Recipe: Singapore-Style Beef Saté

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Adapted from Steven Raichlen's Planet Barbecue!. He writes:

Satés in Singapore play the same role as hot dogs in New York, a popular, affordable, and democratic street snack enjoyed at all hours of the day and night by rich and poor and everyone in between. ... These satés were first served at the restaurant Wood, which featured Asia's first, and only, exclusively wood-burning kitchen (wood-burning grill, oven,smoker, and rotisserie).

Serves 6 as an appetizer, 4 as a light main course

    • 1½ pounds ribeye steaks (about ½ inch thick)
    • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
    • 2 tablespoons ground coriander
    • 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
    • 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
    • 1½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
    • 3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce or soy sauce
    • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Cut the steaks, including the fat, into ½-inch cubes and place them in a nonreactive mixing bowl. Stir in the brown sugar, coriander, turmeric, cumin, pepper, fish sauce, and oil. Let the beef marinate in the refrigerator, covered, for at least 2 hours; the longer it marinates, the richer the flavor will be.

Drain the cubes of beef, discarding the marinade. Thread the beef onto bamboo skewers, leaving the bottom half of each skewer bare for a handle and ¼ inch exposed at the pointed end. The satés can be prepared several hours ahead to this stage. Refrigerate the satés, covered, until ready to grill.

Set up the grill for direct grilling and preheat it to high.

When ready to cook, brush and oil the grill grate. Arrange the satés on the hot grate, with the aluminum foil shield under the exposed ends of the skewers to keep them from burning. Grill the satés until cooked to taste, one to two minutes per side for medium-rare, a little longer for medium. (In general, Southeast Asians prefer their satés medium to medium-well done.)

Serve the satés with cucumber relish and peanut sauce, if desired. The traditional way to eat the satés is to skewer a piece of cucumber on the pointed end of the skewer, then dip the saté in the peanut sauce.

To read Regina's piece about two grilling-centric cookbooks to try, including the one that features this recipe, click here.

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Regina Charboneau is the owner of Twin Oaks Bed & Breakfast in Natchez, Mississippi. She is the author of Regina's Table at Twin Oaks. More

Regina Charboneau is the owner of Twin Oaks Bed & Breakfast in Natchez, Mississippi. She is the author of two cookbooks: A Collection of Seasonal Menus & Recipes from Regina's Kitchen and Regina's Table at Twin Oaks.
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