To Satay (Sah-Tay) or Sate, that is the question. The definitive answer is either. Although both Thailand and Malaysia lay claim to it as their own, it southeast Asian origins was in Java, Indonesia. There sate was developed from the Indian kebab brought to Indonesia by the Muslim traders who, in turn, got them from the Middle East.
Sate udang is a traditional Malaysian dish that’s also popular in Singapore. The dish consists of marinated prawns that are placed on bamboo skewers and grilled to perfection. The paste for the marinade usually consists of oil, lime juice, coriander, garlic, shallots, coconut cream, laos or ginger, sambal (chili paste), turmeric, dark sugar, and kecap manis. Sate udang is often served with scallions, cucumbers, and pineapple pieces. It is seldom served with the peanut sauce so popular with other satays, since it might overpower the delicate flavour of the shrimp.
Satay Udang (Shrimp Satay)
- Medium bowl
- small saucepan
- Metal or wooden skewers
- Wire strainer
- ¼ cup Lime Juice
- ½ cup Thick coconut milk
- 1 tsp Sambal (can substitute sriracha sauce)
- ½ tsp Dried shrimp paste (can sub 2x Asian fish sauce)
- 1 tbsp Kecap manis (can sub soy sauce with big pinch brown sugar)
- 1 tsp Palm sugar (can sub dark brown sugar)
- 1 medium Limes, finely zested
- 2 cloves Garlic, crushed with a little salt)
- 2 lb Raw large shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails on
- Vegetable oil for brushing shrimp
- If grilling or broiling, and using wooden skewers, soak skewers for at least 30 minutes.
- Marinate Shrimp –In a bowl, add lime juice, coconut milk, sambal, shrimp paste, kecap manis, palm sugar, lime zest, and crushed garlic. Stir well until the sugar has dissolved. Stir in the shrimp and marinate on the counter for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Assemble Sate – Drain the shrimp, reserving the marinade in the bowl. Thread 3-4 shrimps onto each skewer, if using. Brush shrimps lightly on both sides with oil.
- Cook Shrimp – If grilling, pace over hot coals and cook a few minutes on each side until just done. Be careful not to overcook them or they will become dry and chewy. If broiling, place shrimp, with or without skewers, and broil under high heat until cooked through, a few minutes on each side. If pan-frying, again with or without skewers, cook over medium-high heat until cooked through, a minute or two on each side. Be careful to keep from crowding so shrimp will fry and not steam.
- Serve – Make sauce by pouring marinade, a little coconut milk and kecap manis into a small saucepan over low heat until heated through.Serve sauce on the side. Place shrimp over soft lettuce leaves ringed with cucumber slices and a small bowl of the sauce.