Sate is one of the favourite street foods in Bali and Java. Sold from smokey street-side carts, this snack of bbq meat on bamboo sticks needs no advertising, you can smell it a block away. In Bali and Java sate can include many ingredients including ayam (chicken), kambing (goat), sapi (beef), kelinci (rabbit) and others. The Balinese love Sate penyu (turtle), which officially can only be sold at ceremonies, but in practice is sold at other times as well.
Some familiar sauces are used, particulary kecap manis (sweet soy sauce), or peanut sauce. For sate ayam peanut sauce is used. Sate kambing uses soya sauce, garlic and chili. Sate sapi uses soy or peanut sauce and kelinci peanut sauce. In general the sauces used are very similar to those in Bali.
Sate vendors :
Tukang Sate (sate vendors) are easy to spot, because of the billowing smoke emanating from their carts. They often use an electric fan to feed the glowing coconut husks with air. A more traditional method is to fan the glowing embers with a kipas (hand held bamboo fan).
Where to buy Sate:
In the morning you can find a ‘tukang sate’ at the pasar pagi (morning market) in Kuta. Balinese love Sate Lilit (mashed up fish and coconut), which is then pressed onto a lemongrass stick with spices, roasted and served with salt and chili. The pasar pagi closes at around 8.30am. During daylight hours you might look for warungs that are frequented by locals, such as some of the ones in Tuban, if there is an abundance of smoke, sate can’t be far away.
In Seminyak there is a sate vendor across from Bintang Supermarket, who works from around 5.30pm and finishes around 11pm. All these guys keep their own hours so there’s no exact time on when they are around. When ordering sate from a vendor be sure to ask what kind of sate they serve, as its usually only 1 kind of meat. Ask the price and then tell him how many sticks you want. Sate is usually served with longtong (rolled and compacted rice). The local pasar malam (night market) will usually hve a sate vendor.
How much does sate cost?
A ballpark figure on sate prices is a as follows. Ten pieces of sate ayam (chicken) without longtong 10,000rp. You should add 3,000-5,000rp more for sapi (beef), kelinci (rabbit), kambing (goat) and penyu (turtle).
Sate sapi is roughly the same price as kambing and turtle, 25,000rp for 10 pieces. Turtle Sate has a deliciously complex sauce that is not pedas (spicy hot). It takes about 10 ingredients to make including corriander (cilantro) seeds.
History of Sate
Satay (also written saté) is a dish that may have originated in Sumatra or Java, Indonesia, but also popular in many other Southeast Asian countries such as Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, and Thailand, as well as in The Netherlands which was influenced through its former colonies. In Malaysia, satay is a very popular dish especially during celebrations and it can be found throughout the country. A close analog in Japan is yakitori. Additionally, shish kebab from Turkey and sosaties from South Africa are also very 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, which are 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, chicken and even the cow stomach. Some have also used more exotic meats, such as 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.
Origins of sate (satay) :
Some allege that satay was invented by Chinese immigrants who sold the skewered barbecue meat on the street. Their argument is that the word satay means “triple stacked” in Amoy dialect, and indeed, satay is often made with three flat lozenges of meat. On the other hand, it is also possible that it was invented by Malay or Javanese street vendors influenced by the Arabian kebab. The explanation draws on the fact that satay only became popular after the early 19th Century, also the time of the arrival of a major influx Arab immigrants in the region. The satay meats popularly used by Indonesians and Malaysians and , mutton and beef, are also traditionally favoured by Arabs and are not as popular in China as are pork and chicken.
Known as sate in Indonesian (and pronounced similar to the English), satay is a widely renowned dish in almost all regions of Indonesia. As a result, many variations have been developed.