March 28: National Something-on-a-Stick Day
The aroma from Asian street vendors and ethnic food festival booths is enticing! We end up buying grilled meat sticks, such as satay, and other handheld delicacies from them as we stroll along and enjoy the rest of the day. Satay on a stick is convenient and portable as a quick snack. Indonesian and Thai restaurants serve satay as appetizers as well. But now that we have a grill of our own out on the back deck, Highlander cooks skewered strips of chicken while Islander prepares the peanut dipping sauce for a savory, South Asian-style meal. Serve chicken satay for a simply satisfying snack on National Something-on-a-Stick Day.
For the chicken satay
- 1 pound thin chicken breast strips, about an inch wide
- ½ cup coconut milk
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon ginger, freshly grated
- ½ tablespoon brown sugar
- ½ tablespoon ground coriander
- ½ tablespoon ground cumin
- ½ tablespoon ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon white pepper
With a meat mallet, pound the chicken breasts to ¼ – inch thick. In a bowl, make the marinade by mixing the coconut milk, garlic, ginger, brown sugar and the rest of the spices. Place the chicken strips in the marinade. Cover and refrigerate at least eight hours or overnight. Discard the liquid.
Pre-soak wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes so that they do not burn over the grill. Thread the marinated chicken onto the sticks. Cook over a hot grill, turning the skewered chicken on the other side until cooked through and no longer pink.
For the peanut dipping sauce
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1-2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2/3 cup coconut milk
- ½ cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon cilantro, minced
- 1 teaspoon ginger, freshly grated
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon lime or lemon juice
- 1-2 tablespoons brown sugar
- salt to taste
- chopped peanuts (optional garnish)
In a saucepan, saute the onion and garlic in vegetable oil until the onion is transparent and the garlic is browned. Reduce the heat to low. Pour in the coconut milk. Mix in the peanut butter, cilantro, ginger, soy sauce, lime or lemon juice, brown sugar and salt. Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth. Serve the dipping sauce with the chicken satay over leafy greens. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts and garnish with cilantro or sliced green onions (optional).
- One 13.5-ounce can of coconut milk is enough to make both the marinade and peanut sauce.
- The oil in the peanut sauce may separate while heating it in the saucepan but can be made smooth again by pureeing it in the blender.