Sate is a traditional dish consisting of small pieces of meat grilled on a skewer, and served with sauce and other accompaniments or garnishes. According to Murdijati Gardjito, a professor in food technology and science at Gadjah Mada University (UGM), Yogyakarta, Indonesia is home to 252 satay varieties. It’s so widespread, she thinks it deserves to be known as one of Indonesia’s greatest culinary treasures.
Sate Padang is a variety of sate originating in Padang, West Sumatra. Here, meat or offal is boiled, and then grilled over hot charcoal and served with a generous amount of thick, porridge-like sauce. Depending on which area of the large Padang region you go to, the sauce may differ in colour. For example, Padang Panjang sate has yellow sauce, while sate from Pariaman has red sauce. Sate Padang is typically sold as street food in push carts in Indonesia.
Like most other Padang dishes, this sate is truly an explosion of flavour. The land itself is fertile and rich in spices, and none of it is spared in making this sate!
Generally, Sate Padang is prepared using (beef) meat and offal. Ox tongue is quite a common ingredient for the dish, and it is also used in this recipe. Despite its peculiar appearance, ox tongue is a delicacy, and has a tender texture. It’s delicious in many different recipes, including Sate Padang.
The way Sate Padang is prepared is what makes it so special. There are many steps involved, including boiling the meat until it’s half done, then taking it out from the broth and simmering it in a mixture of spices until the meat is tender and all the flavors are fully absorbed. The bite-sized meat is then skewered and grilled to perfection.
Sate Padang is usually served on top of sliced ketupat/lontong (rice cake). The duo is then literally soaked in a good amount of sauce until we can’t see a thing, and then sprinkled with lots of fragrant fried shallots. For the first timer, the dish will be a real mystery, as everything is hidden under a gooey yellow sauce. But trust me, the sauce is what makes it taste so good! The sauce is made using broth and spices, and thickened with rice flour. The lovely thing about the gravy is that it doesn’t mask the spices, but rather adds a nice complementary coating to the overall flavor. Delicious!Print
Sate padang is one of Indonesia’s 252 types of satay, or grilled meat on wooden skewers, and is known for its rich and complex flavour with many spices. In today’s recipe, we’ve made beef tongue satay, which is quite common.
- 1 beef tongue (around 750 gr-1kg)
- 5 cloves garlic, peeled, chopped
- 8 shallots, peeled, chopped
- 6 curly red chillies (or 2 big red chillies), chopped
- 2 cm ginger, peeled, chopped
- 2 cm galangal, chopped
- 4 cm turmeric, peeled, chopped
- 1 tbsp coriander powder
- 2 tbsp curry powder
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp white pepper powder
- 1 tsp aniseed
- 5 cm cinnamon stick
- 2 star anise
- 4 cardamom
- 4 cloves
- 2 lemongrass, use only the white parts, bruised and cut in smaller pieces (or knotted)
- 2 salam leaves
- 1 turmeric leaf (optional)
- 4 kaffir lime leaves
- 1 tsp tamarind extract
- 3 tbsp rice flour
- Salt to taste
- 0.5 lt beef broth from the boiled beef tongue
- Water for boiling
- 3 tbsp cooking oil
- 15-20 satay skewers
- Fried shallots
- Wash the beef tongue thoroughly, and cut it into smaller pieces.
- Put the beef tongue in a cooking pot, and cover with water. Cook over medium high heat until the water boils, and continue cooking for another 5 minutes. Discard the water.
- Take the meat from the pot, and when it is cool enough to handle, trim the outer tough skin using a sharp knife. Discard the skin.
- Put the meat back into the cooking pot, cover it with fresh water, bring to a boil and cook it over medium high heat for 30 minutes.
- When done, take out the meat to cool off, strain and reserve 0.5 liters of the broth.
- Cut the meat into 3×3 cm cubes, set aside.
- Blend into a fine paste: garlic, shallots, chillies, ginger, galangal and turmeric.
- Heat the cooking oil in a wok over medium high heat, and sautee the spice paste for 1 minute.
- Add the coriander powder, curry powder, nutmeg, white pepper powder, aniseed, cinnamon stick, star anise, cardamom, cloves, lemongrass, salam leaves, turmeric leaf and kaffir lime leaves. Saute until fragrant, around 4 minutes.
- When done, divide the spice mixture into two (one part will be used to cook the meat, and another part will be used to make the sauce), and leave one part in the wok.
- Add the beef cubes to the wok, add 0.5 liters water and salt to taste, and cook it for about 1 hour over medium heat until the meat is tender and all the liquid has evaporated. Set aside to cool off.
- While waiting for the meat to be done, put the remaining spice paste in a cooking pot, add the 0.5 liters of beef broth, tamarind extract and salt to taste. Cook over medium heat for around 20 minutes.
- Strain the broth, and let it slightly cool off.
- Dilute the rice flour with a little bit of water and pour it into the broth. Mix well.
- Cook the broth over medium low heat (stir constantly to avoid clumping) until the sauce is thickened. Set aside.
- Thread the meat cubes onto the bamboo skewers, and then grill over hot charcoal or a grill pan briefly (just until the meat is slightly charred).
- Transfer the satay into a serving plate, pour a generous amount of the sauce over it and sprinkle with fried shallots. Serve sate Padang with lontong/ketupat.
If tongue is unavailable, or it’s just not your favorite kind of meat, always feel free to use regular meat instead. It will be just as delicious!
Keywords: grilled meat, special occasions