Satay – Proper Malaysian Satay Kajang


I had never met anyone who did not like Satay until I met Dan. To be fair, it’s not that he did not like it. He just thought that satay was slathered in peanut sauce and since he is deathly allergic to peanuts, he has stayed away from it. 

Traditionally, satay is seasoned chicken or beef which is skewered, grilled and served with peanut sauce on the side, slices of ketupat (like a rice cake), sliced cucumbers and onions. As a kid I was never a big fan of the peanut sauce or ketupat, so I just had satay as it was and a lot of people do – cause it is delicious.

It took a lot of convincing on my part before Dan finally agreed to try satay and realised the marinade does not have peanuts in it (just the accompanying sauce!) Now he too is a fan!

While this recipe is not strictly traditional as I do not have palm sugar, it is the closest I will get to the best satay you can find in Malaysia – kajang satay! Basically Kajang is a town in Malaysia which became famous for its satay. I was lucky cause one of my aunts used to live there, so whenever she would pop by, she would always bring me some!

Also, maple syrup is of course not the norm, but I find that adding sugar and a little bit of maple syrup gives it an extra special flavour.

600gm chicken strips/breast cut into 1-1.5cm bits
1 red onion 
8 cloves garlic
1.5 inch ginger
1 stalk lemongrass (the white bit) 
Sugar (50gm without maple syrup) OR Sugar 30gm & 1.5 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp fennel powder
1 tbsp cumin powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp salt

1. Blend onion, ginger, garlic, lemongrass with 2 tbsp water and 1 tbsp oil till smooth
2. Then add fennel powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder, salt, sugar & maple syrup (Or just 50gm sugar)
3. Marinade chicken for 6 hours or overnight and then skewer chicken.
4. Grill over bbq on low heat.


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