I posted my dinner from last night on the blog a few hours after it was consummed and Michelle from The Accidental Scientist checked out my site and asked a question about what Satay is. I whipped out my Food Lover's Companion to be sure that I got the defination correct. According to the book Satay is an Indonesian favorite consisting of small marinated cubes of meat, fish, poultry threaded on skewers and grilled or broiled. Satay is usually served with a spicy peanut sauce. It's a favorite snack food but is also often served for an appetizer and sometimes a main dish. The Japanese called Satay Yakitori. It's a term that means grilled fowl usually referring to small pieces of marinated chicken that are skewered and grilled. I loved Yakitori as a kid when my father was stationed near Tokyo, Japan from 1970-72. Since the world seemed to be a safer place then, my mother turned us loose in the little town outside the base at Kanta Mura where we lived. I learned about fish markets, nightsoil (this is soil that has human waste and is used in the fields to fertilize their crops), Pocky sticks (little tiny biscuit sticks coated with chocolate) and of course rubber food displays. The education was priceless. I loved going out into town and eating strange foods. I loved the noodle soups and Tempura. To this day it's still my favorite kind of oriental food.
Here is a wonderful recipe from the book Sticks & Skewers by Elsa Petersen-Schepelern.
1/2 cup Sake or Vodka
1/4 cup Dark Soy Sauce
3 TBS Mirin (Sweet Rice Wine or Sherry)
4 large Red or Yellow Bell Peppers (halved and seeded)
8 baby leeks or 12 scallions, halved lengthwise and blanched (I never blanch these things)
8-12 boned chicken thighs, each cut into 3 1-inch cubes (boneless, skinless chicken breasts can be used too)
Freshly ground black pepper or Japanese pepper
Put all the Yakitori sauce ingredients in a small saucepan, stir, bring to a boil, boil hard for 3-5 minutes, then remove from heat.
Light an outdoor grill or preheat broiler or stovetop grill pan. Broil the halved peppers until the skin blisters, then put in saucepan and cover tightly. Let steam for 10 minutes, then scrap off the skin. Cut the peppers into 1 inch square pieces.
Grill or blanch the leeks or scallions, then cut into 1 inch sections. Grill the skewers over a very hot fire or under a very hot broiler (put the skewers as close to the heat as possible). Cook for 2 minutes on each side until the juices begin to flow, then transfer to the saucepan, sticks upward.
Remove and cook for 1 minute on each side, then dip into the sauce again. each time you dip, let the excess sauce run off back into the pan. Cook again, until tender but not dried out. Remove to a serving platter and serve sprinkled with pepper.