MFF KL Selangor: Satay Kajang


Satay Kajang

Just the mere mention of the word satay is enough to get anyone drooling. The grilled marinated skewered meat is the epitome of Malaysian Street Food. We can argue about how fantastic our favourite ‘warung sate‘ (satay stall vendor) might be, however the appeal of Satay Kajang has never waned. Who is to argue when Kajang is informally known as the “Satay Town”.

You might be wondering “Where in the world is Kajang?” Kajang is a city in the eastern part of Selangor state, about 20km or so from Kuala Lumpur. Standard Malaysian satays (I have posted a recipe here) are marinated (each vendor have their own secret recipe) and grilled over charcoal fire, serve with standard condiments of cucumber, red onions, nasi himpit (pressed rice cakes) and spicy sweet peanut sauce. Satay Kajang is double the size of standard satay, the meat marinated with spices and served with spicy sambal peanut sauce. The huge size is rather filling to be served as a main dish. There is a choice of chicken, beef, fish, mutton, duck, chicken liver, beef tripe, venison and rabbit satay. Yes, whatever type of meat you fancy. Sambal (spicy chili paste) is served on the side to add into the peanut sauce according to your own spice level.

Satay Kajang

Don’t fret if you don’t have a charcoal grill (neither do I). I’m still pretty hopeless in starting fires on the charcoal (well I’ll just leave it to the men). So you can still grill in the comfort of your kitchen, using a grill pan, oven or toaster oven.

Malaysian satay is just incomplete without a good serving of nasi himpit or ketupat (pressed rice in palm leaves) and thick peanut sauce. For really good peanut sauce, don’t skip the step of pounding the peanuts and adding jaggery or palm sugar. Roasted peanuts can be coarsely grinded and then hand pounded with a pestle and mortar. Trust me, it does make a whole world of difference.

Satay Kajang

I am submitting this post to Malaysian Food Fest Kuala Lumpur Selangor Month hosted by Shannon of Just As Delish

5.0 from 4 reviews
Satay Kajang
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Satay Kajang - The grilled marinated skewered meat which is the epitome of Malaysian Street Food. served with spicy peanut sauce
Recipe type: Appetiser / Main
Cuisine: Malaysian
Serves: 15 skewers
  • 4 (about 1kg) deboned Chicken Thigh - cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 Lemongrass (use only the white parts)
  • 6 small Shallots
  • 1 inch Ginger
  • ½ teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • ½ teaspoon Ground Fennel
  • ½ teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • 1 tablespoon Sugar
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • 50ml Water (if using blender, to aid the blending process)
  • 1 Lemongrass - bruised with knife handle & 2 tablespoon vegetable oil.
Spicy Peanut Sauce
  • 200g (1½ cup) Roasted Peanuts - coarsely grind and pound finely with pestle & mortar
  • 10 Shallots
  • 3 Lemongrass (use only the white parts)
  • 2 inch Galangal (Lengkuas)
  • 2 inch Ginger
  • 10 (8g) Dried Chilli - seeds removed
  • ½ teaspoon Ground Coriander
  • ½ teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 4 tablespoon Jaggery or Palm Sugar (Gula Melaka) (I use 3 tablespoon)
  • 1 tablespoon Tamarind Juice (extracted from 1 teaspoon tamarind paste with 50ml water)
  • ½ teaspoon Salt or to taste
  • 3 tablespoon Vegetable Oil
  • 100ml Water
  • ½ Cucumber - cut into cubes
  • ½ Red Onion - cut into quarters
  • Nasi Himpit (Pressed Rice Cakes)
  1. Pulse all the ingredients except chicken in a food processor into a smooth paste.
  2. Mix paste with cut chicken pieces until they are well coated. Marinate for at least 10 hours, or overnight in the fridge.
  3. Soak bamboo skewers for at least 30 minutes. This will prevent the bamboo from getting burnt when grilling.
  4. Make satay skewers by threading 3-4 pieces of marinated chicken onto a soaked bamboo skewer. Continue until all the chicken is done.
  5. Cook the satay over a hot charcoal grill as I did here. or on the grill pan for this recipe. Grill for 1-2 minutes on each side, the meat should be slightly charred with a few brown spots and cooked through. Brush some oil with the bruised lemongrass.
    Satay Kajang Satay Kajang
  6. For the oven broiler or toaster oven method, line a tray with aluminum foil. Place wire rack 4-5 inches away from the heat source and lined tray below it to collect the dripping fat. Preheat oven for 10 minutes. Remove the rack from the oven and arrange the satay skewers on the rack. Broil the satay for 1-2 minutes, or until the meat is slightly charred with a few brown spots and cooked through. Turn the skewers over, brush some oil over the beef (optional), and continue broiling for another 1½-2 minutes, browned and completely cooked.
  7. Remove the cooked satay, rest for 5 minutes and ready to serve with spicy peanut sauce, cucumbers, onions and rice cakes.
    Satay Kajang Satay Kajang
Spicy Peanut Sauce
  1. Place dried chili in a small pot, add enough water to cover the chili and bring water to a boil.
  2. Drain the chili and add them with shallots, lemongrass, galangal, ginger, ground coriander & ground cumin into food processor, grind to become smooth paste. Add some water if necessary to keep the blades turning.
  3. Heat up oil in a small pot, stir-fry the spice paste until fragrant, turn the heat to medium-high and continue cooking until the oil separates.
  4. Add in tamarind juice, peanuts, some water, stir well and turn up the heat to boil the paste. Cover the pot, turn the heat to low and simmer for another 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. The oil from the peanuts will rise to the top of paste and the consistency should be thick. Add water if it's too thick. Add jaggery & salt, then take off heat.
Traditionally, the peanuts are roasted on the pan/wok & pound with pestle & mortar. This method will produce a more fragrant peanut sauce compared to grinding in food processor



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