Sataying power of kebabs

beef satay over rice for maine dish cw crt
Marinated and grilled beef or another meat on skewers, served with a peanut dipping sauce, makes a festive meal for family and friends. PHOTO BY CHERYL WIXSON

Satays with a peanut dipping sauce are one of our favorite snacking and party foods. Originally from Indonesia, this dish is seasoned, skewered and grilled meat such as beef, chicken, goat, mutton or pork. We also enjoy satays prepared with venison and rabbit.

The satay is a staple in Indonesian cuisine, and considered its national dish. Served in both in fine dining establishments and as street food, there are many different variations for its preparation. Basically, the meat is cut and marinated in a mixture of soy sauce and wine or sake with garlic, ginger and other seasonings. Because the marinade breaks down the tough tendons in the meat, chewier cuts of meat become more delicate and easier to eat.

This recipe for Beef Satays with Peanut Sauce is adapted from one by Helen Corbitt, the New York-born dietitian and hostess who entertained hundreds of people at the flagship Neiman Marcus store in Texas for almost 40 years.

This recipe is simple and easy to prepare. It’s perfect for large parties, as the meat can marinate for several days before grilling, and once cooked, the satays are delicious both hot and at room temperature.

Traditional satays were skewered with the midrib of the coconut palm frond. Bamboo skewers work well, just be sure to soak them in water before skewering and cooking the meat. Chunky or smooth peanut butter is tasty in the sauce, just be mindful of the sodium. This dish can be quite salty.

To spice it up, add some chili pepper flakes…and a good beer or wine.

Cheryl Wixson lives and cooks in Stonington. She welcomes food-related questions and questions at [email protected]

Beef Satays with Peanut Sauce

This marinade is also good with chicken, lamb, venison and rabbit.

1 lb. beef, cut into 1-inch cubes

1 cup low sodium soy sauce

½ cup dry white wine or sake

1 Tbsp. finely grated fresh or frozen ginger

2 garlic cloves, minced

Fresh ground pepper

Trim beef, cut into cubes and place in a shallow pan. Whisk together the marinade ingredients and pour over the beef. Cover, refrigerate and allow to marinate for 1 hour or longer.

Remove from the marinade. Skewer with bamboo sticks (presoaked in water) or stainless steel. Cook on a hot grill, turning every 4 minutes or so, until done.

Serve hot or at room temperature with peanut sauce for dipping. Makes about 16 1-oz. skewers.

Nutritional analysis per skewer (varies): 81 calories, 9.5 grams protein, 1 gram carbohydrates, 3.6 grams fat, 800 mg. sodium, less than 1 gram fiber.

Peanut Sauce

Makes about 1½ cups sauce

 2/3 cups unsalted peanut butter

2 Tbsps. butter

2 Tbsps. lemon or lime juice

1 tsp. finely minced garlic

2/3 cup cream

Add the peanut butter, butter, lemon juice and garlic to the bowl of a double boiler and cook over hot water until hot. Remove from heat and stir in the cream. Keep warm over hot water and serve warm.

Nutritional analysis per 1-tablespoon sauce: 150 calories, 4 grams protein, 3 grams carbohydrates, 14 grams fat, 80 mg. sodium, 1 gram fiber.


Cheryl Wixson
"Maine Dish" columnist Cheryl Wixson lives and cooks in Stonington. Her passion for organic Maine products led to the creation of her business, Cheryl Wixson's Kitchen. She welcomes food-related questions and comments at [email protected] or

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