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Satay or sate is a dish consisting of chunks or slices of dice-sized meat (chicken, goat, mutton, beef, pork, fish, etc.) on bamboo skewers (although the more authentic version uses skewers from the midrib of the coconut leaf). These are grilled or barbecued over a wood or charcoal fire, then served with various spicy seasonings (depends on satay recipe variants).

Satay may have originated in Java, Indonesia, but it is also popular in many other Southeast Asian countries, such as: Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand, as well as in The Netherlands which was influenced through its former colonies.

Satay is a very popular delicacy in Indonesia

and Malaysia, with a rich variety among Indonesia’s diverse ethnic groups’ culinary art. In Indonesia, satay can be obtained from a traveling satay vendor, from a street-side tent-restaurant, in an upper-class restaurant, or during traditional celebration feasts. In Malaysia, satay is a popular dish - especially during celebrations - and can be found throughout the country. A close analog in Japan is yakitori. Shish kebab from Turkey, Chuanr from China and sosaties from South Africa are also similar to satay.

Although recipes and ingredients vary from country to country, satay generally consists of chunks or slices of meat on bamboo or coconut-leaf-spine skewers, grilled over a wood or charcoal fire. Turmeric is often used to marinate satay and gives it a characteristic yellow color. Meats used include: beef, mutton, pork, venison, fish, shrimp, squid, chicken, and even tripe. Some have also used more exotic meats, such as turtle, crocodile, and snake meat.

It may be served with a spicy peanut sauce dip, or peanut gravy, slivers of onions and cucumbers, and ketupat.

Pork satay can be served in a pineapple-based satay sauce or cucumber relish. An Indonesian version uses a soy-based dip.

The Philippines has two versions of Satay, the first is marinated then brushed on with a thick sweet sauce consisting of soy sauce and banana ketchup (which gives its red colour) then grilled, due to American influence, this version is simply called Barbecue/Barbikyu. The second, Satti is native to the peoples of Mindanao, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, and is much more similar to tradition

al Satay, except that it is served with a thick peanut infused soup as well. This dish is well renowned by locals in the main southern Philippine cities of Zamboanga and Davao.

Satay is not the same as the Vietnamese condiment, “Sate”, which typically includes ground chili, onion, tomato, shrimp, oil, and nuts. Vietnamese sate is commonly served alongside noodle and noodle-soup dishes.

Known as sate in Indonesian (and pronounced similar to the English), Indonesia is the home of satay, and satay is a widely renowned dish in almost all regions of Indonesia. As a result, many variations have been developed throughout the Indonesian Archipelago.

Sate Madura

Originating on the island of Madura, near Java, is certainly the most famous variant among Indonesians. Most often made from mutton or chicken, the distinctive characteristic of the recipe is the black sauce made from indonesian sweet soy sauce/kecap manis mixed with palm sugar (called gula jawa or "javanese sugar" in Indonesia), garlic,deep fried shallots, peanut paste, fermented "terasi" (a kind of shrimp paste),candlenut/kemiri, and salt. Sate Madura uses thinner chunks of meat than other varians of Satay. It is mainly eaten with rice or rice cake wrapped in banana/coconut leaves (lontong/ketupat). Raw thinly sliced shallot and plain sambal also often served as condiments

Sate Padang

A dish from Padang city and the surrounding area in West Sumatra, is made from cow or goat offal boiled in spicy broth, which is then grilled. Its main characteristic is yellow sauce made from rice flour mixed with spicy offal broth, turmeric, ginger, garlic, coriander, galangal root, cumin, curry powder and salt. It is further separated into two sub-variants, the Pariaman and the Padang Panjang, which differ according to taste and the composition of their yellow sauces.

Sate Ponorogo

A variant of satay originating in Ponorogo, a town in East Java. It is made from whole sliced marinated chicken meat, and served with a sauce made of peanuts and chilli sauce. Garnished with shredded shallots, sambal (chili paste) and lime juice. The uniqueness of this varient is each skewer contains a whole chicken meat, not several slices. The meat also previously being marinated in spices and sweet soy sauce for quite some times (process called "bacem") to allow spice to soak into the meat. The grill is made from terracotta earthenware that have hole in one side to allow blowing the wind onto the burning coal. After use around 3 months, the earthenware grill would break apart, thus must be replaced to ensure the hygiene of the grill. The dish served with rice or lontong (rice cake).

Sate Tegal

A sate of goat meat. The goat is usually a yearling or even a 5-month-old kid which spawn an acronym common in Tegal—balibul (acronym of “just 5 months”). The skewer has four chunks — two pieces of meat on the top then one piece of fat and then another piece of meat. It is grilled over a long metal griller fired with wood charcoal. The grill is between medium and well done; however it is possible to ask for medium rare. Sometimes the fat piece can be replaced with liver or heart or kidney. The unit sold is a kodi, twenty skewers. Half a kodi is only for children. Adults may consume more than 1½ kodies. Prior to grilling, there is no marinade as some people believe to be necessary. On serving, it is accompanied by touch dipped in sweet soya sauce (medium sweetness, slightly thinned with boiled water), sliced fresh chilli, sliced raw shallots (eschalot), quartered green tomatoes, and steamed rice, and is sometimes garnished with fried shallots.

Sate Ambal

A satay variant from Ambal village, Kebumen, Central Java. This satay uses ayam kampung (native species of chicken) meat. Another unique feature is this satay doesn’t use peanut sauce, but uses ground tempeh, chilli and spices as its satay sauce. The chicken meat is marinated for about two hours to make the meat tastier. This satay is accompanied with ketupat.

Sate Blora

A variant originating from the town of Blora, located in Central Java. This variant is made of chicken (meat and skin) pieces that are smaller compared to the other variants. It is normally eaten with peanut sauce, rice, and a traditional soup made of coconut milk and herbs. Unlike other variants, sate Blora is normally grilled in front of buyers as they are eating. The buyers tell the vendor to stop grilling when they are finished with their meal.

Sate Lilit

A satay variant from Bali, a famous tourist destination. Unlike most varieties of satay, it is made from minced beef, chicken, fish, pork, or even turtle meat, which is then mixed with grated coconut, thick coconut milk, lemon juice, shallots, and pepper. Wound around bamboo, sugar cane or lemon grass sticks, it is then grilled on charcoal.

Sate Makassar

From a region in Southern Sulawesi, is made from beef and cow offal marinated in sour carambola sauce. It has a unique sour and spicy taste. Unlike most satays, it is served without sauce.

Sate Maranggi (Satay Maranggi)

Commonly found in Purwakarta, Cianjur and Bandung, two cities in West Java, is made from beef marinated in a special paste. The two most important elements of the paste are kecombrang (Nicolaia speciosa) flower buds and ketan (sweet rice) flour. Nicola buds bring a unique aroma and a liquorice-like taste. It is served with ketan cake (juadah).

Sate Susu (Milky Satay)

A tasty dish commonly found in Java and Bali, is grilled spicy beef brisket with a distinctive milky taste, served with hot chilli sauce.

Sate Kulit (Skin Satay)

Found in Sumatra, is a crisp satay made from marinated chicken skin.

Sate Kuda (Horse meat Satay)

Locally known as “Sate Jaran”, is satay made from horse meat, a delicacy from Yogyakarta. It is served with sliced fresh shallots (small red onion), pepper, and sweet soy sauce.

Sate Bulus (Turtle Satay)

Another rare delicacy from Yogyakarta. It is satay made from freshwater “Bulus” (softshell turtle). It is served with sliced fresh shallots (small red onion), pepper, and sweet soy sauce. Beside satay, Bulus meat is also served in soup or Tongseng (Javanese style spicy-sweet soup).

Sate Babi (Pork Satay)

A popular delicacy among the Indonesian Chinese community, most of whom do not share the Muslim prohibition on eating pork. It can be found in Chinatowns in Indonesian cities, especially around Glodok, Pecenongan, and Senen in the Jakarta area.

Sate Bandeng (Milkfish Satay)

A unique delicacy from Banten. It is satay made from boneless “Bandeng” (milkfish). The seasoned spicy milkfish meat is separated from the small bones, then placed back into the milkfish skin, clipped by a bamboo stick, and grilled in charcoal fire just like other satay variants.

Sate Torpedo (Testicles Satay)

Satay made from goat testicles (Sweetmeat) marinated in soy sauce and grilled. It is eaten with peanut sauce, pickles, and hot white rice.

Sate Telor Muda (Young egg Satay)

Satay made from immature chicken egg (uritan) obtained from the hen’s reproductive system upon slaughter. The immature eggs are boiled and put into skewers to be grilled as satay.

Sate Pusut

A delicacy from Lombok, the neighboring island east of Bali. It is made from a mixture of minced meat (beef, chicken, or fish), shredded coconut meat, and spices. The mixture then being wrapped around a skewer and grilled over charcoal.

Sate Ampet

Another Lombok delicacy. It is made from beef, cow’s intestines and other cow’s internal organs. The sauce for sate ampet is hot and spicy, which is no surprise since the original island’s name Lombok Merah means Red chili. The sauce has the mixture of santan (coconut milk) and spices in it.

Sate Belut (Eel Satay)

Another Lombok rare delicacy. It is made from belut, a native small eel commonly found in watery rice paddies in Indonesia. A seasoned eel is skewered and wrapped around each skewer, then grilled over charcoal fire. So each skewer contains an individual small eel.

Sate Buntel (Wrapped Satay)

A specialty from Solo or Surakarta region, Central Java. It’s made from beef or goat’s minced fatty meats (especially meats around ribs and belly area). The minced fatty meats then being wrapped by thin fat or muscle membrane and wrapped around a bamboo skewer. The size of this satay is quite large, very similar to middle eastern kebab. After being grilled on charcoal, the meat is separated from the skewer, cut to bite-size chunks, then served in sweet soy sauce and merica (pepper).

Sate Burung Ayam-ayaman (Bird Satay)

The satay made from gizzard, liver, and intestines of “Burung Ayam-ayaman” (a migrating sea bird). After being seasoned with mild spices and stuck on a skewer, this bird’s internal organs aren’t grilled, but are deep fried in cooking oil instead.

Sate Ati (Liver Satay)

The satay made from combinations of chicken liver, gizzard, and intestines. After seasoning, the internal organs are not fried or grilled, but are boiled instead. Usually it’s not treated as a main dish, but often as side dish to accompany Bubur Ayam (chicken rice porridge).

Sate Banjar

A variant of satay popular in South Kalimantan, especially in the town of Banjarmasin.



Rice is the traditional staple food of Asia. It is difficuit to think of another food which is more economical and versatile. It is a good source of carbohydrate, thought it contains less protein than most cereals. Rice not only provides bulk and nutrients but also temper the pungency of curries and sambals. Rice may be used in many different ways of cooking: it forms the basis of a variety of dishes for lunch, dinner or supper, when combined with meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, etc to form a balance diet.

Malaysian nasi goreng, nasi ulam, nasi lemak, for instance, are both nutritious and delicious one-dish meals. MORE RICE FACTS Nutritional info; Rich in complex carbohydrates, rice is non-allergenic - those who suffer from allergies to wheat can eat it. White rice has trace amounts of phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, zinc and fibre.

Storage; To make sure that rice is free from weevils (those tiny black insects that burrow into the grains), put cloves or unpeeled garlic into the bin. Some families keep rice in large glass containers and claim that light discourages weevils from getting to the grains.

Washing; Washing rice removes excess starch and is highly recommended. Repeat two or three times until the water runs clearer than when you start. Remember that with older and lower grade rice types, the water may never run clear.

Cooking; Absorption Method-Rice cooks in a measured amount of water, usually one and half cups of water to one cup of rice. Microwave Method-Put rice and boiling water in a large bowl. Cover with cling film and cook on high. Allow rice to stand for 10 minutes after cooking.

Perfect Rice; Never stir rice while it’s cooking, as stirring breaks up the holes that allow the steam to escape. To test whether it’s done, squeeze rice grains between your fingers. The rice should be tender with no hard centre.

Little Extras; A knotted pandan(screwpine)leaf added to rice just before it dries adds fragrance. Instead of water, you can also use other liquids to cook rice. Coconut milk is used to make nasi lemak, while chicken stock is preferred for chicken rice.


Brown rice - Medium grain brown rice with firm texture and nutty flavour. Full of vitamins. It absorbs lots of liquid when cooked. Best mixed with white rice.

Thai rice - Fragrant white long grain that’s an Asian favourite. When cooked well, it is soft, slightly sticky and aromatic. Higher grades need only one wash.

Unpolished rice - Filled with B vitamins, this rice is often ground and added to toddler’s porridge for a nutritious boost. Comes in white or black medium grain.

Sushi rice - White short grain rice with a soft, sticky texture when cooked. Its not as starchy as glutinous rice and is used for Japanese dishes and ideal for sushi.

Sarawak Red rice - Similar in shape and colour to Himalayan red rice, this contains more natural bran than white rice. Grains burst when cooked and have a nutty taste.

Basmati rice - Long white grain, firm textured rice from the Punjab region. Known as the prince of rice for its delicious aromatic flavour. Best choice for Biryani.

Couscous - Made with durum wheat, this is often used as a substitute for rice in Middle Eastern dishes. It has a mild flavour and absorbs other flavours.

Glutinous rice - Medium grain black or white rice. Cooks to a sticky consistency. Used in dishes where rice needs to be held together, like dumplings and black glutinous rice.





Kueh is the term given to various manners of bite-sized food items in the Malay, They are usually - but not always sweet and intricate creations, including cakes, cookies and puddings. It can also be described as pastry, however it is to be noted that the Asian concept of “cakes” and “pastries” is different from that of the Western one. Kueh’s, plurified kueh-mueh or kuih-muih in Malay are more often steamed than baked, and thus very different in texture, flavour and appearance from Western cakes or puff pastries.

The most common flavouring ingredients are coconut cream (thick or thin), grated coconut (plain or flavoured), pandan (screwpines) leaves and gula melaka or palm sugar (fresh or aged).

While those make the flavour of kuehs, their base and texture are built on a group of starches rice flour, glutinous rice flour, glutinous rice and tapioca. Two other common ingredients are tapioca flour and green bean (mung bean) flour (sometimes called “green pea flour” in certain recipes). They play a most important part in giving kuihs their distinctive soft, almost pudding-like, yet firm texture. Wheat flour is rarely used in Southeast Asian cakes and pastries.

For most kuihs there is no single “original” or “authentic” recipe. Traditionally, making kueh was the domain of elderly grandmothers, aunts and other women-folk, for whom the only (and best) method for cooking was by “agak agak”
(approximation). They would instinctively take handfuls of ingredients and mix them without any measurements or any need of weighing scales. All is judged by its look and feel, the consistency of the batter and how it feels to the touch. Each family holds its own traditional recipe as well as each region and state.

Both Nonya and Malay kuehs come from the same family. The Peranakans, especially those in Malacca and Singapore, took heavy influences from Malaysia and its Malay culinary and cultural heritage. This means that, when it comes to kueh, there are many that are identical to both cultures, with maybe only a change of name.

With the passage of time, the lines of distinction between the two groups of ‘kueh’ have been fudged even more. Few Malaysians and Singaporeans will be able to tell you precisely which kuehs are exclusively Nonya and which are exclusively Malay or Indonesian. The term Nyonya kueh is probably more commonly used in Singapore, and Malay kueh� perhaps more common in Malaysia.

Kuehs come in different shapes, colours, texture and designs. Some examples are filled, coated, wrapped, sliced and layered kuehs. Also, as mentioned earlier, most kuehs are steamed, with some being boiled or baked. They can also be deep-fried, and sometimes even grilled.

Some of the more well known types of kueh include the following:

Bingka ubi are baked kueh of tapioca mixed in sweet pandan-flavoured custard. The kueh is yellow in colour but has a dark brown crust at the top caused by the baking process.

Kueh dadar is a cylindrical shaped kueh with caramelised grated coconut flesh inside and a green pancake skin wrapping it. This is done first by rolling the pancakes around the coconut filling, then folding the sides and finally rolling it again to form cylindrical parcels.

Kueh keria (a.k.a Kuih gelang) are sweet potato doughnuts. They resemble just like the regular ones except that they are made with sweet potato. Each doughnut is rolled in sugar syrup.

Kuih kaswi are rice cakes made with palm sugar. The ingredients are mixed into a batter and poured into small cups (traditionally, it is done with Chinese tea cups). When served, the cup is removed and the rice cake is topped with grated coconut flesh.

Kuih koci is a pyramid of glutinuous rice flour filled with a sweet peanut paste.

Kuih lapis (layer cake) is a rich kuih consisting of thin alternating layers made of butter, eggs and sugar, piled on top of each other. Each layer is laid down and and then steamed separately, making the creation of a kueh lapis an extremely laborious and time-consuming process.

Kuih talam (tray cake) is a kueh consisting of two layers. The top white layer is made from rice flour and coconut milk, while the bottom green layer is made from green pea flour and extract of pandan leaf.

Kuih serimuka is a two-layered dessert with steamed glutinous rice forming the bottom half and a green custard layer made with pandan juice (hence the green colour). Coconut milk is a key ingredient in making this kuih. It is used as a substitute for water when cooking the glutinous rice and making the custard layer.

Pulut inti is glutinous rice topped with caramelised grated coconut flesh and wrapped in a cut banana leaf to resemble a square pyramid.

Pulut tekan is just a plain glutinous rice cake. It is served with kaya(jam from pandan leaves) coconut jam. The glutinous rice cakes are coloured with bunga telang. Half-cooked glutinous rice is divided into two portions. Both are them added with coconut milk but one of them is added with the bunga telang juice. This gives the rice cake a very bright blueish-indigo colour which is appealing to children. The half-cooked glutinous rice is then scooped in alternating fashion into the original tray to give it a marble effect of blue and white. The rice is then cooked some more and when it is cooked and cooled, it is cut into tall rectangulars.

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Rendang is a dish which originated from the Minangkabau ethnic group of Indonesia, and is now commonly served across the country. One of the characteristic foods of Minangkabau culture, it is served at ceremonial occasions and to honour guests. Also popular in Malaysia and Singapore, rendang is traditionally prepared by the Malay community during festive occasions. Though rendang is sometimes described as being like a curry, and the name is sometimes applied to curried meat dishes in Malaysia, authentic rendang is nothing like a curry.

Rendang is made from beef (or occasionally chicken, mutton, water buffalo meat, duck or vegetables like jackfruit or cassava) slowly cooked in coconut milk and spices for several hours until almost all the liquid is gone, leaving the meat coated in the spicy condiments. The cooking process changes from boiling to frying as the liquid evaporates. The slow cooking process allows the meat to absorb all the spices and to become tender. The spices may include ginger, galangal, turmeric leaf, lemon grass and chillies. Chicken or duck rendang also contains tamarind, and is usually not cooked for as long as beef rendang

There are two kinds of rendang: dried and wet. Dried rendang can be kept for 3–4 months, and it is for ceremonial occasions or to honour guests. Wet rendang, also known as kalio, can be found in Minangkabau restaurants and without refrigeration it should be consumed within a month.

Rendang is often served with rice in Indonesia but in Malaysia it is also served with ketupat (a compressed rice cake) and lemang (glutinous rice barbecued in bamboo tubes).