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Authentic Thai Beef Satay (with Real Satay Peanut Sauce!)

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Marinated beef satay
Juanmonino/E+/Getty Images
This authentic beef satay recipe will blow you away with its abundant flavor and tenderness! The secret to good satay is all in the marinade, and this satay marinade is simply the best (passed down through my husband's family to Thailand and Malaysia over many generations). This aromatic marinade features a special blend of fresh herbs and spices, yet it's very easy to make. Cook your satay on an outdoor grill or in the oven - either way it's simply fantastic!

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: SERVES 2-4

Ingredients:

  • 1-1.5 lbs (.45 to .6 kg) beef steak, sliced into very thin strips, as thin as you can make it (or have your local butcher do this for you)
  • 1 package wooden skewers
  • Dipping Sauce: see Easy Satay Peanut Sauce
  • SATAY MARINADE:
  • 1/4 cup minced or ready-prepared lemongrass , fresh, bottled, or frozen
  • 2 shallots OR 1 small onion, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1-2 fresh red chilies, sliced, OR 1/2 tsp. to 1 tsp. cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 1 thumb-size piece galangal OR ginger, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • 2 Tbsp. ground coriander
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 3 Tbsp. dark soy sauce (available at Asian food stores)
  • 4 Tbsp. fish sauce
  • 5-6 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut oil OR vegetable oil
  • 1/8 tsp. cardamom

Preparation:

For other types of satay, see: Authentic Thai Chicken Satay Recipe or Vegetarian/Vegan Thai Tofu Satay.

  1. If using wooden skewers, soak them in water while you prepare the meat (to prevent burning). The kitchen sink works well for this.
  2. Place all 'marinade' ingredients in a food processor, large chopper, or blender. Process well.
  3. Taste-test the marinade - you will taste sweet, spicy, and salty. The strongest tastes should be SWEET and SALTY in order for the finished satay to taste its best. Add more sugar or more fish sauce (in place of salt) to adjust the taste. You can also add more chili if you want it spicier.
  4. Place beef in a covered bowl for marinating. Pour the marinade over and stir well to combine. Allow at least 1 hour for marinating, or longer (up to 24 hours).
  5. When ready to cook, thread meat onto the skewers. Tip: Fill up to 3/4 of the skewer, leaving the lower half empty so the person grilling has a "handle" to easily turn the satay.
  6. Grill the satay on an outdoor grill, basting the first time you time it with a little of the leftover marinade from the bottom of the bowl. To cook satay indoors: Place satay on a broiling pan or baking sheet covered with tin foil. Set oven to "broil" and place satay close beneath the heating element (second-to-top rung works well). Turn the satay every 5 to 6 minutes until done to your liking (15 to 25 minutes).
  7. Serve with rice and my Easy Satay Peanut Sauce for dipping. ENJOY!

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