Satay (Daring Cooks Challenge Jan 2010)

Pheasant & Bacon Satay

The January 2010 DC challenge was hosted by Cuppy of Cuppylicious and she chose a delicious Thai-inspired recipe for Pork Satay from the book 1000 Recipes by Martha Day.

This challenge brought summer into the freezing snowy winter landscape. Satay reminds me of family barbeques where we would stuff ourselves on skewers of pork & chicken satay. My dad would make his famous  dipping sauce made from pineapple, tomato & onion and warming earthy spices. It wasn’t until recently when I was introduced to the peanut dipping sauce which is equally as delicious.

For my first attempt, I baked some mutton & chicken satay. The marinade did wonders to the mutton, making it very tender and juicy. The peanut & tamarind sauces were perfect compliment to this dish.

Chicken & Mutton Satay

My second go at this, I decided to pan fry some pheasant & bacon satay. I marinade pheasant legs which was a bad decision as I didn’t realize how many tendons they have – next time I’ll use the breast. I wrapped the meaty morsels in bacon which was another faux pas as the saltiness was overpowering. Instead of peanut dipping sauce, I decided to make my own version using cashews, sesame seeds & sunflower seeds.

Pheasant & Bacon Satay

Time Table

Prep Marinate Cook
Pork 30 min. 4 – 24 hrs 20 min.
Beef/Lamb 30 min. 6 – 24 hrs 20 min.
Chicken 30 min. 2 – 12 hrs 10 – 15 min.
Vegetables 5 – 10 min. 2 hrs 5 – 10 min.
Tofu 5 – 10 min. 2 hrs 5 – 10 min.

Satay Marinade
1/2 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 T ginger root, chopped (optional) (2 cm cubed)
2 T lemon juice (1 oz or 30 mls)
1 T soy sauce (0.5 oz or 15 mls)
1 tsp ground coriander (5 mls)
1 tsp ground cumin (5 mls)
1/2 tsp ground turmeric (2-2.5 mls)
2 T vegetable oil (or peanut or olive oil) (30 mls)
1 pound of pork (loin or shoulder cuts) (16 oz or 450g)


Faster marinade:
2 T vegetable oil (or peanut or olive oil) (1 oz or 30 mls)
2 T lemon juice (1 oz or 30 mls)
1 T soy sauce (0.5 oz or 15 mls)
1 tsp ginger powder (5 mls)
1 tsp garlic powder (5 mls)
1 tsp cayenne pepper (5 mls)

Mix well.

Feeling the need to make it more Thai? Try adding a dragon chili, an extra tablespoon of ginger root, and 1 tablespoon (0.5 oz or 15 mls) of fish sauce. (I keep some premature (still green) dragon chili peppers in the freezer for just such an occasion.)

1. Chop onions, garlic and ginger really fine then mix it all together in a medium to large bowl.
2. Cut pork into 1 inch strips.
3. Cover pork with marinade. You can place the pork into a bowl, cover/seal and chill, or place the whole lot of it into a ziplock bag, seal and chill.

4. If using wooden or bamboo skewers, soak your skewers in warm water for at least 20 minutes before preparing skewers.
5. Gently and slowly slide meat strips onto skewers. Discard leftover marinade.*
6. Broil or grill at 290°C/550° F (or pan fry on medium-high) for 8-10 minutes or until the edges just start to char. Flip and cook another 8-10 minutes.

* If you’re grilling or broiling, you could definitely brush once with extra marinade when you flip the skewers.

Peanut Sauce

3/4 cup coconut milk (6 oz or 180 mls)
4 Tbsp peanut butter (2 oz or 60 mls)
1 Tbsp lemon juice (0.5 oz or 15 mls)
1 Tbsp soy sauce (0.5 oz or 15 mls)
1 tsp brown sugar (5 mls)
1/2 tsp ground cumin (2.5 mls)
1/2 tsp ground coriander (2.5 mls)
1-2 dried red chilies, chopped (keep the seeds for heat)

1. Mix dry ingredients in a small bowl. Add soy sauce and lemon, mix well.
2. Over low heat, combine coconut milk, peanut butter and your soy-lemon-seasoning mix. Mix well, stir often.
3. All you’re doing is melting the peanut butter, so make your peanut sauce after you’ve made everything else in your meal, or make ahead of time and reheat.

Tamarind Dip

4 Tbsp tamarind paste  (2 oz or 60 mls)
1 Tbsp soy sauce (0.5 oz or 15 mls)
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 finely chopped green onion (scallion)
1 tsp brown or white sugar, or to taste (about 5 mls)

Mix well. Serve chilled or room temperature

14 responses to “Satay (Daring Cooks Challenge Jan 2010)

  1. Instead of wrapping the legs in bacon, next time you might try just a square of bacon on the skewer between the pieces of pheasant. I have done this with pork fat between pork meat and also with chicken skin between the chicken pieces. It gives it more fat and also seems to keep the meat more moist.

    Always good to experiment even if the results aren’t to your liking.

  2. Good to hear that you are experimenting with the meats and after some tweaks (Robert’s suggestion about bacon between the meat pieces is the way to go I think) I’m sure you will get it to perfection. And I really love your 1st photo. Cheeers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  3. I also like the suggestion of putting bacon between the pieces of pheasant on the skewer. The flavor combination sounds great, keep working on it!

  4. Wow, I really love your choices of meat: I never even thought of mutton or pheasant (not that I would have been able to find them on short notice). Great job on this challenge, and points for creativity!

  5. Your version look delicious ! I love your choice of meat and I also like your suggestion of bacon between the meat pieces. Great job on this challenge!

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