with the marinade, making sure that every piece is coated. Allow the beef to marinate at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours.

Thread the beef strips onto the presoaked bamboo skewers, weaving the point of each skewer through the center of the beef every 1/4 inch to make sure it holds tight and remains secure while it cooks. Use 1 to 4 pieces of beef per skewer, depending on how long the pieces are, making sure that the beef extends from the tip to the middle of the skewer. Leave plenty of room so you can grab the skewer at the bottom — the meat should not extend from one end to the other.

To cook the beef on a grill, first prepare a medium-hot wood charcoal fire. When the fire is hot (this may take up to 20 minutes), place each skewer on the grill, making sure that the beef, not the skewer, is directly over the heat. Grill the beef until it is cooked through and has begun to pick up a few crispy brown-black spots, about 2 to 5 minutes (depending on how hot the fire is). Turn the skewers over carefully and continue grilling until the other side is browned, another 2 to 5 minutes. Do not overcook the meat — it will dry out if you do. Test a piece by touching it with your finger. The beef should be firm, not squishy. Another way to test it is by cutting into the thickest point: It should be very faintly pink, neither blood-red nor gray.

To broil the beef in the oven, preheat the broiler for at least 5 minutes and position the rack so that the satay skewers will be 3 inches from the heat source. Line a half-sheet pan with aluminum foil. Place each skewer on the pan, arranging them so that the meat is in the center of the pan and the skewers slightly hang over the outside, and slide the pan into the broiler. Broil until the meat begins to turn golden brown and develops a few char spots, about 5 to 6 minutes. Turn each piece over to brown the other side, an additional 5 to 6 minutes of broiling. Test a piece by touching it with your finger. The beef should be firm, not squishy. Another way to test it is by cutting into the thickest point: It should be very faintly pink, neither blood-red nor gray. If the surface doesn't char (your broiler or the distance from the flame may not allow it to), don't worry — as long as the meat is cooked through, the satay will taste wonderful. Do not overcook the meat; it will be unpleasantly dry.

Transfer to a serving dish and let the skewers rest for about 1 minute, until they are cool enough to handle. Serve immediately.



Chicken Satay
For 2 pounds of chicken breast 
1 stalks lemongrass
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
1 red chili
1 onions
thumb sized piece of fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 c brown sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
juice of 1 lime

Slice the chicken breast thinly in long narrow strips and set aside in the fridge while you prepare the marinade.
Slice the white part of the lemongrass finely and place in mortal and pestle or blender.  I bought the dried lemongrass in a jar and it worked just fine.  I used about 1 tablespoon.

Add coriander seeds, chopped chili, peeled and diced onion and ginger.  Pulse in a food processor until well combined and smooth.
Add salt, brown sugar, water, vegetable oil, and lime juice and mix well.
Add the marinade to the chicken pieces and stir until well coated.  Set aside for a few hours, or overnight.

To serve, thread one or two pieces of marinated chicken onto each skewer and barbecue or grill until golden brown on each side. 

Homemade peanut sauce      from Crisis Brownies

  • 3 cloves of garlic.
  • 1/2 c. peanut butter
  • 1/4 c. soy sauce
  • 2 T honey or agave nectar
  • 2 T rice vinegar
  • 2 T. chili oil
  • 1 chopped hot chili
  1. Put the garlic in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and puree until smooth.
  3. Add water to thin the consistency if you find it necessary.
  4. Refrigerate any unused sauce in a tightly-lidded container.
  5. You may use more or less chili pepper to suit your taste for spiciness.


  1. You did an excellent job! Wow! I joined Daring Cooks a long time ago not realizing how much time and money it would take to participate. Instead, I'll just look at your yummy creations!! :D

  2. I did satay chicken too last week, I suppose we have to post our recipes today. I completely forget lol
    You're right to say they are so "flavourful that you don't even need the sauce". They are so delicious!
    Have a great day darling and thanks for sharing,

  3. Oh, I wish it would warm up; I'd love to grill this. I really love spicy food in winter.

  4. Yes, Memoria, it is time consuming and sometimes I end up making things I don't really want to. Like this month, I had just made these satays and a few days later TDC has it as the challenge. And I made 3 batches of Nanaimo Bars and that is the Daring Bakers challenge this month. Oops! I let the cat out of the bag. Those are to be posted on the 27th.

  5. Love how you took it out on the grill! the charred tips on the beef makes them look extra delicious. I wish i could have added that extra smokey flavor to mine too. Great job on the challenge!

  6. My dearly beloved doesn't like beef with the sweet seasonings, but it sounds like a great chicken or pork meal!

  7. Perhaps you're a latent psychic? It's possible! ;)

    That beef satay marinade sounds wonderful, and your pictures are gorgeous. :) Sorry the challenge wasn't very exciting for you...

  8. Your satays look beautiful. I LOVE lemongrass chicken - mmm, drooling now. must get back to kitchen..

  9. One of the things that most of the Daring Cooks didn't get was the addition of flavor using a wood or charcoal fire. I used charcoal but added big chunks of hickory for the flavor and it really puts these simple skewers over the top.

  10. I agree, hands down. Absolutely better if grilled over charcoal or wood.

  11. Your beef and chicken satays look soooo good! I was too wimpy to brave the cold & snow, so opted for the broiler.

  12. You are one smart cookie over wood or tea-soaked wood would be best and I love your satay it looks so yummy well done on this challenge. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  13. Great job on your challenge and your satays look so yummy. I can smell the flavours coming from the grill already.

  14. Seems yummy, I envy your grill, it looks so much better with a grill than with my good old pan :)


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