Saté Babi with peanut sauce

One of the expected dishes at a rijsttafel, or Indonesian rice table, is without doubt the skewered and grilled meats, called saté. Served with a warm peanut sauce, satés are not only an intricate part of the rijsttafel's offerings, but have worked their way into the Dutch culinary cuisine as a lunch item, served with white bread, or as a late night snack.

The sauce itself can also be found on  patat oorlog: a serving of French fries doused in mayonnaise, chopped fresh onions and a generous helping of hot saté sauce, or as a dipping sauce for other meats, breads or vegetables. As an indispensable part of the blanched vegetable salad, gado gado, saté sauce can also spruce up a roast beef sandwich if you don't feel like cooking much. Make plenty of sauce in advance, as it freezes well and can be kept in the fridge for several days.

If you don't care for pork, you can use chicken or tender beef cut instead.

Saté Babi
2 lbs pork shoulder
2 tablespoons brown sugar
6 tablespoons ketjap manis (sweet soy sauce)
1 teaspoon coriander, ground
1 tablespoon oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
Juice of half a lemon

Cut the pork shoulder into 1 inch cubes. Mix the brown sugar with the ketjap, coriander, oil, minced garlic cloves and lemon juice into a marinade. Toss the meat with the marinade in a bowl,  making sure each cube is covered. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate, for at least four hours but preferably overnight.

Soak wooden skewers about an hour beforehand, or use metal skewers. Thread five pieces of meat onto a skewer and roast over a medium fire until done. Pay attention and turn the satés frequently, as the sweet marinade has a tendency to scorch.

Serve the satés with the warm peanut sauce.

Peanut Sauce
3 cups natural peanut butter
1 cup water
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon sambal oelek (spicy chili paste)
3 teaspoons brown sugar
¼ teaspoon trassi (shrimp paste, optional)
3 tablespoons ketjap manis
Milk (possibly coconut milk, if you prefer)

Warm the peanut butter with the water in a small saucepan. Stir in the garlic, the sambal and the brown sugar and bring up to heat, stirring well so that the sauce doesn’t burn. Add the trassi and the ketjap and stir until blended. Taste. If the sauce is too thick, stir in a tablespoon of (coconut) milk at a time.

Serve hot.


  1. Looks nice :)

    My simple Pindasaus (Peanut sauce) recipe is: (As a "chef" don't really have measurements)

    Peanut Butter
    Garlic salt
    Ketjap Manis
    Maggie (Worchester)
    Tomato Ketchup

    Simply heat Peanut butter, then add the remaining ingredients (except the water) to taste. While that's heating up boil your water and then add until it's thick/thin enough for your taste.

    As your using water instead of milk you can freeze it/keep it longer

  2. So interesting to see different versions of the same thing...
    I start by sauteing onions & garlic then add some ground coriander.
    I then add peanut butter and then water.
    I season with salt & pepper & ketjap manis or brown sugar.
    I cook it until the oil comes out.
    sometimes I add a kaffir lime leaf while cooking.
    When it is done I squeeze in some lime juice.


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