Whip up some of the na­tion's best-loved foods like sa­tay and stingray with easy-to-fol­low recipes from cook­book au­thor Wendy Hut­ton


Easy-to-fol­low recipes of Sin­ga­pore's best­loved foods from cel­e­brated food writer Wendy Hut­ton

Lamb, Chicken or Beef Sa­tay

Makes about 50 sticks MEDIUM

Use meat with some fat to punch up the tex­ture and flavours of the peren­nial favourite.

1 tbsp co­rian­der seeds

1 tsp cu­min seeds

½ tsp fen­nel seeds

8 shal­lots, chopped

2 cloves gar­lic, chopped

1 stalk lemon­grass, thinly sliced

1-cm knob galan­gal, chopped

1-cm knob ginger, chopped

1½ tsp salt

2 tsp palm sugar

1 tbsp tamarind pulp, soaked in 60ml warm wa­ter, squeezed and strained for juice

½ tsp turmeric pow­der

1kg boneless lamb leg, boneless chicken thigh or rump steak, cut into 1.5-cm cubes

50 bam­boo skew­ers

Veg­etable oil for brush­ing

2 red or brown-skinned onions, each cut into wedges, to gar­nish

1 cu­cum­ber, halved length­ways, cut di­ag­o­nally into 2-cm thick pieces, to gar­nish

For the sa­tay sauce

8 dried red chillies, cut into 2-cm lengths, soaked to soften

8 shal­lots, chopped

1 clove gar­lic, chopped

4 can­dlenuts, chopped

1 stalk lemon­grass, thinly sliced

2 tbsp veg­etable oil

250ml co­conut milk

125g crunchy peanut but­ter or

75g dry-roasted un­salted peanuts, coarsely crushed

1 tbsp tamarind pulp, soaked in 60ml warm wa­ter, squeezed and strained for juice

1 tsp brown sugar

Salt, to taste

1. Pre­pare the sa­tay sauce. Process or pound the chillies, shal­lots, gar­lic, can­dlenuts and lemon­grass to a smooth paste.

2. Heat oil in a saucepan and add the chilli paste. Stir-fry over low–medium heat un­til fra­grant, about 4 to 5 mins. Add the co­conut milk and bring to the boil, stir­ring con­stantly.

3. Add the peanut but­ter or peanuts, tamarind juice and sugar. Sim­mer gently for 2 to 3 mins. Add salt to taste and thin with a lit­tle boiled wa­ter if de­sired. Leave to cool to room tem­per­a­ture be­fore serv­ing.

4. Place co­rian­der, cu­min and fen­nel seeds in a small pan and cook over low heat, shak­ing the pan sev­eral times, un­til the spices are fra­grant. Process to a fine pow­der in a spice grinder then set aside.

5. Process the shal­lots, gar­lic, lemon grass, galan­gal, ginger, salt and palm sugar to a fine paste in a blender or food pro­ces­sor, adding a lit­tle tamarind juice if re­quired to keep the blades turn­ing.

6. Place the ground spices, shal­lot mix­ture, tamarind juice and turmeric pow­der in a large bowl, stir­ring to mix well. Add the meat and stir to coat well. Cover and re­frig­er­ate for at least 4 hrs, or leave overnight if pre­ferred, stir­ring sev­eral times.

7. Soak the bam­boo skew­ers in wa­ter for about 30 mins to help pre­vent them from burn­ing dur­ing grilling. Thread sev­eral pieces of meat onto each skewer and brush with oil. Grill, prefer­ably over char­coal, turn­ing, un­til the meat is cooked and golden brown all over, 5 to 8 mins.

8. Serve sa­tay with the onions, cu­cum­ber and sa­tay sauce for dip­ping.

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