Seafood Satay (Sate Lilit) From ‘The Indonesian Table’

April 12, 2023
1 Ratings
Photo by Yuki Sugiura
  • Prep time 30 minutes
  • Cook time 10 minutes
  • makes 10 skewers
Author Notes

This amazing and distinctive seafood satay is one of Bali’s many contributions to our national culture. The flavors of the sea, the aroma of lemongrass, and the vibrancy of fresh chiles and lime make sate lilit a firm favorite among my Balinese friends.

The finely chopped seafood is seasoned and wrapped around lemongrass skewers, then grilled to perfection and served with a bright sambal. You’ll need lots of lemongrass—since we only require the white parts, you can reserve the green sections for curries. Best of all, they are completely unique when traditionally skewered with stalks of lemongrass. —Petty Pandean-ElliottFood52

Test Kitchen Notes

Excerpted from The Indonesian Table © 2023 by Petty Pandean-Elliott. Photography © 2023 by Yuki Sugiura. Reproduced by permission of Phaidon. All rights reserved.Food52

What You'll Need
  • Yellow Spice Paste
  • 2 candlenuts or macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped (optional)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons coconut oil or sunflower oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 to 3 small banana shallots, sliced
  • 3/4 ounce (20 grams) fresh ginger, sliced
  • 1/4 ounce (10 grams) galagal, thinly sliced
  • 4 to 6 red bird's eye chiles, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 ounce (15 grams) fresh turmeric (or 1 to 2 teaspoons ground turmeric)
  • Satay
  • 12 stalks lemongrass
  • 1/2 quantity Yellow Spice Paste
  • 10 1/2 ounces (300 grams) skinless white snapper, haddock, or sea bass fillets, coarsely chopped
  • 10 1/2 ounces (300 grams) shelled prawns, coarsely chopped
  • 4 makrut lime leaves, center stem removed and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon ground corriander
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened desiccated coconut
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar or brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, for brushing
  1. Yellow Spice Paste
  2. If using the candlenuts or macadamia nuts, heat a frying pan over medium-low heat. Add the candlenuts and dry-roast for 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend into a smooth paste. It is now ready for use in a recipe.
  1. Satay
  2. Finely slice 2 lemongrass stalks, white part only, and combine with the Yellow Spice Paste. Set aside.
  3. Combine the fish and prawns in a food processor and process until finely chopped. Transfer to a large bowl, then add the spice paste, lime leaves and ground coriander. Add the desiccated coconut and sugar. Season with salt and pepper and mix well.
  4. Scoop a generous tablespoon of the mixture into your palm, put some lemongrass paste on top and mold the seafood mixture around a lemongrass stalk, leaving plenty of room to create the handle. Repeat with the remaining lemongrass stalks and mixture.
  5. Preheat a charcoal barbecue or griddled (grill) pan over high heat. Brush each satay with coconut oil. Add the skewers to the barbecue and grill for 6 to 8 minutes, turning often, until cooked through. Serve with sambal, vegetables and steamed rice, if you wish.

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1 Review

Vince December 28, 2023
Tried making this for the first time, and my family loved it! Next time, I'll just add a bit more salt. :)