Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Indonesian Satay - Indoor Charcoal Grill in A Hong Kong Flat

This is our desperate attempt to enjoy Indonesian charcoal grill satay. No oven grill/no frying pan tricks. A real indoor charcoal grilling action, to be more specific, in my teeny tiny Hong Kong flat.


To those who have a balcony/terrace/garden where you can do your charcoal grilling....damnnnn....I envy you.

To those who do not have an open space, but wish to try indoor charcoal grilling, please take the following precautionary steps:
- If your home/flat do not have good air flow....just forget about it
- Open all windows and if possible, maybe doors (despite the risk of burglary)
- Turn on exhaust fans
- I was also thinking of pre-calling 999 (Hong Kong's emergency number)
- Call a friend to give me a call back after an hour. If I didn't pick up, he/she has to call 999 for an ambulance (I was seriously THAT paranoid. Hey, we can never be too safe, right? I was worried there will be no more Mochachocolata-Rita after this charcoal burning action)

Now the challenge...
How do we get the charcoal grill going?

The above was sous chef's idea: roasting a piece of charcoal (one by one), with a BBQ tong over a gas stove. Ehm. It didn't work. It takes forever for the charcoal to burn, and once burnt, it crumbles into pieces. It was dangerous!

Then, we tried to get the fire going by strategically placing a few pieces of paper balls below the charcoal and lit them up. It worked better. Do NOT use too small pieces of paper, a piece of paper flew right onto sous chef's sweater and caused a burnt hole. Dangerrrrrr!!!!

Finally, we have some burning action going. Time to get the marinated satay out.

The meat
I used 3 x chicken thigh fillet, trimmed excess fat, leave some skin on, cut into small cubes. I didn't make the skewers until after I marinated them. I also used lean pork, simply cut into cubes.

I used two different kinds of marinate for the satay:

Lemongrass Marinate
- lemongrass powder (or you can use stalks of lemongrass, chopped), sprinkle generously
- ginger powder (or fresh ginger, crushed), sprinkle generously
- 1 clove of shallot, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp ground corriander seeds
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- white pepper
- a bit of grated lemon zest
- a bit of olive oil

Kecap Marinate
- 1 clove of shallot, thinly sliced
- light soy sauce
- dark soy sauce
- sweet soy sauce (this is the dominant flavor)
- white pepper
- chinese five spice powder (or just ground/freshly grated nutmeg)

Mix well, marinate for a few hours or overnight, I just stuck 'em with bamboo skewers about an hour before grilling.

Once we have the fire going, everything's easy. Place skewers on top of the grill, turn a bit to even things out. The surface of the meat will be beautifully charred, while the inner part will stay still juicy and tender.

I actually planned to dress up my satay and take beautiful pictures of them. However, they taste the best when they were just off the grill...so this first batch very quickly disappeared!

Satay Peanut Sauce
You can purchase a ready made satay sauce (if there's any Indonesian grocery shop near you, the Chinese ones are just NOT the same, but it's ok if you're desperate), and add freshly squeezed lemon, grated lemon zest, freshly chopped corriander, chopped chilli, thinly sliced shallot and drizzle a bit of kecap manis (sweet soy sauce).

or, you can make your own adaptation...
- 1 cup ground peanut (use a pressure cooker), or peanut butter
- 2 cloves finely chopped garlic
- 2 cloves shallot
- chopped chilli
- ground cumin
- ground corriander seeds
- palm sugar (or brown sugar)
- salt
- pepper
- a bit of olive oil
Mix everything well and saute quickly, remove from heat, add freshly squeezed lemon, grated lemon zest, freshly chopped corriander, chopped chilli, thinly sliced shallot and drizzle a bit of kecap manis (sweet soy sauce).

Add more charcoal pieces if necessary...

Boy, I was on fire!!! ^_^ Those are the pork satay marinated in sweet soy.

Once they are done, I squeezed lemon juice over them, drizzled them with a lot of kecap manis...

Dipped them into the sauce and dig in! They are perfect with rice or rice cakes (lontong). Finally I didn't get to take pictures of any dressed up satay at all. They were gone within minutes!!!

Thank you for the wonderful Japanese mini stone charcoal grill, Sir A. I love it!

It sounds like quite a lot of work, eh? But , trust me. Totally worth it :)


Cakelaw said...

LOL - you are far braver than me, lighting that burner. These look just delicious - worth the fire hazard.

Anonymous said...

OOh wooooww! Looks to me that it is all worth the danger cos they look sooooo goodddddddd XD I love satay ^^! Yum yum yum

Ning said...

I was just planning to make chicken satay later this week. Great minds think alike??? :) But your Japanese stone grill looks more impressive than my regular one...

Peter M said...

Rita, I love your lil' indoor BBQ...very inventive and kind of the person who gave it to you.

The satays obviously look yum but please be careful and go buy a fire extinguisher for the apartment.

canarygirl said...

Oh my dear girl. Once again, you have managed to titilate my entire sense of being to try this fabu concoction.

Jescel said...

your stone grill is awesome.. your satay looks delicious - i'd say totally worth the risk! LOL... this is would be good too for companies.. sort of the asian counterpart of the french fondue?? :o)

Wandering Chopsticks said...

Hello? Hello? I hope the carbon monoxide didn't do you in. But doesn't a little danger make food taste so much better? :P

I'd gladly put up with just a bit of danger in exchange for yummy indoor barbecue.

mikky said...

i understand how small a flat in HK can be, that's why i'm so amazed... how creative of you to accomplish this!!! your griller looks so stylish, your barbeque looks so tasty... yum... i can almost smell them... i bet your neighbors are dying to knock on your door for a taste... i would... :)

Ben said...

Damn girl! What would we do without you? Seriously, you gotta be very careful with this kind of experiments, but at least it looks like it was worth at the end! Great pictures!

glamah16 said...

You are brave and I love that grill. Looking at the final result it was worth the effort!

Sara said...

This looks great! I made chicken satay a while back and we loved it. I need to make it again soon.

Elsye said...

gelemmmmm, aku dah lama ga makan sate iki, btw itu tempat bakar satene ayu tenannn

_ts of [eatingclub] vancouver said...

Wow, grilling indoors like that... you are HARDCORE DIE-HARD!!! Teehee. =D

Man, it's been a while since we've doen the charcoal thing... (thinking wistfully)

Indonesia-Eats said...

hahahahah finally, you used that charcoal grill.
Those sates turned out really good, eh.

Btw, good thing I did put your blog into my google reader, so I didn't miss your sates. Sedappppp

MiNDY said...

kalau lafar emang kudu diniatin ya Rit.. hehehe
eh jadi pengen punya grill mini gitu.

noobcook said...

wahahha ... so funny! what will u NOT do? ;p but it's a worthwhile attempt judging by the look of the juicy satays :D

rokh said...

oh gosh, kudos to you for attempting this. the satay looks juicy and yummy, i want one!

Lidia Sianturi said...

fancy mini grill! i want one too...

EatTravelEat said...

Very impressive! Lots of effort huh? But the results look SO great and yummy! The stone grill looks very nice; I have not seen one like that before other than the top view of those grills so this was something new for me :).

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

omg.the things u do!!! thats crazy!! but cool..imagine cooking n popping it into ur mouth when done..excellent..

Fanny Wijaya said...

Waaaaaa...these sate makes me drooling. Kapan ya bisa makan tanpa bersusah payah? heheee *lazy girl

CECIL said...

Rit!! Happy New Year yang super telat yah! Hahaha...I have beeen away for so long, seems like. Anyway, I lovee the charcoal grill!! Lucu nya. And of course, I can eat satay anytime of the day.

Julia said...

That grill is adorable! I'm impressed that you would do this indoors, and pleased that nothing horrible happened!

Lisa said...

Heavens, Rita—words cannot express how scrumptious that satay looks. I'm pawing at the screen, trying to figure out how to get one into my mouth right away! I love the chronicle of your trial and error with the grill, as well. Makes me want to run out and purchase a propane tabletop grill and try it. Thanks for the recipes also.

Anonymous said...

OMG Rita, i'm in LOVE with your Japanese mini charcoal grill. I must get one of those! Now i know it exists, i can't live without it. My life took took an entire new meaning Rita. Thank YOU!!!! :)

Dragon said...

You are a very brave girl. I'm glad they turned out so beautifully for you. I'm also glad you didn't burn down the flat. :)

tigerfish said...

Whoa, so much efforts! I bet the time taken to make these was way longer than time taken to eat those!....;p

Tuty said...

The Japanese grill looks so cute....
Did you have to buy it at a Japanese store? Is charcoal from wood or briquettes?

BTW, do you know that there is frozen grated lemongrass? It's so convenient... I believe it is produced in Thailand or Vietnam.


Foni said...

napsuin rit satenya..
mang kadang yg repot hasil akhirnya lebih memuaskan ya bu..

Angie said...

Hats off to you and ya sous chef, such determination for good food is sheer passion!!!

Michelle said...

Satay. *droool* I should totally get one of those mini indoor BBQ's!

charcoal grill said...

That Is downright mouth watering stuff. What a sight the pictures are!! I am already fantasizing about it all. Great post.