The Meal Planner

Sometimes I get serious cravings for restaurants that I've only been to once or twice, but the food is so epic I can't stop dream drooling over them. My husband and I have visited a Malaysian restaurant in Edmonton a couple times called Tropika and they are known for their amazing satays with peanut sauce. I remember first getting them and being like "the peanut sauce is made with REAL peanuts!" (as opposed to peanut butter....which is not made with real peanuts apparently. Just imaginary ones.) After our International Dinner Club decided to make Malaysian food for March I began browsing Rasa Malaysia for recipe ideas, and I stumbled across her recipe for satays with peanut sauce, and Lo And Behold! REAL peanuts in the peanut sauce!

These are just as good as the ones from Tropika. And that's saying a lot.

*Recipe from Rasa Malaysia

Serves 4

6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 tsp coriander powder
2 stalks lemon grass
2 cloves garlic
4 tbsp cooking oil
1 tsp chili powder
2 tsp tumeric
1 tbsp kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce)
1 tbsp oyster sauce
Bamboo skewers soaked in water

Peanut Sauce:
1 1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts (unsalted)
1 cup water
1 tbsp sweet soy sauce (Kecap Manis)
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup oil
1 heaped tamarind pulp (soaked in 1/4 cup water for 15 minutes, squeeze the tamarind pulp for juice and discard the pulp) or 1/4 cup water mixed with 2 tsp tamarind concentrate
2-3 red birdseye chili's, deseeded (or more if you like it spicier)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 lemon grass (white parts only), minced
1 inch ginger, grated

Chop the bottom 1 1/2 to 2 inches off the lemon grass stalk and then peel off the tough outer layers to reveal the tender stalk inside. Cut into slices about 2/3 of the way up the stalk. Mince finely and add to a medium size container. To the container add coriander, garlic, cooking oil, chili powder, tumeric, kecap manis and oyster sauce and mix together well. Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces and add them to the container, tossing well to coat in the marinade. Let marinate at least 6 hours or overnight.

30 minutes before you are ready to cook, start soaking bamboo skewers (I always forget this part and it's sooo important. It keeps your skewers from burning and falling apart on the grill.)
At this point you can also begin to make your sauce. Coarsely grind the peanuts in a food processor and set aside. In a pot over medium heat add oil, and then the garlic, chili, lemongrass and ginger saute a couple minutes until spicy and fragrant. Then add peanuts, water, kecap manis, sugar, salt and tamarind. Let the mixture come up to a boil and then turn heat down to low and let simmer about 5 minutes or until it get smooth and thick. Set aside for the satays.

Once the bamboo skewers have soaked, thread the chicken pieces on to the skewers. Preheat grill to medium and cook 3-4 minutes per side or until chicken is no longer pink. Serve the satays with peanut sauce for dipping.

Click here for printable version of Malaysian Chicken Satays with Peanut Sauce.

OH YES!! This quenched the craving for me for sure because they were freakin' delicious. I will warn you that the peanut sauce recipe makes a ton, so you will have lots leftover. If you don't want that much then cut the peanut sauce recipe in half. Otherwise a perfect recipe. Absolutely incredible. Real peanuts and all ;)

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