Some people find the best remedy for a bad mood to be listening to music, some friends of mine take to the gym to sweat out a bad mood. For me (and I think I’ll have quite a bit of backing on this one), its ordering a ton of greasy Chinese take out. The spicier, redd-er, garlicky, the better.
The Indo-Chinese food that we grew up on included such gems as Gobi Manchurian, Shezwan chicken etc. Now if you’re the kind that doesn’t like deep fried vegetables in batter, flavored in lashings of garlic, soya sauce, etc, then you’re probably also the kind that eats your salad with a salad fork. Tsk tsk.
Now coming back to the point of this post, which is a chicken satay that we ate this weekend, why talk about Chinese food, when satay originally has Indonesian origins? There’s been so much of overlap between cuisines over the years, that satay now finds itself on Chinese menu’s as well. But no one’s complaining.
Chicken satay is one of my favorite things to order when ordering in Chinese. It definitely doesn’t have the spicy nature of Chicken Drumsticks or a Chicken Manchurian, but these little grilled chicken strips on skewers have a character of their own. When made spicy, it pairs very well with a chilled beer, and when served with a peanut dipping sauce, its a brilliant combination of sweet, tang and spice.
Chicken Satay with Peanut Dipping Sauce
400 gms chicken strips (or cut chicken breasts into strips)
For the marinade:
3/4 cup chopped corriander
2 garlic cloves
3-4 red dried red chillies
1 red onion, chopped
3/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon soya sauce
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1.5 teaspoon brown sugar (I used white sugar to substitute)
Salt to season
Process all the marinade ingredients in a food processor, grinding till a find paste-like consistency is achieved. Apply the marinade on the chicken strips and keep in the fridge to marinate for at least 1 hour, best overnight. Keep aside leftover marinade for the dipping sauce (you should have at least 3 teaspoons of marinade left over).
3-4 teaspoons peanut butter
1 teaspoon coconut milk
2 teaspoons marinade from above
Mix together the peanut butter coconut milk and marinade, and keep aside. Adjust the quantity of ingredients to get the consistency you prefer (for instance, if you like the sauce to be more runny, add more coconut milk).
Assembly and Cooking
While the chicken is marinating, soak bamboo skewers in cold water for 5 minutes. This prevents them from burning while pan frying/grilling. Skewer the marinated chicken onto the bamboo sticks, leaving at least 2 inches on one end to hold. Heat a wide pan, add 2-3 teaspoons vegetable oil. Coat the pan surface with the oil. Place the skewered chicken on the pan and fry till the meat is cooked. Turn every 2 minutes to cook evenly and avoid overcooking (optionally, use a barbeque grill).