HHDD #25: Chicken Satay Skewers

Another thing I love about Donna Hay -- and yes I am aware that I should go out and mingle with other cookbook authors, and stop clinging to the arm of my “best friend” like some shy little ninny – is that she has Asian recipes aplenty strewn across her books and magazines. Asian dishes and influences are very much apparent in the food she prepares...which of course is just one more thing that endears her to my Asian heart.

I will say at this point that no, not even a hint of a sniff of Filipino anywhere, but trust me, that’s just for now. One day that Australian goddess and I will meet and we will surely trade recipes and then she will inevitably publish some version of the Filipino dishes I share with her. Patience friends.

Anyway...Donna’s Asian dishes. Yes! Vietnamese spring rolls, Chinese noodles, Japanese sushi preparations, and Thai curries (and many others) often make their appearance in her delicious wake. And though it may make more sense, and would certainly be more authentic, to go consult with a book that is of those particular cuisines; Donna craftily weaves them around her simple, four-ingredient type recipes, so a “beginner-cook” who thinks she wanted to make pan fried veal chops and squash soup ends up making Thai Green Curry and fresh spring rolls with such ease, and to such accolades, that suddenly...she loves Asian too!

I was thrilled then when I found out that Meeta, the brilliant lady behind What’s for lunch, Honey?, picked Chicken Satay for this round of Hay Hay It’s Donna Day!

Meeta is one of (yes there was a tie!) the lovely winners of HHDD’s last round (Pesto!) which was hosted by me :) The other winner (with a fabulous sweet pesto!) is Tartasacher of Mil Postres. Just as this was the first time HHDD has announced a tie, Meeta and Tartasacher decided that this would also be the first time HHDD would have two themes! Meeta chose the chicken satay and Tartasacher chose something sweet!

The recipe Meeta chose was Chicken Satay Skewers. You can also find the original recipe here. As this was my first time to make satay from scratch I didn’t experiment or alter the recipe at all. Although the recipe itself is a variation from most satay recipes in that it uses ground cashews instead of peanuts, and there is no turmeric. It’s quite simple to throw together, and before I knew it, in the pulse of a blender, I had satay sauce to marinade my chicken in!

Donna uses coconut milk, cashews, ginger, fish sauce, chilli, and soy sauce in her marinade. I’ve since searched for more recipes on the web, and the marinade ingredients differ from recipe to recipe in such a dizzying range that I’d be pushed to find out what exactly would constitute “traditional”. In any case, these skewers were delicious! Aside from being bang-easy to make ;) I served them with some cheat’s satay sauce (confession here: marinade from scratch but sauce from a packet!), lime wedges, steamed white rice, and lots of cilantro.

C and I both enjoyed these skewers and I will definitely be making satay again. I’ve got my eye on other recipes to try (like this one) and a whole slew of Indonesian and Malaysian cookbooks from my favourite bookstore to fob ideas off (economic crisis = taking SMS notes in the bookstore with my mobile phone...ssshhh!).

Special satay note: We have our own version of satay here! Down south in Zamboanga they have satti...much like the Malaysian sate. I've written about it here :)

Thanks Meeta for choosing a fantastic theme! Hay Hay It’s Donna Day was created by Barbara of Winos and Foodies and is now under the care of Bron of Bron Marshall. Next up: my entry for Tartasacher’s sweet theme – sugar grilled fruit with yogurt!