Saturday 8 January 2011

Satay and Gado-Gado

One of our all-time favourite meals is an Indonesian-inspired Chicken Satay with rice, Gado-Gado and peanut sauce. This CAN be a just a mid-week TV dinner (it was for us this time) but it can also be made as a posh dinner-party meal if you like.
As it happens, we often eat from trays in front of the TV (although we don't actually watch many TV programmes). Just because we do this doesn't mean we eat rubbishy pre-prepared food. Anyone who has followed my blog for a while will know this... And properly-done home-made Satay & Gado-Gado is not your average TV dinner. It's 100 times nicer than a Take-Away pizza!

Although this is a fairly complicated meal, much of the preparation can be done well in advance.

The meal consists of several different elements:-

1. The Chicken Satay - no magic here, just some chicken cut into small strips and marinated to suit your tastes. Jane uses a mixture of grated Kemiri nuts (often sold as "Candlenuts" in Chinese shops), Ketcap Manis (Sweet Soy sauce), and some ground coriander seed. After marinating for a couple of hours the meat is threaded onto bamboo skewers and cooked under the grill. Soak the bamboo skewers in water for a while in order to stop them burning. [NB: if you can't get Kemeri nuts, you could use Macadamias, or even Brazils.]

The chicken satay

2. Rice. I won't insult your intelligence by explaining how to cook this. The only thing I will say is - use the best quality (I reckon that means Basmati), don't use cheap stuff.

3. Gado-Gado, an Indonesian vegetable salad with a peanut sauce. We use a mixture of lightly cooked carrots, green beans and beansprouts, with raw cucumber and watercress, along with sliced boiled egg and some roasted cashew nuts. The dish is dressed with a thick peanut sauce, which is also used for dipping the satay. The sauce is made with peanut butter, soy sauce and water, gently heated, with the addition of some Sambal Oelek or chilli if you like this, and maybe some coconut milk and lime juice  - it depends how much trouble you want to go to!  (Full recipe some other time!) [Jane's advice here is - when making the sauce, it always curdles initially, but don't panic, just keep stirring and it will come back together.]


4. Prawn crackers. You can easily buy these "raw" in most supermarkets and they only require a few seconds' deep-frying to produce a lovely crispy (and authentically Indonesian) garnish. They are great for dipping up any surplus peanut sauce.

Prawn crackers in the background, peanut sauce at left

You can't fail to enjoy this combination - it's certainly worth trying - and of course, if you don't want to use chicken for the satay you can use pork, beef or lamb instead. (Sorry, Vegetarians, but this one is definitely not for you!)


  1. I'm overwhelmed with your various kinds of recipes ranging from traditional British pot dishes to Asian taste meals like the chicken shown above!
    The sauce for GadoGado seems to be so attractive and versatile for other kinds of dishes like salad with steamed chicken.

  2. It does sound like a complicated meal, but it sure looks like it's worth the trouble. It looks delicious!

  3. Im surprised that this delicious Indonesian meal found its way in your home! Yes its comlicated and time consuming to prepare especially the peanut sauce and the satay, thats why Im amazed!

  4. Hi p3chandan; We often eat Malaysian / Indonesian / Chinese food! I was born in Malaya (Ipoh, Perak) and I have lived in Brunei, Hong Kong etc, so I love oriental styles of food. My wife Jane has a VERY wide repertoire of recipes from all over the world. We eat well in our house!

  5. Looks scrumptious. Lovely presentation of the chicken and the salad. (Oh no, u didn't eat it on your laps in front of the TV, looks too good for that, lol).

  6. We eat most of our meals in front of a TV too. I love the egg salad. I got hungry just by reading and looking at the pictures.

  7. Yum... I love satay, so shall look forward to reading about how Jane does hers, always up for learning new ways to tweak old favourites!

  8. I am properly hungry now after reading this. Hmph.

  9. Aaah but Mark you are wrong when you say this is not for vegetarians. You reminded me of this meal - haven't made it for years but I will tonight. And it'll be vegetarian. I'll just leave out the chicken (eggs will provide enough protein) or maybe I'll substitute the chicken with tofu. Thanks for the reminder - love your recipes.


Thank you for taking time to leave me a comment! Please note that Comment Moderation is enabled for older posts.