The Balinese Lilit Ayam Sate

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A specialty from Bali, where most restaurants and warungs offer the famous Balinese Satay Lilit whether they are made with chicken, pork or fish. In most cases, the Lilit Ayam Sate skewers are served with satay peanut sauce and rice.

In Bali there are an infinite amount of variations on the street markets in the warung, or from street vendors because of course everybody puts his little secret ingredient. I like this generic recipe for the Sate Lilit Ayam, but it's up to you to make your own experience and customize it according to your own personal taste ...

Ingredients for the Lilit Ayam Sate (4-6 guests):

Serves 4 to 6 people
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Rest: 2 hours
Cooking time: 20 minutes

* 1 lb. chicken breast
* 1/2 cup freshly grated coconut
* 1 tablespoon soy sauce
* 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
* 1 tablespoon honey
* 1 teaspoon shrimp paste
* 1/2 lime, pressed for its juice
* 3 spring onions
* 1 clove garlic, germ discarded
* 1 bunch fresh coriander leaves

Spices, fresh if possible (found at Asian grocery stores)
* Turmeric, Ginger, Galanga, Lemongrass (in terms of quantity is variable depending on your taste ...)
* 2 thai red chilies
* Salt and pepper

Peanut sauce ingredients:
* 1 cup mashed peanuts(food store) or 250g unsalted roasted peanuts
* 4 shallots
* 1 clove garlic, germ discarded
* 1/2 inch piece of ginger
* 2 or 3 red thai chillies
* 1 knob of tamarind paste
* 3 tablespoons honey
* 1 tablespoon soy sauce
* 2 cups of water
* 1 cup coconut milk
* Salt and pepper

Procedure to make Lilit Ayam Sate:

1) We will begin by preparing the stuffing for our Lilit Sate skewers. Process the raw chicken breast finely with a mixer or food processor, this gives you a thick chicken paste. Add the soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, lime juice, shrimp paste and mix a little bit more; reserve.

2) Finely chop the garlic, onion, turmeric, ginger, galangal, lemongrass and thai chilies (seeds taken out and discarded). Crush using a mortar and pestle or a coffee grinder. Start heating up the peanut oil in a pan and cook this spice paste over medium heat for about ten minutes. Add to your chicken stuffing we did in step 1.

3) Chop the fresh coriander and also combine well with the rest with a good pinch of salt and a few turns of the pepper mill. Let this chicken paste stand in the fridge for at least 2 hours (perfectly covered using plastic warp so that the surface of our paste does not become dry)

4) During this waiting time, we have some time to tackle the peanut sauce: Mix or grind the roasted peanuts if you opted for this ingredient. Heat up 1 cup of water and put in the tamarind. Simmer 5 to 10 minutes and then press through a sieve or a chinois to keep only the thick pulp.

5) Finely chop the shallots, chop garlic, cut peppers (seeded), chop the ginger. By heating a little oil and make back these four ingredients together. Then add the peanut powder, honey, coconut milk, tamarind and the remaining water and cook until you get a creamy sauce, or Approximately 20 minutes. Let this peanut sauce cool down completely.

6) Use your skewers or, better, lemongrass sticks to make skewers. Take a small amount of stuffing, putting it to the top portion of the skewers then pressing the top part to give the stuffing the traditional conical shape.

It is now time to cook this on the barbecue; but if you do not have one, nothing stops you from cooking them in a pan or even the oven grill. Spread a little oil to brush over and cook them 5 minutes on each side.

Enjoy hot with the fresh peanut sauce ...