Beef Satay with Spicy Peanut Sauce or Ketjap chili sauce


  • 16-20 bamboo skewers (soaked in warm water for 1-2 hours)
  • 2 lbs beef, cut into 1/4-inch thick, 3/4-1-inch cubes
(Here, I use top sirloin which requires minimal cooking time)
  • Satay spice paste (to marinate beef)
  • Spicy peanut dipping sauce
  • cucumbers,
  • red onions,
  • rice cakes (optional), cut into bite size

Satay Spice Paste:

  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons coriander powder
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric powder
  • 10 shallots, peeled, cut and halved
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 4 stalks lemongrass, cut into 1-inch length (use white part only)
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons oil
  • 1-2 tablespoon water


Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce:

  • 5 tablespoons oil
  • 3/4 tablespoon tamarind pulp, soaked in
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons water
  • 3/4 cup roasted red skin peanuts, skins removed, and coarsely chopped (or regular peanuts)
  • 3/4 cup water

Satay Sauce Spice Paste:

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 5-6 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons coriander powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 3 stalks lemongrass, cut into 1-inch length (use the bottom white part only)
  • 3/4-inch galangal root, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3 shallots, peeled
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • Salt and sugar to taste


Blend all the Spice ingredients into a smooth paste. Heat up some oil in a wok, stir-fry the spice paste until fragrant and oil slightly separates. Dish up and set aside.

Marinating Beef Satay:

Spoon generous amount of the ready spice paste over the cut beef until they are well coated. Keep the extra spice paste for future use, if there is any left. Marinate for at least 10 hours, or overnight.


  • Blend the Spice Paste ingredients into a smooth paste. Add some water if necessary to keep the blades turning.
  • Heat up 5 tablespoons of oil in a pan, stir-fry the spice paste until fragrant, turn the heat to medium-high and continue cooking until the oil slightly separates.
  • Mix in tamarind pulp, peanuts, water, stir well and bring it to a quick boil. Cover the pan, turn the heat to low and simmer for another 5-10 minutes. Add some water, salt and sugar to taste, if necessary. Dish up, cool down for 10 minutes and ready to use.

Making and Cooking Beef Satay:

  • Make satay skewers with 3-4 pieces of marinated beef threaded onto each pre-soaked bamboo skewer.
  • Cook the satay over a hot charcoal grill, or broil them in the oven. This time, I use the oven broiler.

To Broil Satay:

  • Line the smooth surface broiler tray with aluminum foil.
  • Place the broiler pan over it and put the whole rack in the oven, with 4-5 inches away from the heat source.
  • Preheat oven broiler for at least 10 minutes.
  • Remove the broiler rack from the oven and brush some oil over the broiler pan.
  • Arrange the beef skewers in the broiler rack, with meat in the center and skewers away from the heat source.
  • At this point, the meat should be about 3-inches away from the heat source.
  • Broil the satay for 1 1/2-2 minutes, or until the beef is slightly charred with a few brown spots and cooked through.
  • Turn the skewers over, brush some oil over the beef (optional), and continue broiling for another 1 1/2-2 minutes, browned and completely cooked.
  • Use your finger tip and test to see if the meat is firm and not squishy with blood.
  • Do not overcook the meat as the juice from the meat will redistribute itself after 5 minutes of resting time when the satay is done.
  • Alternatively, I also tried broiling the satay for 2 minutes on each side (with 1 minute on High and a little over 1 minute on Low setting), and it came out as great.
  • Remove the broiler rack from the oven, rest for 5 minutes and ready to serve with peanut dipping sauce, fresh cut cucumbers and onions.