Lao Isan Beef Satay With Coconut Milk Marinade

April  4, 2018
2 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Makes about 2 cups
Author Notes

This recipe comes from the book Hawker Fare by James Shayabut. To read more about Lao Isan food, see the full article. —Food52

Test Kitchen Notes

While I enjoy the beef satay, since I do not own a grill, I often use this marinade on boneless skinless chicken thighs, which I cook on high heat on a cast iron skillet for a few minutes on each side, until the meat is fully cooked. —Nikkitha Bakshani

What You'll Need
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced lemongrass
  • 1/8 cup fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 1/4 cup sliced shallots
  • 5 medium garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 pound beef short ribs
  1. In a mortar, combine the lemongrass, ginger, shallots, and garlic; pound to a semi-smooth paste (you could also do this in a food processor). Stir in the oil, oyster sauce, fish sauce, turmeric, and the 1⁄3 cup coconut milk and mix well. Reserve 1⁄4 cup of this mixture and set aside.
  2. Transfer the rest to a large mixing bowl and add the short ribs. Toss the ribs to coat, cover the bowl, and let them marinate in the refrigerator for 24 hours (you can get away with marinating for 6 hours at a minimum, though the satay will have less depth of flavor).
  3. When it is time to cook the ribs, preheat your grill until very hot. I highly recommend cooking satay on an outdoor grill over charcoal briquettes, but gas will suffice (cook them indoors in a grill pan only if you have a very good exhaust system, since they generate a lot of smoke). Make the baste by mixing the reserved 1⁄4 cup marinade with the 1⁄3 cup coconut milk. Grill the ribs for about 2 minutes on each side (a little more or less, depending on how you like your meat). As they cook, brush the ribs with the basting liquid and a sprinkling of salt. Let the cooked ribs rest for 2 minutes before serving. Accompany with jasmine or sticky rice or slices of toasted white bread.

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